Not long ago I was passing by Donut King and had an overwhelming urge to purchase a cinnamon donut. This I did and as I was eating it, I realised that I wasn’t really enjoying it. I’m not a fan of greasy donuts that don’t taste of anything in a particular.
And so I remembered that I don’t really like cinnamon donuts at all, I am just addicted to anything that contains cinnamon and sugar mixed together.
When I saw the recipe for Norwegian cinnamon buns in Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess I popped the recipe straight on my mental “to bake” list. Now that university exams are over and holidays have begun, the four-week bake fest is on a roll (pun intended). First up, cinnamon buns.
I’ll start with saying that the recipe I’m going to post is with the changes I made, and the ones I would make next time. The original recipe is posted on other blogs around the internet. The main change is the flour – I was worrying when I was kneading the dough that it was way too soft and that I had done something wrong, but a quick google search showed that many had the same problem. My solution was to add extra flour, but the Nigella website recommends whisking the melted butter and eggs with half of the milk (200 mls) and combining this with the flour/yeast mixture first, before adding the remaining milk gradually as required until you have a soft dough.
Norwegian Cinnamon Buns, adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
- 600g plain flour, plus extra
- 100g white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 21g or 3 sachets dried yeast
- 100g butter, melted
- 400mL milk
- 2 eggs
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g sugar (I used half brown, half white sugar)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
- Combine the melted butter, milk and eggs in a separate bowl (alternatively, follow the Nigella website recommendation).
- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and combine.
- Prepare a lightly oiled bowl to place your dough in, and dust a clean work surface with flour.
- Knead the dough on your work surface until it is smooth and springy (or you could use a dough hook of an electric mixer). I found this the hardest step with such a wet dough, but if you’ve added the milk gradually and/or add extra flour, you should be okay. Knead your heart out, this step takes awhile.
- Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm spot for 25 minutes to rise. I left mine for about 50 minutes since it is winter here and my dough clearly wasn’t going anywhere fast. I also popped the bowl in a very cool oven (around 30 degrees) for about 10 minutes just to get the chill out of it.
- Prepare a 33 x 24 xm roasting tin or baking dish by lining it with baking paper bottom and sides. My tin was around 30 x 40 cm.
- Combine the filling ingredients, making sure the butter is super soft. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out your dough to about 30cm high and maybe 60cm wide. The book recommended 50 x 25 cm but seeing as I skipped the bread-base step (see full recipe for details), I made my scrolls a bit bigger.
- Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll it up so it forms a giant sausage.
- Cut the dough into scrolls – I made around 14, but the recipe is meant to make 20, so mine were quite big.
- Place the scrolls inside the baking tin, leaving a bit of space between them, and let them rise again for around 15-20 minutes.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. I wish I could give the bread equivalent of the skewer test, but I don’t know one, so I resorted to taking the buns out of the oven so see if they were baked. Cover the rolls with foil if they brown too quickly.
- Remove from the tin using the baking paper as handles, and leave to cool on a wire rack.
And voila, you have made cinnamon rolls!
It is fair to say my rolls look nothing like Nigella’s, which look lovely golden brown and are very puffed. Mine rose but evenly, which I suppose isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I would have preferred the scrolls to be a bit lighter with a slight crunch on top, but I don’t know how I would achieve this next time. I found mine to be more cakey. All in all I am glad I made these scrolls, as stressful as it was. I was convinced for a good hour that my yeast had died and that I was wasting my time, not to mention all of the wet dough issues. I think next time I would try using bread flour, follow the Nigella website technique and also make more scrolls, mine were far too big! If you’re planning on making these rolls, have a look at the original recipe first and then take my changes (and others’ changes) into account – I can almost guarantee you’ll struggle with the original recipe.
I wanted to take some pictures as I was cooking but I only managed one. I have no idea how other food bloggers manage to take gorgeous pictures when their hands are covered in gooey dough. It’s a mystery! This is my lone picture:
Appetising, I know. If you make these scrolls, please comment and let me know how you made them – I’m keen to try these again and need all the help I can get!