Cinnamon Swirl Brioche

How much do I love cinnamon buns? I can’t even begin to tell you. If a cinnamon danish or cinnamon bun is on offer, I will take it. But…. cinnamon buns are ruined by those who add raisins to them. It’s just not acceptable. Those who know, know what I mean.

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I have a very …. intense relationship with cinnamon (in the most ironic sense of the phrase). There’s no such thing as too much cinnamon when adding it to a recipe – I add it to my chili as a staple ingredient. I cannot explain how much cinnamon elevates food, it just does.

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So, on Buddha’s birthday, I decided that I wanted to make brioche. But, I didn’t want to make plain brioche, and I didn’t want to make a chocolate brioche, so I decided to adapt the chocolate brioche recipe from Betcha Can’t Eat Just One‘s blog, and used a cinnamon sugar mix instead of a chocolate layer.

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I wasn’t sure entirely how they were going to turn out, sometimes when baking bread it takes a few times to get it right, but besides a bit of work on my folding and rolling… they were absolutely incredible. I know it’s not right to compliment your own work, but they were amazing… and the people that got to eat them said so too. It takes time, making brioche, but I would most definitely so it again. I want to make cinnamon rolls again, but I also want to try with other flavours to see how I can experiment with the bread dough.

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These cinnamon rolls go really well with a cream cheese icing (cream cheese, icing sugar, milk) drizzled over the top.

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Anyway, it’s been a long, busy weekend full of eating and playing tour guide to some friends that were in town. We’ve eaten half of Hong Kong, and sweated out the rest, so I’m going to make this a quick blog entry and head to bed early.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup strong white bread flour
2 teaspoons easy-active yeast
1/2 lukewarm skimmed milk
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups strong white bread flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup ground cinnamon

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  1. Whisk together the first three ingredients in a bowl, cover and set aside for 45 minutes.
  2. When frothy, mix in the eggs, caster sugar, salt and flour. The dough will be quite tough once everything is combined. Knead for two minutes, then let rest for 5 minutes to allow the gluten to develop.
  3. Gradually mix in the cubed butter, a few pieces at a time. Once the butter is mixed thoroughly, add a bit more until all of the butter is incorporated. Knead the dough for another 6 – 10 minutes.
  4. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper, and stretch the dough out into a large rectangle.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the dark brown sugar and the cinnamon together. Spread over the dough rectangle as evenly as possible. Spray with a bit of oil, then cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge. Fold one long edge just past the middle of the dough, and do the same for the other side, then roll the dough out. Fold up the short edge into just past halfway, and do the same on the other side. Roll the dough out again. Repeat this step a couple of times.
  7. Roll the rectangle-shaped dough, from the long edge, into a sausage. With a sharp knife, slice along the rolled dough and place each slice on to the baking sheet. Leave enough space between the slices to allow them to rise in the oven.
  8. Cover the slices, and allow to rise for 45 – 60 minutes in a warm area.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  10. Uncover the rolls and place in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack, and serve warm with cream cheese icing.

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