Cinnamon rolls with breakfast on Christmas morning are (almost) as good as presents and this recipe from Betty Hung’s cookbook French Pastry 101, is one of our favourites. It makes for a sinfully delicious start to the day and the brioche dough is the proverbial cream cheese frosting on top of Christmas.
Betty Hung shares her brioche cinnamon scrolls recipe:
Once I learned to make brioche, I couldn’t make cinnamon rolls with any other dough. Its buttery flavor and tender texture are divine when made into cinnamon rolls. Since the brioche is quite rich, a light cardamom glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness and spicy brightness.
Prep Time: 1 hour – Makes 8 cinnamon rolls
½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (85 g) loosely packed brown sugar
2 tsp (10 g) cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 2⁄3 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 g) instant yeast
1 1⁄4 tsp (8 g) salt
2 tbsp (30 g) granulated sugar
3 large (150 g) eggs
1 tbsp (15 g) whole milk
2⁄3 cup (150 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp (15 g) butter, melted
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp (30 g) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the cinnamon spread, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl using a rubber spatula until it’s smooth. Set it aside.
To make the brioche, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the eggs and milk to the flour.
Mix on low with the dough hook for 5 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Add the softened butter in three additions, mixing thoroughly after each one, for about 2 minutes each. After mixing in the last bit of butter, scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix on low for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, grease a medium bowl. Once the mixing is done, turn the dough into the prepared bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it proof at room temperature for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in volume.
When it has finished this first proof, knock it down, cover it with plastic and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
To prepare the baking pan, cut a piece of 13-inch (33-cm) round parchment paper. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pan, and set the parchment onto it.
The next day, take out the chilled dough. It will be much firmer than at room temperature. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a 12 x 10–inch (30 x 25–cm) rectangle.
Spread the cinnamon spread evenly onto the dough, leaving an inch (2.5 cm) along the top edge. Roll up the dough from the bottom edge and pinch the seam after rolling. Cut it into eight equal pieces. Place the rolls, cut sides up, into the prepared pan.
To proof, loosely place a piece of plastic wrap over the brioche. Let it proof at room temperature for about an hour, or until it doubles in volume. When it is almost finished rising, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool it slightly for about 10 minutes, and transfer it to a cooling rack.
To make the glaze, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle it all over the tops of the cooled rolls. These are best served warm and on the day they are baked.
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