What Flour To Use For Cinnamon Rolls?

Have you recently tried to bake desserts? Are you trying to find ingredients to use? More specifically, what flour to use for cinnamon rolls? If that is the question you need an answer to, we have researched the issue and found some answers.

A good cinnamon roll means a roll that is soft and moist. The flours that best meet these conditions are all-purpose flour and bread flour. You will want enough protein to give the roll structure but not enough to make it hard and chewy. All-purpose flour contains enough protein to meet this need. Bread flour requires a method to prevent the rolls from getting tough.

There is a lot more to consider when baking cinnamon rolls. Not all desserts require the same ingredients. Additionally, there are more steps you can take to make sure you get the perfect cinnamon roll. You will first need to get familiar with what creates the ideal conditions. To find out more, keep reading ahead.

Homemade cinnamon rolls or buns baked in a cast iron skillet and covered with cream cheese icing, What Flour To Use For Cinnamon Rolls?

Protein Content In Flour

Protein plays an essential role in baking. Not only is it important in our diets, but it is also critical in creating the ideal dessert. In our case, it is the key to creating the perfect cinnamon roll! The amount of protein present will determine if your pastries crumble easily or hold a good amount of structure. 

To get into the specifics, you should get familiar with the protein content in the flour you will use. All-purpose flour contains around 9-12% protein. Our other recommendation, bread flour, carries one of the highest at 12-13% protein. The protein content depends on the brand. However, those percentages are what you will most likely see. 

For more information on the role of flour brands, click here.

So, what does this mean? High protein content will create a dessert that is chewy and tough. Lower protein content will give you a softer texture. As its name implies, the usual use for bread flour are foods like pizza crust and traditional bread. All-purpose flour uses range from baking pastries, bread, or everyday cooking.

Why You Should Avoid Low Protein Content

As mentioned, a good cinnamon roll holds a soft and moist texture. You may have noticed that our picks of flour contain a decent amount of protein. Higher protein means a chewy and, at times, dry feel. So, why would that fit the need for cinnamon rolls that need to be soft and moist?

hand holding cinnamon roll, ready to eat

It needs to be soft and moist on the inside and hold a good structure on the outside. With the higher protein content present in all-purpose flour and bread flour, you will get the best results for cinnamon rolls. Other flours like cake flour go under a special bleaching process to retain additional water and sugar. While it may sound ideal for most pastries, you do not want to overload the amount of sugar in the roll. The cinnamon and the frosting are going to do the job for sweetness.

Tips To Keep In Mind

A recurring concern when using flour is the outcome of your product. Sometimes it may come out tougher or drier than expected. For these occasions, the best way is to be careful in your flour usage. Like sugar, you do not want to overdo the process.

Additionally, you want your cinnamon rolls to rise. For the dough to rise and hold well together, your rolls will need gluten. Flours with lower protein content have less gluten. The lack of gluten will leave you with less texture, rise, and structure you would need for a cinnamon roll.

Lastly, it is essential to keep in mind what recipe you are using. Some recipes will use enriched doughs, while others use lean dough. Lean dough contains salt, yeast, flour, and water. If your roll is too tough, you might be using a lean dough. 

On the other hand, enriched dough uses ingredients like sugar, milk, and egg. These ingredients slow yeast production to make a soft and rich cinnamon roll. There is an alternative method to get the same results if you do not want to use those ingredients.

Is It Okay To Use Bread Flour For Cinnamon Rolls?

Bread flour is one of the best substitutes for all-purpose flour. Since it can absorb more water, the final result is a soft and moist roll. There are also alternative methods of making cinnamon rolls with bread flour. Using the tangzhong method, you can create a spongy, light, and fluffy roll. 

Gelatinizzazione degli amidi Tangzhong bakery technique with hot water at 90° C

If you desire a softer bread, tangzhong is the method that you should consider. It is a Japanese technique that adds more moisture to the bread. Using a liquid of your choice, you will need to mix it with bread flour and cook it on a saucepan. While cooking, it will start the starch gelatinization process. After it is ready, you can add it to your bread dough.

The benefits to this process are: 

  • Better tenderness without the need for additional sugar, egg, or butter.
  • A good alternative for vegans to get a better structure in bread.
  • May provide better handling than mixing and handling.

If you have run out of bread flour and need to use an alternative, you can also use all-purpose flour. For more information, click here.

What Is The Best Flour To Use For Cinnamon Rolls?

Click here to see this all-purpose flour on Amazon.

The best flour to use for cinnamon rolls comes down to preference. If you want more structure, bread flour is the best to use. However, if you want something that is in between, all-purpose flour is suitable. In general, beginning bakers should go with all-purpose flour. The difference between bread and all-purpose flour would not be substantially noticeable for beginners. 

Click here to see this bread flour on Amazon.

For bakers with more experience, bread flour paired with the tangzhong method can be an exciting new journey. Likewise, beginners may also try this process. Still, beginners should get the basics right first before experimenting.

Why Are My Cinnamon Rolls Tough?

Dough background. A woman is preparing a dough. On a wooden table.

There are a few reasons why your cinnamon rolls may come out tougher than you would like. While making the dough, some would suggest adding more flour to make it easier to handle. However, adding too much flour will make the rolls tough and dry. If your dough is sticky and lacks structure, add flour in small increments. By carefully adding flour, you make sure you do not go overboard and do not lack flour in the dough. 

As a general tip, add a tablespoon of flour and mix. Check the texture and add more if needed. Cinnamon roll dough should be tacky. Tacky means the dough is slightly sticky but not sticky enough to leave clumps in a bowl. 

Temperature is also essential during this process because you need an appropriate temperature for yeast to rise and grow. Yeast will not grow if it is too cold. Likewise, yeast will die if it is too hot. If you do not meet the necessary temperature, your roll will come out dry and tough.

How To Make Cinnamon Rolls Better?

Looking Across Cinnamon Rolls Rising in cast iron skillet

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. It applies as much to baking. There are some tips to get better rolls above. However, we will recap to make the information stick better! The general suggestions to get better rolls are:

  • Use flour with a good amount of protein content.
  • Do not apply too much flour during the kneading process.
  • Add small increments of flour into the dough if needed. 
  • Experiment with the tangzhong method to get fluffier rolls.
  • Become familiar with the ideal conditions for the ingredients you will use (e.g., yeast).

Final Takeaway

Homemade cinnamon rolls or buns baked in a cast iron skillet and covered with cream cheese icing, What Flour To Use For Cinnamon Rolls?

Baking is a work of art. Anyone can start on their own, but it takes time and practice to get great results. Once you get the hang of it, the rest will come easy. All it takes is a bit of research. We hope you found the article informative and helpful, until next time!

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