Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls
Plush and pillowy Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls could be a soft place to rest your weary head. Not really. They are too delicious for that.
How are they so tender and luscious? Tangzhong.
We’ve talked about tangzhong before. And it’s the secret to these cinnamon rolls not becoming hard and chewy the next day as many rolls are. The water-flour roux makes a gelatinous blob that is added to the dough to retain moisture in the finished bread, keeping it soft and springy.
Tangzhong is the Chinese term for this roux. Popular in Asia for many centuries, it is a bread-making technique that not only makes loaves softly plush but also inhibits them from going stale quickly. It is used to make loaves of milk bread.
Making and adding tangzhong to your dough is an extra step, but it comes together in just a few minutes (less than 10). The results are worth it.
Also worth it: good quality cinnamon.
We all know what cinnamon tastes like, right? Well, sort of. There are several types of cinnamon and they all have different tastes and smells.
Cinnamon is broken down into two main categories: Ceylon and cassia. Within the cassia category are three sub-types that are named after where they are grown. Cassia is from China, korintje is from Indonesia, and Saigon is from Vietnam.
Chinese, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cinnamons are all rich and spicy. Ceylon cinnamon is milder and more floral than the other types and is considered the Ferrari of cinnamons. The King Arthur Baking website has a very detailed breakdown of the different types which I found very informative.
The most popular and widely-sold type in the U.S. is the kind from Indonesia. It is affordable and available. Costco stocks the Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon and is the one I use most.
- This recipe looks long and scary. Don’t be afraid. All the individual steps are very doable and easy. Take it a step at a time.
- Play around with the spices for the filling. I added some additional spices for fun but you could use just cinnamon. You’re an adult; do what you want.
- Good luck waiting for these to cool before icing and eating. It’s really difficult.
Many thanks to King Arthur Baking for their perfectly pillowy cinnamon rolls recipe.Print
- ½ cup milk
- 3 Tbsp bread flour
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tbsp bread flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 to 2 tablespoon milk
- Make the tangzhong by combining the milk and flour in a small saucepan and whisking to combine. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, constantly stirring, until it thickens. It should look like a loose paste. When you drag the whisk across the bottom of the pan it will leave a clear trail.
- Dump the tangzhong into a mixing bowl. Add the milk, flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and butter. Stir together until combined. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer or your hands, knead the dough for 12 minutes or until it is pliable and smooth. It will be a loose and sticky dough. With your hands, shape the dough into a roundish ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover and let it rise for 75-ish minutes in a warm place. It won’t double in size but will get puffy.
- Make the filling by combining the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, and spices in a medium bowl. Stir together until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- As tempting as it is, do not punch down the dough. Instead, gently dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. It should be ½-inch thick. Measure it.
- Now, using your fingers sprinkle on the filling but leave a ½-inch border on one of the 12-inch long sides. Begin rolling on the long side that has filling and continue to roll the dough until you have a yule log. Just kidding, you now have a filled dough log.
- Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces by using dental floss or a sharp knife. Lay the rolls down on the prepared baking sheet. And if need be, tuck those tails in underneath. You don’t want the rolls coming unraveled in the oven.
- Cover with lightly sprayed plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for 35-ish minutes until puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Move the rack to the upper third of the oven.
- Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until the temp in the middle of the rolls reaches 190 F/88 C on a thermometer.
- Brush the rolls with melted butter after removing them from the oven. Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes and try not to devour them.
- At this point, you can continue to let them cool, cover them, and serve them later today or tomorrow, or the next day. The icing should go on just before serving.
- If you are serving them immediately, make the icing by stirring together the melted butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk until you have a smooth icing. Ice the rolls and serve immediately.
Keywords: milk bread cinnamon rolls