Ben Starr

The Ultimate Food Geek

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are a bit more involved than my usual lazy recipes, but this is absolute easiest sourdough method on YouTube, and you’ll never taste a more delicious one!

(The “Print” feature is at the bottom of the recipe.)

Easiest way to make sourdough starter.

Buttermilk 101

Toys in the video:

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The Recipe

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 8oz / 227g sourdough starter (at 100% hydration…ideally unfed, straight from the fridge)
  • 6oz / 170g buttermilk (any type)
  • 2oz / 57 g (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2oz / 57g brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Stir/whisk until smooth. Then add:

  • 1 pound / 454g all purpose flour (or bread flour)

Stir with a fork, then finish mixing with your hand until you have a cohesive smooth dough. (A few seconds is generally sufficient.) Grease the bowl, cover tightly, and rise at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours…only longer if it takes that long for your starter to double the dough.

Soften 3 sticks (12 oz) unsalted butter and 8oz cream cheese.

In a bowl, combine:

  • 8oz / 227g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8oz / 227g brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 tsp coarse or kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp fine or table salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Mash with a fork until well blended.

Generously flour the work surface, hands, and rolling pin. Remove the dough to the work surface, gently stretch into a rectangle shape, and gently roll out to 16-18″ long and 12″ wide (40-46cm x 20cm). Distribute globs of the cinnamon/butter/sugar mixture across the dough, and spread the mixture evenly across the rectangle, leaving a 1″ border around the bottom and sides, but spreading the mixture almost to the edge of the top. Roll from the top edge down, carefully, ensuring a tight roll. Moisten the bottom edge of the dough, lift it up to meet the roll, and pinch to seal it well.

Using dental floss, fine kitchen twine, or a bread knife, cut an inch or two off each end of the log to even it, then divide the log into as many rolls as you wish to make. (12 is ideal, but it can be divided into fewer rolls for taller rolls, or more rolls for shorter rolls.)

Place the rolls into a greased heavy pan (pyrex, ceramic, cast iron are ideal, and I use a 10.5″ x 14.5″ pyrex). Rise 1 hour.

(If refrigerating overnight, after cutting, cover and immediately place rolls in refrigerator. Transfer them straight to the preheated oven to bake.)

Bake on the center rack of a preheated 325F / 160C oven for 35 minutes, rotating after 20 minutes. Gently brush with a small amount of frosting or soft/melted butter immediately after removing from oven. Let cool at least 15 minutes before final frosting, and serve.

If baked in advance, warm cinnamon rolls in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.

The Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine:

  • 4oz / 113g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 8oz / 227g cream cheese (or mascarpone or lebni) (softened)

Beat until perfectly smooth. Add:

  • 1 pound / 454g powdered sugar

Beat slowly at first, then on high speed until smooth. Then add:

  • pinch salt
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat slowly at first, then on high speed for a few minutes until light and fluffy. This is more frosting than you will need for only 12 cinnamon rolls, but it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.

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