cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly
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Croissant Cinnamon Rolls ♥

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

I said I’d never make croissants again, or at least, it’d be a long while till I did. So if we’re going with the latter statement, then I guess I’ve stuck to my word because it’s been just about one year since this Cruffin post. I was apprehensive about diving back in, last time I got sucked into all sorts of articles and tutorials claiming the best ingredients and process to a great croissant. This go around I put my trust in Bruno Albouze, the man behind Bruno’s Kitchen on YouTube. I find that YouTube videos can be a great source because you can get a better sense of how the recipe comes together than you might with only photographs to go by. Ultimately, I stuck with his recipe for croissant dough, though apprehensive about using bread flour and a method that only required two days instead of three.

I was nervous, remembering how much of a disaster my first batch of croissants were. But then this weird thing happened. I carefully measured out every ingredient into my stand mixer. The dough turned into a smooth ball of yeast and flour, and I set it down in a warm spot in the kitchen to double in size like a sponge creature inside a pill casing. I turned our AC on full blast (there’s a heat wave in California right now and yes people are wearing shorts in *winter*) and carefully folded and rolled layers of butter and dough together. I got into the rhythm of things and before I knew it I was done and all the croissant cinnamon rolls had been devoured. Maybe it was all the previous times I’d made croissants, clues and tricks subconsciously firing off in my head. Whatever it was, these Croissant Cinnamon Rolls turned out just as I had imagined and were gone in seconds when I took the leftovers to class.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

I’ve been meaning to make cinnamon rolls for quite some time. Our friend David, who lives two floors above us is a Cinnabon fanatic. Like, one time he brought over a box of six giant cinnamon rolls that he just happened to have on hand. This got Roy on a serious cinnamon roll kick, and he’s been begging me to make some ever since! With Roy’s sweet tooth rarely ever working, I jump at each and every chance to make him desserts he’s been craving. I always know how he feels about a dish if he asks for seconds. I’m also quite sure he had at least three of these, which definitely says something!

I combined a bunch of different techniques to create this behemoth of a breakfast pastry. First, I started by making a typical croissant dough and followed the lamination process for creating layers in the final product. I then used the same technique for getting the signature heart-shape of a Palmier, and used the typical cinnamon sugar filling of a cinnamon roll. I know not everyone has the time to spend 2-3 days on a Valentine’s breakfast, but I promise you, these will impress! I might be crazy but I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t even really need the cream cheese frosting, these are good enough on their own!

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

1) After letting the dough rest overnight, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften the butter slightly. Roll the dough into a 7×24 in. rectangle and split in half. Wrap in plastic and place half of the dough back into the fridge. With the remaining dough, roll it into a 12 in. square. Keep in mind, you’ll need to work fast throughout the rest of this process to make sure the butter does not melt. If the dough feels like it’s getting too warm, you can place it back in the fridge at any time to firm up.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

2) Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar filling over the dough.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

3) Fold the bottom lip of the dough upwards. It should be about an inch thick. Now fold the top lip downwards, keeping the same thickness. Take the bottom fold again and fold it over one more time towards the center. Do the same with the top. Make sure to leave about an inch of space in the middle between the two folds.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

4) Bring the two folds together, pulling one on top of another to create a log. Wrap tightly in plastic to hold the two folds together and let rest in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Take the second half of the dough and repeat the process.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

5) Take both logs of dough from the fridge. Cut off the ends and cut each log into even pieces about 1 1/2 inches in size. Place each piece in a 9.5 inch round pan. They will fit very snugly, so you might need to squeeze the last one in. You can use a slightly larger pan but any smaller and you would have to leave out a roll.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

6) Let the rolls rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, then bake.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

When baked, the top goes all flakey and croissant-like, but the bottom still has this perfect doughiness that keeps it grounded in the realm of cinnamon rolls. Of course, you can always stick to a more traditional route. I baked the extra scraps on a baking tray for a few minutes less and they came out so wonderfully flakey and buttery. Definitely the best croissants I’ve made by far! After rolling the dough up and cutting it, place the hearts on a baking tray and let them rise for about 3 hours. Brush with an egg wash, bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown, and you’ve got Croissant Cinnamon Roll hearts that are totally light, flakey, and buttery.

cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly cinnamon croissant roll fork to belly

PS check out last year’s “To My Butter Half Cake”! It’s still one of my favorites cakes, and doesn’t take three days to make! Though, in Roy’s opinion this years V-Day treat is definitely his favorite.

STOP AND READ THIS.
If you proceed on with the recipe, then I highly highly highly suggest watching these two videos to get the lamination and palmier rolling process down. Actually, I’m not even suggesting it–YOU MUST! Both videos are such a big help and will make be less of a headache in the long run. Trust me.

