A hybrid between a croissant and a cinnamon roll: everything you love about cinnamon rolls but instead of a purely plush bread roll, you’ll get flaky buttery croissant layers.
Oh boy have I got a good one for you. The idea for this was penned down sometime in the spring and I’ve been working on it on and off for a few months now, tinkering with the shaping and the chilling periods, and at this point, well they are fire.
This one is more involved than my usual cinnamon rolls, although you’ll note the base dough is quite similar to my brown butter cinnamon rolls. There are only two folds to do before you start shaping the rolls themselves and one beauty of this recipe is that it sits overnight in the fridge post shaping – which means you can wake up, take them out, and by the time the oven is done preheating (30 minutes) they are ready to bake. This puts you at having fresh bakery-like croissant cinnamon rolls roughly one hour after you’ve woken up!
The first thing I want you to know is that these are not difficult to make but there are a few steps. The only part you will curse me for (err, hopefully) is the rolling of the dough which will take some arm muscle as it resists stretching, but have patience. You can do this.
Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter here, for the filling if you are using unsalted I’d add a pinch of salt. It doesn’t matter if you use european or american style butter (I actually prefer the latter for laminating because it won’t melt as quickly).
Oil: I realize it’s fussy to ask you to use two different types of fat. I use oil here because the dough recipe is based on my original cinnamon roll recipe but you can also use melted butter instead. If you don’t mind using oil, make it something flavorless like grapeseed, avocado, canola or vegetable.
Yeast: I use instant yeast but you can also use active dry, add an additional ¼ tsp of active dry.
This is as simple as slightly softening some butter, then pressing it into a rectangle between two sheets of parchment (to save on parchment you could probably cut one in half). Then you’ll place it in the fridge to chill.
Keeping that butter cold is *key* to laminating successfully (laminating is a fancy word for folding butter into dough). It should never melt when you’re handling the dough and if you see it getting over soft, set the dough in the fridge for a bit then come back to it.
This is where things get a little more complicated than your average cinnamon roll, because before we roll out the dough to spread the filling, we’re going to do some laminating, ie. getting that butter into very, very thin layers between many layers of dough.
I have photos in the recipe below that are going to take you through every step. But basically we’re doing some book folds (so folding in half) and some letter folds (thirds).
After every “fold”, which is actually 3-4 mini folds, you’ll chill the dough. This is partially to allow the gluten in the dough to rest but also to keep that butter cold.
Cold butter = flaky layers. If the butter melts before it gets into the oven, it won’t release the gas necessary to separate the layers to give you that crispy, flaky croissant texture. Instead it’ll pool at the bottom and the rolls will be quite, well, sad.
The first rise: an easy one, you’ve done it before: wait until it’s doubled in size. It’ll take between 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Dough didn’t rise the first time? Something probably went wrong with the yeast, it could’ve been expired (you’ll notice this if it didn’t foam when you mixed it with the water) or the water added was too hot and killed the yeast. I wouldn’t worry about the water being too cold, the dough is warmed up by the addition of the roux.
The second rise: we’re going to be pretty hands off with this one and let it do most, or all, of its rising in the fridge. When you go to bed at night, take a picture or a mental photo of the rolls, in the morning they should have grown at least 30% and you’ll see some bubbles (pics below for reference). Then leave them at room temperature to warm up a bit before baking.
Let’s say you are in a time pinch and can’t do the overnight bedtime for the rolls, in this case I’d leave them at room temperature for just half an hour before baking. It’s *super* important that the butter doesn’t melt before the tray goes into the oven so keep them in a cool area.
Share & tag me on instagram @buttermilkbysam