— a culinary journal —

The Most Amazing Cinnamon Rolls


“The strongest of all warriors are these two- Time and Patience.”  (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace)

You will need both to make these amazing cinnamon rolls (and wait to taste them) but trust me, the end result in this case is well worth it.

I was actually looking for a recipe for English muffins when all sources pointed to this book-  The Model Bakery Cookbook: 75 Favorite Recipes from the Beloved Napa Valley Bakery. 


Skimming through the book, I realized it had a lot of promise so I bought a copy.  The cinnamon roll recipe caught my eye so I decided to give them a try before the English Muffins (soon to be tried).

The cinnamon rolls are soft and tasty. My family thinks they are great.


My son just informed me that there is only one more cinnamon roll left and it’s time for me to make a new batch.

From the fragrance of the cinnamon and brown sugar baking to the vanilla bean cream cheese icing melting in your mouth, you will have no regrets.


The great thing about this recipe, the “Schnecken” dough is a good base for a lot of other amazing pastries (you will be the first to know when I make them).

These cinnamon rolls are not difficult at all to make- it just takes planning.

Here’s my schedule to get them ready for Saturday morning breakfast:

  1. Friday morning: mix the starter (takes about 5 minutes).
  2. Friday evening: prepare the dough and put it in the fridge to rise overnight.
  3. Saturday morning: shape the dough, let it rise a little more and bake.


Your guests and family will be amazed.

Here is the recipe with a just a few modifications from the original.



1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast


Mix all the starter ingredients in a small bowl.


Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm, dry place for at least 1.5 hours. I let it stand for a much longer time- about 10 hours. It was fine. It’s also a good time to set out the stick of butter (8 tablespoons) you will need at room temperature for the dough.




2/3 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups all purpose flour (recipe called for bread flour)

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


Combine the starter, milk, eggs, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment).


Mix on low speed until the starter has dissolved.

Gradually mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour to make a sticky dough.


Turn off the mixer, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let stand for 20 minutes.

Mix the dough on medium-low speed, gradually adding the sugar.

Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that cleans the sides of the bowl (tip- you might need a little more than the remaining 1/2 cup flour).


Replace the paddle with the dough hook.


Knead on medium-low speed until spoom and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, letting the dough absorb each addition before adding the next. Knead until shiny, about a minute more.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.


Shape the dough into a thick rectangle. Wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours before using.

Assembling the Cinnamon Rolls

Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into an 18×10 inch rectangle.


Spread 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter on the dough. Leave about a 1/2 inch border.


Sprinkle 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.


Starting at the long side, roll up the dough and pinch the long seam closed.


Cut the dough into 12 equal sizes and arrange cut side down in your prepared pan (either two buttered round cake pans or one 9×13 pan).


Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for about 1 1/2 hours in a warm place.


Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

Bake until the rolls are golden brown- 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.


Prepare the icing


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons whole milk


Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together on medium speed. Reduce to low speed and add  in the confectioner’s sugar. Add in enough of the milk to give the icing a spreadable consistency.


Spread on the cinnamon rolls while still warm.


3 Responses to “The Most Amazing Cinnamon Rolls”

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