I don’t have a lot of patience. I suppose that’s why I don’t bake with yeast much. Thank goodness I keep up with Joy the Baker, otherwise I never would have discovered her recipe for (yeast-free) biscuit cinnamon rolls. No yeast, no waiting, just full-on cinnamon rolls in less than half the time it would take to make real ones. A true miracle.
How can I even explain it? There really is no explanation needed, at all! These are simply biscuits, shaped into rolls with cinnamon and brown sugar squashed inside.
These will absolutely do a good job at solving all your problems. Of course, they don’t have the same texture as a true cinnamon roll; they are indeed more dense. But they taste just like one. Straight from the oven, they are to-die-for.
My favorite part of the cinnamon roll is that tight mini roll right in the center. So gooey and cinnamon-y! What I really loved about my batch is that the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture caramelized on the bottom of the rolls while baking and gave them a lovely slight crunchiness. No, they weren’t burnt. Just perfectly caramelized.
I did not use shortening, as Joy called for in her recipe. I just used more butter. As most Australians know, shortening is not easy to come by here. I also used vanilla bean paste instead of extract. And I always, always, add nutmeg to cinnamon rolls.
My only problem with the recipe was that it took much longer to bake than just 15 minutes; it was closer to 45 minutes. I have no idea why this was.
There you go, another winning recipe from Joy the Baker! Also, be sure to check out her new cookbook. I don’t have it yet, but I’m sure it’s glorious. Um, but those dark chocolate chip cookies with black sesame seeds and soy sauce? I think I’ll skip those.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 9 rolls
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk, cold
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonground nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
extra melted butter to brush tops of rolls before baking
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200C. Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan with butter and set aside.
In a small bowl, make the filling by mixing together sugars, spices, and salt. Set aside. Set melted butter aside as well.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Some of the bits will be the size of peas and some will be the size of oat flakes. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat lightly with a fork. Add the liquid to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times. If the butter has warmed too much in the making of the dough, shape the batter into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. If the butter is still cool, shape the dough into a disc and, on a well floured surface, roll dough to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness. Joy’s dough was about 12-inches long and 10-inches tall, so I did the same.
Brush biscuit dough with melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar filling. Begin to carefully roll one vertical side into a fairly tight roll. Continue rolling until you have a biscuit cylinder. Using a sharp, floured knife, slice into log with a sawing motion, making each slice about 1-inch thick. Place rolls in prepared pan. Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 13-15 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top.
These biscuit cinnamon rolls are best served warm the day they’re made. They’re also good reheated with butter and jam.