Oh buttery sugary cinnamon roll, how I love thee. I have been making various versions of you for a long time, but have never been fully satisfied. Until now!

I have finally made a cinnamon roll that I am pleased with. It is by far the best cinnamon roll that I have ever produced.

And do you want to know the secret…

Follow up:

Well, it’s butter, of course. What else would it be?

I made super luxurious rich man’s brioche dough. This dough had a pound of butter in it - that’s 4 whole sticks people. We have previously posted in detail about our adventures in brioche making, so I am not going to post the whole process again. You may not know that we did a brioche throwdown of sorts when we first started this blog. We made brioche following the recipes of Thomas Keller, Pierre Herme & Joe Pastry, to see who had the better brioche. We even used different butters based on what we thought they would have used. Pierre Herme was the champ of this throwdown, but we felt that his recipe coupled with the Straus butter we used for Thomas Keller’s recipe would be the ultimate brioche. Straus butter is our baking butter of choice due to it’s higher fat content and rich flavor.

So that is what I did here. Herme’s brioche with 1 pound of Straus butter. Brioche is generally pretty delicious, no matter what recipe you use. I think you can use any brioche recipe you want, just be sure that the flour to butter ratio is 1:1 and you should come out with a similar product.

Once my brioche was ready to go, I prepared my filling:

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Then Nick rolled it up nice and tight for me. Nick is the cinnamon bun roller in the house. He has an uncanny ability to roll these things perfectly. Perhaps he had too much free time as a teenager.

I was super excited when I saw how good these were looking. I cut them with dental floss, an ingenious method that prevents the squishing that can happen with a knife. Joe Pastry demonstrates the dental floss method here.

I baked these suckers at 375F for 10 minutes uncovered. Then I loosely covered with foil and baked another 20-25 minutes. After they cooled, they were in need of a glaze. The glaze was just lemon juice and confectioners sugar. It did a nice job of brightening up the flavor of the roll which was very rich from all that butter. Rich, but delicious.

I had a ton of brioche dough, so I made these rolls with some leftover basil pesto and asiago cheese. They were okay. They turned out very greasy from all the oil and cheese coupled with the butter in the dough. The flavor was not exactly what I was going for either. I was trying to replicate a delicious pesto asiago bread that I have had from Spring Bread Mill, which is a local bread company in Maryland & Virginia.

They looked way better here, before they were baked, than they did afterwards. I think this kind of filling would be better in a chewier bread that could absorb some of the fat without getting overly greasy.

They can’t all be winners and the success of my cinnamon rolls overshadowed my disappointment of the pesto rolls. Though I will continue to try to insert that delicious pesto asiago filling in other types of bread.

I will be submitting my rolls to Susan of Wild Yeast for this week’s Yeastspotting.