Updated: Sep 10, 2019
This summer we have baked a lot of cinnamon rolls. If you follow our blog you know that there is a number of recipes for sweet breads and rolls here. We have been testing with kids few different options and this take was their favourite. Texture, flavour, smaller size, caramel notes from the glaze - all works really well together. Hence, the rolls are always disappearing in a jiffy.
Why does it work?
Rolls from this recipe are soft and airy thanks to the mix of milk and sparkling water. Additional egg yolk adds to the softness of the dough and flavour. Kneading technique and slow incorporation of pliable butter, together with slightly longer 1st rest, contribute to light and airy texture. Rolls are then filled with spiced, cardamom and cinnamon butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar which gives lovely caramel flavour. To get a slightly sticky and delicious layer of caramel sweetness, rolls (when still hot) are brushed with brown sugar glaze. Buns are picked up in a jiffy even by the most fussy eaters.
The glaze is a great simple trick to get your buns all shiny! Whether you decide to bake them in a baking form, as separate buns or in a muffin tin.
Mini Cinnamon and Cardamom Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe
Yield: 20 mini rolls
Time: 30min prep + 2hr rest + 15 min prep + 40min rest +19-22min baking
For yeast proofing:
- 125ml (1/2 cup*) full-fat milk
- 4 Tbsps (60g) white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsps (20g) all purpose flour
- 7g (1 pack) active dry yeast or 25g active bulk dry yeast
For the rest of the dough:
- 525g (3 and 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 8 cardamom pods** or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 155ml (3/5 cup + 1 tsp) sparkling water, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk from large egg, room temperature
- 115g unsalted butter, soft but not oily (pliable)
Cinnamon and Cardamom Filling:
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 16 cardamom pods** or 1 tsp cardamom
- 100g demerara sugar
- 30g white granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg white, leftover
- 2 Tbsps (30ml) full-fat milk
Brown Sugar Glaze:
- 80g demerara sugar
- 1/3 cup (82ml) water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/paste or vanilla seeds from 1/3 vanilla pod
* cup = 250ml cup
** cardamom pods - if you can't get ground cardamom use cardamom pods (even better!) and follow instructions in the recipe
1. Proof the yeast: In a small pot mix milk with sugar and flour. Warm up the mixture to 42C. Make sure flour and sugar are fully dissolved. Take off the heat and mix in the yeast. Cover with dry kitchen towel and keep in warm place. After 15 minutes you should see the mixture bubbling up. If you don’t - start again (the temperature might have been too low/too high, check bbe date on yeast).
2. Prepare the dough: Sift flour and cardamom into your main mixing bowl. If you are using cardamom pods - mill 50g flour with cardamom seeds before sifting (use food processor or coffee grinder). Add salt, proofed yeast, 1 large egg, 1 egg yolk, sparkling water. Mix the dough until all ingredients are well incorporated. If you are kneading by hand - use pincer method at first (treat your thumb and index finger as a pincer and work through the dough), then pat the dough remembering to rotate the bowl every so often. Initial kneading should take approx. 6-7 minutes. If you are using stand mixer - knead on lowest speed for 7 minutes. When all ingredients are mixed in, cover the dough with dry kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes. At this point the dough will look stiff which is ok. After 15 min knead in the butter. If you knead by hand it will take you some 8-10 minutes to work in all the butter. Kneading here is simply patting the dough, remembering to rotate the bowl every so often (to aerate the dough from every angle). If you knead using stand mixer - work on low speed for 10-12 minutes. Don't add more flour. You know the dough is ready when it's elastic, pulls away from your hand (can still be slightly sticky but should not leave marks) and is shiny/satiny. When ready, cover the dough with cling film or dry kitchen towel and leave in warm place for 30min. After that time, pat the dough (knead) energetically for 30 seconds. When done, cover the dough with cling film and let rest for 1hr 30min. During that time the dough should more than double in size.
3. Prepare cinnamon-cardamom butter: In a small pot melt butter, add ground cardamom and cinnamon and cook on medium heat for 1 minute, stirring every so often. If you are working with cardamom pods - mill cardamom seeds with cinnamon before adding to the butter (few pulses). In a small bowl mix demerara sugar with white sugar and salt.
4. Shape: When ready, transfer the dough onto lightly floured work surface and roll out into rectangle (L45cmxW30cm), 0.3cm thin. To get mini rolls you want longer length and shorter width; you are going after long but fairly thin log shape (opposite to big cinnamon rolls). Brush the dough with cinnamon-cardamom butter and sprinkle with sugars. Roll into log shape and cut into 20 equal rolls. Brush your baking tin generously with soft butter. Place rolls (4 rolls x 5 rows) onto the baking tray, cover with dry kitchen towel and let rest for 40 minutes. In a meantime preheat the oven to 190C. Just before baking brush buns with egg wash (mix egg white with 2 Tbsps milk).
5. Bake: When ready, bake at 190C for 12minutes, then lower the temperature to 170C and bake for another 7-10 minutes. If you decide to bake separate rolls - bake at 190C for 12 minutes, then lower the temperature to 170C and bake for another 2-4 minutes.
6. Apply Brown Sugar Glaze: In a small pot bring the water to boil, add vanilla seeds (or extract/paste) and demerara sugar. Cook on low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the syrup reduces slightly. Brush buns when still hot.