Reinhart v. Mom (Battle Cinnamon Roll, part II)

When I started the BBA Cinnamon Roll Recipe, I realized it was a fairly traditional one. I have a similar recipe from my mom, actually. When I say traditional and similar, I mean that the BBA recipe uses two similar rise times and takes a good chunk of the afternoon. That recipe, and I do say this with a straight face, is Mom’s ‘short’ recipe. That is not the recipe I chose to use.

I used my mom’s ‘long’ recipe. I have to say that I love that she had these labeled short and long. Because the long recipe actually takes less time. Sort of.

Here’s how it works. (Oh, and I didn’t get photos of this dough either until about the same point in the process. I must have a problem when it comes to cinnamon rolls.)

First I halved Mom’s recipe, then mixed the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Next, I added some eggs, margarine and water. I ended up with a dough very similar to the BBA dough, though with just a tad bit less fat.

Speaking of fat, both doughs received the same type of fat. Just to be fair and all. However, the BBA dough used buttermilk and Mom’s recipe, water.

After being kneaded, the dough goes right into the fridge. Overnight. No rising. Got it?

The next morning, the dough is taken out of the fridge, turned out on the counter and let sit for about 20 minutes so that it can warm up.

The dough is rolled, not quite to the BBA specs but slightly thinner than that, about 5/8 of an inch. Don’t go too thin though. Reinhart’s, of course, right on target! Too thin and the rolls end up tough and chewy.

After the dough is rolled out, Mom’s recipe calls for the remainder of the fat in the form of room temperature butter spread over the rectangle of dough.

Next comes the cinnamon and sugar. First, the cinnamon. I put it on this thick. But only do that if you’re using real cinnamon. If using cassia cinnamon, put a bit less on that that.

I can just see a bit of the dough through the cinnamon. Next is the sugar. First we want brown sugar. This is a good amount.

Then the granulated sugar.

That should do it. Next the standard log shape and cutting.

Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls go into a greased 9×13 pan to rise for about 30-45 minutes.

Then into the oven.

The rolls come out looking great. Smells great, too! Because of the difference in filling the bottom looks like this, rather than being dry.

And here’s Mom’s closeup. Sorry; there’s that lighting issue again. November 1st is clock change time. My camera can’t wait.

The verdict:

  1. The BBA rolls had a nice buttermilk tang. Mom’s didn’t. This might be easily remedied by using buttermilk in place of some of the water in Mom’s recipe.
  2. But by day three most of the buttermilk tang was gone, and the two doughs tasted nearly identical.
  3. On day two, both rolls were still soft. Mom’s were softer.
  4. By day three, both were still fairly soft. Mom’s were still softer. I’m no expert, so the only reason I can figure my mom’s are softer is that the fat (butter) spread over the rolled dough before adding the cinnamon and sugar adds moistness in a different way than if it’s all put directly into the dough.
  5. By day three most of the buttermilk tang was gone, and the two doughs tasted nearly identical.
  6. We prefer a bit more filling in our Cinnamon Rolls and the caramel-like flavor of using a mixture of sugars.
  7. We were all in agreement that the BBA rolls were really, really good. No complaints about them at all. They were good enough that if the other rolls hadn’t been around, the BBA rolls would have been gone in a jiffy. That said, the BBA ones were the last to go.

Although the BBA Cinnamon Buns were good, I’ll be sticking with Mom’s recipe for a while longer. You can find her recipe below.

As always, a huge thanks to Nicole of Pinch My salt for instigating the BBA Challenge. I’ve enjoyed every recipe so far, and most of them I’ll be turning to again in the near future!

Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls (long) (printer-friendly recipe)

makes 18-20 rolls
7 cups of flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 package instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons of butter, margarine, or shortening, at room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 – 2 cups lukewarm water, more as needed
butter, at room temperature
brown sugar
granulated sugar
In a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, mix flour, sugar and yeast. Add salt and stir.
Using a spoon, or paddle if using a mixer, mix in eggs and butter. If using mixer, switch to dough hook and add 1 1/2 cups of water. Continue to add water as necessary until dough cleans the sides of bowl and just barely cleans the bottom. Dough should be tacky, but not sticky. Knead for about 8-10 minutes with the mixer, 10-12 minutes by hand or until the dough passes the windowpane test.
Choose a bowl which can hold the bulk of dough when doubled, spray with oil, and place the dough inside. Mist the top of the dough with oil, cover with plastic wrap or lid and place in refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, remove dough from refrigerator and bowl to counter. Divide in two, cover and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll half of dough into rectangle (about 12″ x 16″) and spread with a thin layer of room-temperature butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar, then granulated sugar to taste.
Roll up starting from one of the long ends. Cut log into slices about 1 3/4 inches thick. Repeat with second half of dough.
Place rolls, cut side down, in greased 9″x13″ pans. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

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12 responses to “Reinhart v. Mom (Battle Cinnamon Roll, part II)

  1. mmmm ! now i have got to have a go at making these πŸ™‚

  2. I’m always up for a new cinnamon roll recipe and I can see me trying your mom’s. How nice of you to do the comparison so we know the differences up front! Good job Alyssa.

  3. ilovepotsandpants

    these look yummy, I tried my hand at baking cinnabuns just yesterday and it was too dry! I might just try this recipe instead πŸ™‚ please check out my blog


  4. MMMMMMMMMMM,…these rolls look quite fabulous!!

    A real treat!

  5. Maybe I will get over my dough/yeast cooking phobia and give this one a go. Photos look great!

  6. Wow! amazing recipe. Now I know how to make this bread. πŸ™‚

  7. Ok. That’s it! I’ve got to make these rolls. My family absolutely loved the BBA Cinnamon Rolls so your mom’s rolls must be really good. Thanks for sharing her recipe!

    • If you try them, please let me know if the directions are less than clear. This is one of those family recipes that has to be translated from scratch, if you know what I mean!

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