Croissant Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Bruno’s Kitchen. Note: measurements for the dough are recorded in grams because weight is more accurate than volume, and works best when making croissants.

croissant dough
250g unbleached all purpose flour
250g unbleached bread flour
14g (2 packets) rapid rise yeast/instant yeast
12g salt
50g granulated white sugar
1 cup (250ml) water, at 82°F
100g (6.5 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still firm

250g (16.5 tbsp) European-style unsalted butter, room temperature

1. Combine all purpose and bread flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Start the mixer on a low speed and add in the water. Mix for about a minute, then add in the butter. Knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and let rise at room temperature for 3 hours. If you have control of the temperature in your home, the dough will rise best at around 75°F.
2. While the dough is rising, use a medium sized freezer bag to shape the butter slab. Put the softened butter inside the freezer bag and use a rolling pin to roll out the butter into a 7 in. square. I used a 7 in. wide freezer bag and marked where 7 in. was lengthwise with a ruler. Let the butter firm up in the fridge until the dough is ready to be worked with.
3. Once the dough has doubled or tripled in size, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Punch down the dough and use a rolling pin to reshape the dough into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight. A longer resting time will help the gluten relax and make the dough easier to work with.
4. Just before the dough is done resting, remove the butter slab from the fridge to soften slightly at room temperature for a few minutes. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 7×14 in. rectangle. Place the butter slab on one half of the rectangle and fold the other side over.
5. DOUBLE TURN: Roll out the dough to a 7×24 in. rectangle. Fold the left side of the dough over to the right about 2/3 of the way. With the extra unfolded 1/3 of the dough on the right, fold that in to meet the other end of the dough. Then fold the dough in half like a book. Return to the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
6. SIMPLE TURN: Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to a 7×24 in. rectangle. Fold the left side of the dough to about 2/3 of the way, then fold the remaining 1/3 on the right on top of the left side. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

cinnamon sugar filling
3/4 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

*Photo tutorial available up above!*
7. After letting the dough rest overnight, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften the butter slightly. Roll the dough into a 7×24 in. rectangle and split in half. Wrap in plastic and place half of the dough back into the fridge. With the remaining dough, roll it into a 12 in. square. Keep in mind, you’ll need to work fast throughout the rest of this process to make sure the butter does not melt. If the dough feels like it’s getting too warm, you can place it back in the fridge at any time to firm up.
8. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar filling over the dough.
9. Fold the bottom lip of the dough upwards. It should be about an inch thick. Now fold the top lip downwards, keeping the same thickness. Take the bottom fold again and fold it over one more time towards the center. Do the same with the top. Make sure to leave about an inch of space in the middle between the two folds.
10. Bring the two folds together, pulling one on top of another to create a log. Wrap tightly in plastic to hold the two folds together and let rest in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Take the second half of the dough and repeat the process.
11. Take both logs of dough from the fridge. Cut off the ends and cut each log into even pieces about 1 1/2 inches in size. Place each piece in a 9.5 inch round pan. They will fit very snugly, so you might need to squeeze the last one in. You can use a slightly larger pan but any smaller and you would have to leave out a roll.
12. Let the rolls rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the rolls with an egg wash and bake for 18-25 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. The rolls may puff up a lot in the oven, but will settle back down when cooled slightly. Croissants are best enjoyed the day of, so grab napkins and share with your loved ones!

cream cheese frosting (optional):
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 oz. cream cheese
1-3 tsp milk, optional to loosen frosting
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl, beat the powdered sugar and cream cheese together until combined. If you desire a thinner frosting, add a tsp of milk at a time until your desired consistency is reached. Add in the vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread on top of a croissant cinnamon roll and enjoy!

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About Courtney C.

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  • Well thank goodness you tried them again! This recipe sounds wonderful! I haven’t tried homemade croissant dough before, but it is definitely on my bucket list! Thanks for all the helpful resources as well!

    • You have too!!! It’s kind of a pain, esp the first try but so satisfying in the end 🙂

  • ….as if traditional cinnamon rolls weren’t delicious enough!! croissants are a baking bucket list item for me. i keep saying i’ll make them, but then there’s so many great ones out there already that i don’t have that much motivation. maybe this summer will be the summer!

    • Please let me know if you try it! The all purpose + bread flour method makes a slightly tougher dough to work with but I loved the end product so much more with this recipe. Just make sure you have your AC on high!

  • omg omg omg

  • Damnnnnnnnnnnnn.

  • THEY ARE LITTLE HEART ROLLS GAHHHH!!!! <3 <3 <3

  • That last picture. I think my heart just melted into a big puddle of buttery love. SO CUTE!! These are fantastic and so creative! The more photos of flaky hearts I see, the more I crave them!

  • The cream’s finishing touch simply puts this recipe in my favourite list!

  • Amy

    YOU ARE BEYOND IMPRESSIVE.

  • Ultimate breakfast treat croissant and cinnamon bun combined equals perfection. You did a great job and the gifs really help to visualise the process.

    • Thanks, lady! Hope you get a chance to try em at home 🙂

  • These are a true feat! I must admit I’m really really really intimidated by croissants especially after failing at them once but I might have to give them a go again, if only to make these…because CINNAMON ROLLS. yes. 🙂

    • Thanks June! They are so intimidating, even if you haven’t done them in a while too. The Youtube video I linked is such a great source though, watch it if you haven’t!

  • Oh these look amazing! I have been wanting to tackle croissant dough for a while (for most of your reasons – complicated and time-consuming and more than a little bit scary hahahaa) so it is comforting that these worked so well for you. Such a great idea to turn them into cinnamon rolls too – just wish I had one in front of me right now!

    • Yay i’m not alone!! These’ll turn out good regardless of if they make a perfect croissant or not 🙂