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Sourdough cinnamon buns

Sweet Dough

160 g (2/3 cup) milk
28 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
100 g (1/2 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter
24 g (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
300 g (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
5 g (1 tsp) sea salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
28 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 level tbsp. flour

Make the Dough

In the evening: Combine the melted butter and milk in a small bowl. Cool slightly before using.

Add the egg, sourdough starter, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the milk mixture. Add the flour and salt. Continue mixing until a rough, sticky dough forms, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

After the dough has rested, switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed for 6-8 minutes (I use #2 or #3 on my stand mixer). The dough should feel soft, supple and pull away from the sides of the bowl when ready. If it’s too sticky add a small bit of flour.

Bulk Rise
Transfer the dough to a medium-size bowl coated in butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight until double in size, about 8-12 + hrs. @ 67-68 F, depending on temperature.

Stretch and Fold the Dough (optional step): about 30 minutes- 1 hr. into the bulk rise stretch and fold the dough: grab a portion of the dough and stretch it upward. Fold it over toward the center of the bowl. Give the bowl a 1/4 turn; stretch and fold the dough again. Continue this technique until you’ve come full circle around the bowl (4 folds total). For video guidance, click here. This optional step will increase the overall volume of the rolls and aerate the dough.

Roll the Dough
In the morning: Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. I like to scrunch the paper into a ball first, open it up, and then line the inside with enough excess to hang over the sides for easy removal. It tends to fit better this way.

Lightly oil and flour your countertop to prevent sticking. Coax the dough out of the bowl. Gently pat into a rough rectangle. Let rest for 10 minutes for easier rolling.

Dust the dough (and your rolling pin) with flour. Roll the dough into a 16 x 12-ish rectangle using a tape measure for accuracy. If the dough resists, let rest for 5-10 minutes and try again.

Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
Combine the cinnamon, sugar and flour in a small bowl; set aside. Melt the 28 g (2 tbsp) of butter in a shallow pan or microwave. Once the butter has cooled slightly, brush the entire surface of the dough, including the top, bottom and sides. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon-sugar mixture leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Smooth it out with your hands.

Shape & Cut the Dough
Starting on the long side of the dough (16-inch), roll it into a log pressing down gently as you go. Take your time with this step. The log needs to be tight so the swirls stay in tact. You should end up seam side down. TIP: if the dough starts to get sticky from the heat of your hands, lightly oil or flour your fingertips, take a deep breath and try again.

Cut the dough into 2-inch sections using a oiled knife or bench scraper. I lightly “mark” the dough first to make sure each piece is roughly the same size.

Second Rise
Place the rolls into the lined pan and let rest for 1- 2 hours, or until the dough puffs up.

Bake the Cinnamon Rolls
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the dough onto the center rack and bake for 35-40 minutes (check at the 30 minute mark). The tops should turn light golden brown when ready.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. This helps the butter to absorb back into the dough. Then lift up the rolls, while still on the parchment paper, and transfer to a wire rack.