I have been craving cinnamon rolls for a long while now. Like my pretzel cravings, it had been on and off (for my super easy pretzel recipe click here). I was so excited when I learned that Cinnabon was coming to the Netherlands a while back. But that excitement quickly dissipated when they only opened in Rotterdam. Taking the train for a cinnamon roll just didn’t seem worth it.
My mother in law is always sweet enough to bring us back some vanilla beans from her trips to Indonesia. Those beans are my little pantry’s treasure. So I decided to incorporate them into these cinnamon wreaths. She brings so many because she gets them very cheap over there. Of course that is not the case in most parts of the world. So you can also substitute it for vanilla extract to make the dough and for the filling use vanilla flavored sugar to mix with the cinnamon powder.
I made individual wreaths because I thought they would look darn cute. This recipe makes 8 wreaths.
For the dough:
3 ½ cups of All-purpose flour
7gr dry yeast
½ cup of warm water
½ cup of milk
1 vanilla bean, or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup of sugar
For the filling:
¾ cup of sugar
2 vanilla beans (you could also skip it and use vanilla flavored sugar instead)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
3 tablespoons of melted butter
For the egg wash:
1 tablespoon of water
Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
Cut open the vanilla bean and remove the seeds. Place the vanilla bean, seeds and milk in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Once it is simmering, turn off the heat and allow it to cool down (this is important so it doesn’t kill the yeast later). Once it has cooled down, remove the vanilla bean. You can dry it and then stored it with your sugar.
Place the flour, salt, egg, cooled melted butter, sugar and the vanilla milk into the bowl with the yeast.
Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand.
Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
Once the hour has passed, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
To make the filling, cut open the vanilla beans and remove the seeds. Mix the seeds with the sugar and cinnamon powder.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and lightly flour your working area.
Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle of about 30×20 centimeters.
Then brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle some of the vanilla-cinnamon sugar on top. Then grab one end of the dough and roll it like a tight crepe.
Cut the crepe in half trying to make a clean cut, except on one end. Then start twisting the 2 pieces, make sure the opened sugary side is facing up. Pinch the ends to seal them.
Then form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them. Brush the top with a bit of the egg wash and sprinkle a bit more of the vanilla-cinnamon sugar on top of the wreath.
Repeat for the remaining dough. Then bake for 15 minutes.