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Brioche Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls – Home Grown Happiness

a sourdough cinnamon roll with brioche dough


These brioche sourdough cinnamon rolls are super soft and fluffy, filled with sweet cinnamon sugar, and topped with a cream cheese glaze.

They’re made with a buttery and soft sourdough brioche dough that becomes so fluffy and tender.

a sourdough cinnamon roll with brioche dough

Brioche dough is extra enriched with a lot of eggs and butter. It’s a decadent dough that makes such delicious sourdough cinnamon buns

The brioche dough used in this recipe is based on my sourdough brioche bread, with a tweak in the timings.

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Sourdough brioche dough

This dough is best mixed using a stand mixer as it can be quite tricky to work by hand. The dough is high in hydration and it’s sticky for a very long time until the gluten is developed enough. Therefore it needs a long period of kneading. 

That being said, it’s absolutely possible to make it by hand as long as you’re not intimidated by wet dough, you can work the dough in fast movements and you have patience.

My brioche bread recipe has a video of the dough being worked by hand. 

dough in a mixer

The equipment

For best results use a stand mixer. The brioche dough is a very sticky dough, to begin with. There is a large number of eggs and butter present and this extra fat and moisture mean gluten development in the dough is slow. 

Use a bench mixer for best results as the dough needs 10-15 minutes of mixing to create the gluten structure that’s necessary for a strong and elastic dough.

A 22.5 x 33cm / 9x13inch baking tray or a 30cm / 12 inch cast-iron skillet to bake the sourdough cinnamon rolls.

cream cheese icing poured on sourdough cinnamon rolls

The starter

The sourdough cinnamon rolls use a stiff starter. Usually, a sourdough starter is fed at 100% hydration, which means it’s fed with equal parts water and flour (measured in weight.)

This time, the amount of flour will be increased, and the amount of water decreased. Stiffer starters are slower to rise than those with higher hydration. They undertake a slow but steady growth, with less risk of peaking too early.

The brioche dough needs a long period of rising time, and the addition of all the extra fat in the dough can slow things down so a stiff starter helps bring some strength to the rise. 

The starter is fed overnight at a ratio of 1:2:1, 1 part starter, 2 parts flour, and 1 part water. It makes a really thick starter, more like a ball of dough. Knead it together for a minute like you would with dough and place it in a jar or glass and cover it with a loosely balanced lid. 

Overnight it will undertake a slow rise and should be more than doubled by morning.

a glass of stiff starter

The flour

This recipe works well with a strong all-purpose flour with around 11-11.5% protein. All-purpose flour protein levels can vary between brands, and the name of the flour itself can vary between countries. In NZ this is our high-grade flour.

It’s best to check protein levels rather than just the name of the flour.

Baker’s schedule 

Here is a rough outline of the baker’s schedule so you can get an idea of the timings. 

The night before

Feed the stiff starter

Day 1

9 am – Mix the dough

9:30 am – Let it rise in a warm spot until bulked out by half (approx 4 hours depending on temperature)

1:30pm-8:30pm – Refrigerate the dough

8:30 pm – Shape the sourdough cinnamon rolls and let them rise overnight

Day 2

Bake the cinnamon rolls

side by side of cinnamon rolls rising

Alternative timings 

The above schedule is for overnight sourdough cinnamon rolls, where the rolls will proof and rise overnight. If you would rather proof them during the day and bake them in the evening, you can change the timings.

After mixing the dough on day 1 and giving it the initial rise, it can be placed in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before shaping. 

This can give more flexibility in the timings but do bear in mind that the longer the fridge proof, the more the sourdough tang will come through.

If not left to rise overnight as in the example above, the shaped sourdough rolls will take around 8 hours to rise in a warm spot.

a hand tearing a cinnamon roll

The method

The night before 

The starter

Mix together 30g starter with 60g flour and 30g water. Knead it for a minute or two into a stiff dough ball.

Place this into a lightly oiled jar. Brush the top of the ball dough with a little water (so it doesn’t dry out too much overnight). Loosely cover with a lid and leave it to rise for 8-12 hours until more than doubled and domed on top.

In the morning 

The dough

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, and starter. Turn the mixer on low and combine until it forms a thick but slightly sticky dough. Mix this dough for around 5 minutes to begin developing the gluten. 

Add in the cubed butter, a few pieces at a time. Incorporate each cube before the next addition.

Turn the mixer on medium and keep it mixing for around 10-15 minutes until the sticky dough starts to strengthen and come together and pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Leave the dough to rest for a few minutes then grab a piece and see if you can stretch it out really thin so it’s almost see-through, without it tearing. This is called the ‘window pane’ effect and shows proper gluten development. 

dough being stretched

Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or lid. Place the dough in a warm spot, ideally around 25°C / 76°F, and let it rise. It won’t double but should bulk out by at least 50-60%. This will take around 4-6 hours depending on temperature. Don’t rush this rise. It’s an important one and will set the standard for any future rising the buns will do.

