I feel that after making this bread I’m officially the queen of cinnamon rolls. This cinnamon roll bread is gooey, soft, cinnamony and simply spectacular. The braiding is really pretty, making it the perfect gift for when someone invites you over for dinner. It’s also perfect for then you crave cinnamon roll bread, then you can just make it for yourself, lol.
This bread is a modification of my cinnamon roll recipe. I have used this recipe so much that I think I should stop, but then I don’t. I have made apple cinnamon rolls and coffee cinnamon rolls with that same recipe as a base and they’re so good! The difference between this recipe and my cinnamon roll recipe is that I knead the dough for the bread. This I do to strengthen the gluten and thus helping it proof and bake nicely in a bread form. I also added less sugar and cinnamon. The result is extremely soft and delicious. It’s honestly my new obsession.
To make this braid I was inspired by my friend Ari from @wellseasonedstudio. She made a Braided Pesto Bread that looked SO good, there was just no way that I wasn’t going to be inspired. She cooks up amazing recipes for you guys so definitely go follow her <3. It’s one of those friendships that I have made through Instagram that I love and make me say that the Internet can give us such good things.
The cinnamon roll bread braid
Down here I show you step by step photos for the braiding of the bread. Once you stretch the dough in a 30x40cm or 11.8×15.7in, you paint the butter on the dough and then you spread the sugar and cinnamon (mixed) on top. Then you roll it up starting from a long edge. After that, you cut the roll lengthwise using a sharp knife. Keep the interior of both halves looking upwards and cross them at the centre forming an “X”. Then you twirl them to the top and then to the bottom, always keep them with the cinnamon interior looking up. Prepare a 22x11cm or 8.6×4.3in mould with baking paper before placing the dough inside. The dough will let go of some sugar during the cooking process so you want to have some help taking it out after cooking. To place the dough in the mould you fold both ends towards the inside and meet them at the centre. In that way, you get the nicest part of the braid at the top.
For the dough
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
- 120 g sugar
- 240 ml milk lukewarm
- 60 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
For the sugar filling
- 110 g brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 40 g melted unsalted butter cooled to room temperature
For the dough
- Mix the lukewarm milk, eggs, vanilla essence and melted butter.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and make a hole in the centre and add all the wet ingredients in the center.
- Mix everything until you have a uniform dough. It's really sticky so don't worry, that's just the way this dough is ?
- We're going to knead the dough now. You can use a stand mixer with the hook accessory or do it by hand. If you do it using a stand mixer, knead for 10 minutes. The dough should unstick from the bottom of the bowl. If you do it by hand it will take 20 minutes and the dough should unstick from your hands.
- Let the dough rest for 1 hour covered. If it’s too cold, turn on your oven until it’s warm (not hot) inside and let it puff up there.
- Prepare a 20x11cm or 7.8×4.3in with baking paper. You can stick it in place using a bit of vegetable oil.
- Dust flour on a clean tabletop and roll the dough. Every couple of rolls make sure it’s not sticking and dust more flour underneath and on top. Roll it out to a 30x40cm or 11.8×15.7in rectangle.
- Paint the melted butter on top evenly.
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon and spread it out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle it and then spread out any mountains of sugar by gently brushing them with your hand.
- Start rolling from one of the long edges: first do it carefully so it’s nice and tight and once you have the first 2 complete rolls, you can just push it (still very tightly) so it rolls to the end.
- Cut the roll lengthwise, keeping the inside looking up.
- Cross them at the centre and braid going up and going down. See the photos above for further reference.
- Tuck the ends underneath the central part, making them meet at the centre. Place the dough into the mould and let it proof for an hour in a warm place.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 1 hour.
- Remove it from the mould with the help of the baking paper while it's still warm. A bit of the sugar will have melted and dropped to the bottom so if you let it cool down completely it might stick.