cinnamon knots

I had no idea October 4 was cinnamon bun day when I whipped up a batch of these last Sunday. Every Saturday, as a special treat, I have one of these cinnamon knots for breakfast with a nice cup of tea. It's my way of celebrating the start of the weekend.

My Dad has been making these cinnamon buns all my life. This is his recipe, which I've halved and very slightly adapted. Dad doesn't like sweet things so I've slightly increased the quantity of sugar in the recipe, though it's still low compared to most recipes. The dough is lovely, soft and buttery and easy to work with. 

When we were children we were allowed to shape some of the dough. At the age of 90, Dad still makes these cinnamon buns every few weeks but he doesn't bother making these fancy knots (online tutorial by Issy Hossack). He just makes regular buns or simple unfilled knots topped with cinnamon sugar. I'm not sure why I persist with making the knots because every knot I shape is different, but I do. As I've only made knots with this recipe I'm not sure how many regular cinnamon rolls this makes. Maybe 10-12? Next time I make a batch, I'll make regular cinnamon buns and let you know.

If you make the fancy knots, you use more dough per bun than a regular cinnamon roll but you only use half the filling. I make the whole quantity then just put the leftover filling in the fridge for the next time, as there is always a next time. These knots are best served on the day of baking but freeze very well. As soon as they're cool, I place them into individual plastic bags and pop them into the freezer. 

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 gram eggs. My oven is a regular gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20ºC.

Cinnamon Knots - makes 8 
90g butter               
170 mls milk                               
2 tsp vanilla                          
400 gm plain flour   
½ tsp salt                                 
40g caster sugar  
2¼ tsp dried yeast    
1 egg, beaten  

30g melted butter
cinnamon sugar 
80 g soft butter 
50g brown sugar 
50g caster sugar 
1 tsp golden or maple syrup 
4 tsp ground cinnamon 
50 g almond meal 

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, add milk and vanilla and heat until lukewarm. Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the centre, then, with motor running, pour milk mixture and beaten egg into the well and knead until smooth and shiny (2-3 minutes).   

Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hour). While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a small bowl, cream together the butter, sugarsthe syrup and the ground cinnamon. Mix in the almond meal to form a paste, ensuring there are no lumps in the mixture. If you make the knots you'll only use half the filling but it stores well in the fridge. If you make cinnamon rolls, you'll need to use all the filling 

Knock back dough on a lightly floured surface, roll out to a 20cm x 35cm rectangle. If you're making knots, cover half the dough with the filling. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and press the edges gently to seal. Cut crosswise into 8 even pieces. Twist each strip a few times to lengthen then loop each piece twice around your hand and tuck in the ends to form a knot. If you choose not to make knots, cover the rolled-out dough with all the filling and roll up lengthwise like a swiss roll. Cut into 10-12 even pieces and process with the baking instructions. 

Place the knots or rolls on an oven tray lined with baking paper and set aside. Coat the buns with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle each bun with a little cinnamon sugar then cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place to prove (30 minutes). Bake at 180°C for about 25 minutes or until the buns have risen and are well browned. Cool on tray for 15 minutes and then cool to room temperature on a wire rack. These are best served on the day of baking but freeze very well.

I hope you give these a try as the house always smell so good when you bake a batch. 

See you all again next week. 

Bye for now,


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