Kanelbullar - cinnamon bun in Swedish – presumably originated from Sweden in the 1800's.
Around the mid-1700’s, northern European bakers began mastering super-rich, butter-infused yeast doughs. The French shaped them into buns, followed by the Dutch frying them in oil. Around this time, the British invented the Chelsea bun, a type of currant bun; all while the Germans developed the schnecken, a bun rolled with sugar and currants. These buns laid the groundwork for the Swedish to add cinnamon creating the very first cinnamon rolls...
Now in 2020 we have Motherbuns, our own version of cinnamon rolls, made with a date & cinnamon butter, wrapped in butter-rich sourdough brioche and topped with vanilla bean & cream cheese glaze.
Making enriched doughs is challenging.
All the extra fat, sugar and other ingredients weigh the dough down. They have an effect on the fermentation, structure and gluten development. The method also has quite a few more steps.
The effect, however, of presenting sourdough cinnamon rolls to friends and family and watching them devour them makes it definitely worth the effort.
- 100g Motherdough, refreshed
- 250g Stoneground White bread flour or Farina 00
- 70g Full cream milk
- 120g Egg white (from about 4 eggs)
- 60g Castor sugar
- 6g Salt
- 40g Egg yolk (from about 4 eggs)
- 120g Unsalted butter, soft bit still firm, cut in 2cm cubes
- 50g Pecan nuts, chopped (optional)
- 50g raisins (optional)
- 100g Pitted dates, chopped
- 50g boiling water
- 5g Ground cinnamon
- 100g Dark brown / muscavado sugar
- 100g Unsalted butter
- 120g Philadelphia cream cheese
- 60g Unsalted butter
- Seeds from one vanilla bean, or a squirt of vanilla paste
- 125g Icing sugar, sifted.
- 50g Full cream milk, warm
Date Butter Filling
Cream Cheese Glaze
- Blitz the motherdough with the milk, and place into your mixing bowl.
- Add the egg white and stir through, adding in the flour and sugar slowly to incorporate. Leave the mass to rest for 30 minutes.
- Knead with the mixer to get a smooth dough with good gluten development, about 15 minutes until the dough is very elastic and passes the window pane test.
- Add the salt, and then start to add egg yolk slowly, one spoon at a time and knead on a medium speed until each spoon of egg is completely absorbed.
- Add the butter one cube at a time and knead on a medium speed until it is completely absorbed.
- Knead at a medium-high speed for about 5 minutes. This dough will be very soft and sticky. Remember sticky dough won't stick to wet or oiled hands and utensils.
- Remove the dough and place in a plastic container with a lid. Leave to rest at room temperature until noticeably increased, smooth and spring to the touch, transfer to the fridge for 12 hour bulk fermentation at 6 deg. C
Date Butter Filling
- Pour the boiling water over the dates and leave for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the cinnamon and sugar, mix well and leave too cool.
- Add the butter to the date mixture and mix well. Reserve at room temperature if using same day, or store in the fridge and before use soften with bursts of 10 seconds in the microwave until spreadable.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add in the icing sugar and mix until well incorporated.
- Add the milk to the cream cheese mixture slowly. Only use enough milk to get to a pourable consistency. If 50g milk is not enough you can add a little more.
Assembly and Baking
- After the 12 hour bulk fermentation, remove from the fridge and tip onto a floured work surface.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle about 0,5cm thick
- Spread the date butter over the dough evenly, edge to edge corner to corner. Sprinkle with nuts & raisins if desired.
- Starting with the long edge furthest from you, roll the dough towards you, moving your fingers evenly back and forth along the dough, until it is tightly coiled with seam down. Cut into even rolls 3-4cm tall with a sharp knife, and place in a baking tin greased with butter. Space them 3-4 cm apart.
- Leave the rolls to prove in a warm place until they have noticeable increases in volume, are almost touching each other, and the dough is airy and soft.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg. C fan assisted, for 25 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray. When just slightly warm, pour over the cream cheese glaze and allow to cool completely for serving.
You need to use refreshed Motherdough no more than a few hours after her feed to ensure that she is as strong as possible and up to this tough job.
In order to work the butter into the dough properly you really should use a planetary mixer with a dough hook attachment. You can do it by hand, but a mixer will make life 1000 times easier. Otherwise you are in for a very long, very arduous process because of the extensive amount of mixing that's required to develop the gluten properly and the slow, gradual addition of butter, with fridge rests in-between to stop the dough from getting too warm.