Measure the flour and salt in a mixing bowl or stand mixer with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and combine well.Pro tip - If you do not like kneading, I highly recommend using a stand mixer with the hook attachment.
500 grams All-purpose flour, 9 grams Salt
Knead - By hand - transfer to a well-dusted worktop and knead for 5 to 6 minutes - Stand mixer - once all the flour is well incorporated, knead on medium for 4 to 5 minutes
When the dough is soft, shiny, but still slightly sticky shape into a ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl seam side down. Coat the surface with oil to prevent drying. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth or plastic wrap.
Leave in a warm oven with the light on. Let rise for 20 minutes until almost double in volume. Pro tip - I like to turn the oven on minimum heat for 5 minutes then switch it off. This ensures the oven is warm. Alternatively, you can leave the dough in the fridge overnight. Thaw it for an hour before shaping.
Chocolate cinnamon filling
Combine the cocoa powder, butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16 x 12 rectangle (16 inches long and 12 inches wide).Pro tip - The measurement is a guideline. You want to roll the dough to about ⅛ thickness. Too thin will make the rolls hard and too thick will make bulky cinnamon rolls.
Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon mixture. Then, use an offset spatula to spread evenly making sure to get to all the edges too.
Working from the long side, roll the dough from one side to the other (similar to a Swiss roll). Pinch the seams together. Then, cut into 16 equal pieces. First, cut in half then half again until you have 16 buns. Pro tip - You can use a sewing thread or knife but a bench scraper works well too.
Proof and bake
Lightly spray a 13 x 9 baking pan or baking sheet. Place the cinnamon rolls equally spaced in the pan leaving enough space for them to rise. Cover and leave to rise in the oven for 20 minutes. Pro tip - If you place them in a warm oven with the light only they will rise in just 20 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat the oven at 375°F / 190°C / Gas Mark 5.
Once the oven is hot, bake for about 25 to 28 minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown. And if necessary, tent the top with foil to prevent browning too much.Pro tip - If you are not going to glaze them with cream cheese you may want to brush them with an egg wash before baking (egg what is one beaten egg with 2 tablespoon of water).
When done, remove from the oven and cool until just warm. Pro tip - I like to add the cream cheese glaze on the cinnamon rolls when they are warm so some of the melted glaze gets absorbed inside the rolls.
Cream cheese glaze
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk until smooth.
Then, slather generously over the warm cinnamon rolls. Or, pipe it over the cinnamon rolls. Pro tip - You can also serve some cinnamon rolls without glaze because these are also delicious on their own.
These cinnamon rolls recipe uses an enriched yeast dough, which can be made quickly. And yet, if you want to enhance the flavor of yeast dough, let it rise overnight in the fridge rather than on the countertop. The cool slow rise really adds a nice depth of flavor just like you get in a bakery.
These rolls are usually baked in a baking dish but you can also use bake them in a sheet pan as I have today.
Keep all your equipment on hand before you spread the chocolate. This keeps the mess to a minimum.
To make cutting and twisting easier, chill the rolled dough for 15 minutes after you spread the chocolate. The butter in the dough will chill and make it easier to divide and twist.
This is an enriched dough, so if you find that the top is getting too dark before it is fully baked, tent it loosely with a foil.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Once you have prepared and cut the cinnamon rolls - place them in the baking pan. (fill the rolls step 6)
Cover them with plastic or aluminum foil (to prevent them from drying out)
Keep them in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours.
The next morning - remove them from the oven and let thaw for about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven at 190 C / 375 F
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown
Make-ahead chocolate cinnamon rolls dough
Prepare the dough (step 13) but instead of proving it on the counter for an hour
Place the bowl in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours.
Remove from the fridge - thaw, and proof until double in volume. This can take 2 to 2 ½ hours because the dough has to thaw first.
Once doubled continue with the recipe above - to fill, slice, proof, and bake.
Freezing unbaked chocolate cinnamon rolls
This can be done if you want to make quick cinnamon rolls on holidays and weekends without having to wait hours for the rolls to thaw and proof.
You follow the recipe above until baking.
Bake the cinnamon rolls for just 15 minutes - these will be underbaked of course.
Best to thaw in the fridge overnight then warm them in the oven wrapped in foil.
My kids just put the frozen cinnamon rolls in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. The condensation helps keep them moist.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you