Place the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to shape in the evening. Alternatively, the dough can stay in the fridge overnight and shaping can be done in the morning.

Shaping

Pull the proofed dough from the bowl and tip it onto a floured bench. Roll the dough out into a 30x45cm (12×18 inch) rectangle. 

Spread softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the butter. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 45cm/18-inch long log. Slice the log into 12 even-sized pieces. The unraveling end parts of each roll can be tucked under to keep them tight.

cinnamon rolls being rolled

Proofing

Grease a baking tray or skillet and place in the rolls and cover them with some compostable plastic wrap, beeswax wrap, or a lightly damped tea towel to stop the tops from drying out too much. Let them rise overnight until doubled in size. 

In the morning they can be baked. If you’re not baking them right away, place the proofed rolls in the fridge to slow any further rise but don’t hold off from baking too long or they may over-proof and deflate. 

The cream cheese icing

Beat the cream cheese in a mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Beat it together until creamy. Spread the icing over the still-warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. 

cream cheese icing spread on cinnamon rolls
a fork pulling apart a cinnamon roll

Storing

Leftover sourdough cinnamon rolls can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. On the following days, they can be rewarmed and softened in the microwave.

Looking to make these without sourdough? Here is a brioche cinnamon roll recipe for that!

Want to try a savory sourdough recipe? Here are some easy sourdough hamburger buns!

Full Recipe

a cinnamon roll

Brioche Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Yield:
12

Prep Time:
35 minutes

Cook Time:
30 minutes

Additional Time:
1 day 12 hours

Total Time:
1 day 13 hours 5 minutes

These brioche sourdough cinnamon rolls are super soft and fluffy, filled with sweet cinnamon sugar, and topped with a cream cheese glaze.

Ingredients

Starter

  • 30g starter
  • 60g flour
  • 30g water

Brioche dough

  • 550g strong all-purpose flour with around 11% protein
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • All the stiff starter
  • 8g salt
  • 180g unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes

Cinnamon filling

  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Icing

  • 60g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 150g powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon milk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

The night before – Feed the starter

  1. Mix together 30g starter with 60g flour and 30g water. Knead it for a minute or two into a stiff dough ball.
  2. Place this into a lightly oiled jar. Brush the top of the ball dough with a little water (so it doesn’t dry out too much overnight). Loosely cover with a lid and leave it to rise for 8-12 hours until more than doubled and domed on top.

The next morning – The dough

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, and starter. Turn the mixer on low and combine until it forms a thick but slightly sticky dough. Mix this dough for around 5 minutes to begin developing the gluten. 
  2. Add in the cubed butter, a few pieces at a time. Incorporate each cube before the next addition.
  3. Turn the mixer on medium and keep it mixing for around 10-15 minutes until the sticky dough starts to strengthen and come together and pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Leave the dough to rest for a few minutes then grab a piece and see if you can stretch it out really thin so it’s almost see-through, without it tearing. This is called the ‘window pane’ effect and shows proper gluten development. 
  4. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or lid. Place the dough in a warm spot, ideally around 25°C / 76°F, and let it rise. It won’t double but should bulk out by at least 50-60%. This will take around 4-6 hours depending on temperature. Don’t rush this rise. It’s a very important one. Place the dough in the fridge until you’re ready to shape in the evening. Alternatively, the dough can stay in the fridge overnight and shaping can be done in the morning.
  5. Pull the proofed dough from the bowl and tip it onto a floured bench. Roll the dough out into a 30x45cm (12×18 inch) rectangle. 
  6. Spread softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the butter.
  7. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 45cm/18-inch long log. Slice the log into 12 even-sized pieces. The unraveling end parts of each roll can be tucked under to keep them tight.
  8. Grease a 9x13inch baking tray or 30cm skillet and place in the rolls and cover them with some compostable plastic wrap, beeswax wrap, or a lightly damped tea towel to stop the tops from drying out too much. Let them rise overnight until doubled in size. 

The next day

  1. In the morning they can be baked. If you’re not baking them right away, place the proofed rolls in the fridge to slow any further rise but don’t hold off from baking too long or they may over-proof and deflate. 
  2. Preheat the oven to  375°F (190°C) regular oven, or 356°F/180°C fan-bake. Bake the brioche cinnamon rolls for approximately 30 minutes until puffed up and browned on the tops. The rolls can be covered with aluminum foil halfway through baking if you find the tops are browning too fast.
  3. After baking, let them cool for 10 minutes before icing.
  4. Beat the cream cheese in a mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Beat it together until creamy. Spread the icing over the still-warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. 
  5. Leftover sourdough cinnamon rolls can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. On the following days, they can be rewarmed and softened again in the microwave.

Notes

Leftover sourdough cinnamon rolls can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. On the following days, they can be rewarmed and softened again in the microwave.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 12
Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 493Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 314mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 10g



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