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Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

By: Tess Cummings (Read Bio)

Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesn't love soft, warm, fragrant cinnamon rolls?! 

These rolls stay soft and fluffy for days because this recipe starts with a heated milk-flour paste called a tangzhong. With origins in Japan (yukone or yudane), tangzhong was popularized by cookbook author Yvonne Chen. Making a tangzhong by bringing the flour and liquid to 65°C (149°F) pre-gelatinizes the flour’s starches, allowing them to retain liquid, enhancing the softness and shelf life of these luscious cinnamon rolls.

We recommend using Janie's Mill High-Protein or Sifted Artisan flour in this recipe, but you may also substitute other flours you have on hand -- see note on substitutions at the end of the recipe. No matter which flour you use, these homemade cinnamon rolls will be delicious!


Yield: 8 large cinnamon rolls


For the Tangzhong
  • 1/2 cup (113g) milk
  • 3 tablespoons (25g)
  • Janie's Mill Sifted Artisan Bread Flour (may substitute other Janie's Mill medium to high protein flours)
For the Dough
  • 2/3 cup (151g) milk
  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) Janie's Mill Sifted Artisan or High-Protein Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) soft unsalted butter
For the Cinnamon Filling
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (107g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) Janie's Mill Sifted Artisan or All Purpose Flour
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons (8g to 10g) cinnamon (may also add cardamom or nutmeg)
  • Dash of salt (1/16 teaspoon)
For the Icing
  • 3 Tb (42 g) butter, melted (separated into half for brushing the baked rolls, and half for the icing
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1.5 cups (170g) powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tb milk or cream as needed to achieve desired consistency


    1. Make the tangzhong: Combine the flour and milk in a small saucepan and whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thick and paste-like (1 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
    2. Make the dough: To the mixing bowl with the tangzhong, add the remaining ingredients. Bring the dough together gently, then knead until smooth, elastic, and tacky. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a bowl, and cover. Let the dough rise until puffy, 60 to 90 min.
    3. Make the filling: While the dough is rising, put the melted butter in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well, then set aside. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet or pie pan.
    4. Make the rolls: Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and press into a 10” x 12” rectangle about 1/2” thick. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush over the dough.  Sprinkle the filling over the buttered dough, leaving an non-sprinkled 1/2” strip along one long side. Starting with the filling-covered long side, roll the dough into a log. Cut into eight 1.5" to 2” pieces using dental floss, a sharp knife, or bench scraper. Space the rolls out evenly (not touching) on your baking sheet or pie pan. Cover and let rise for 30 to 60 minutes until puffy. The dough should not bounce back immediately when you press it gently with your finger.
    5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the rolls for 13 to 18 minutes (shorter time for very soft rolls), or until a digital thermometer in the center of a roll reads 190F. Remove from the oven, and brush the hot rolls with 1.5 tablespoons (21g) melted butter. Let the rolls cool for 10 to 15 minutes before icing, if desired.
    6. Make the icing. Combine the remaining 1.5 tablespoons (21g) melted butter with all of the other icing ingredients. Mix with a whisk or spatula until smooth. Ice the rolls while they are warm but not hot.
    7. Store the rolls. If you plan to serve the rolls later, let them cool completely, then wrap well and store at room temperature for a few days, or freeze for a month or more.  Let them warm to room temperature (or warm slightly in the oven or microwave) and ice them just before serving.

Flour Variations

You may substitute any of our medium to high protein flours in this recipe, or combine a higher protein flour with a medium to lower protein flour. 

Of course, you will get a different flavor profile when you use different flours, and a different texture if you use sifted flours, but your cinnamon rolls will taste great no matter which Janie's Mill flours you use!

Posted on April 22 2022