pretzel cinnamon rolls / by Maci Britt

Remember a handful of days ago when I said it was too cold to photograph anything? Well, nothing changed since then. Except that I took a small break from my non-stop ice cream making (three flavors in three days, anyone?) and made cinnamon rolls from the Top With Cinnamon cookbook over the weekend.

I wanted to share them, so, against my better judgement, I went outside where it was colder than your freezer and took these photos until I legitimately could not feel my poor pink fingers anymore. A whole bunch of things compounded brought me dangerously close to the point of a meltdown, but I think I’ll be fine now ;)

And really, who couldn’t be fine with a warm pretzeled cinnamon roll on a plate in front of them?

This is the very first recipe I’ve made from Izzy’s book, and it makes me even more excited for all of the inspired things contained within its pages. I mean, Izzy took one of the most perfect things (the cinnamon roll) and mashed it up with everything wonderful about pretzels (dark color, chewy texture, salty flavor), and the result is super. The girl is brilliant, I tell you.

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pretzel cinnamon rolls 
recipe adapted from top with cinnamon

[ makes twelve rolls ]


for the dough: 

3 ½ cups (450 grams) organic all-purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams) yeast

4 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

1 egg

1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water

for the filling: 

½ cup (100 grams) sugar

1 tablespoon molasses 

3 tablespoons cinnamon

⅓ cup (75 grams) butter, softened 

for finishing: 

1 tablespoon baking soda

3 tablespoons hot water

Flaky sea salt (or kosher salt)

Whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the center of the bowl, and crack the egg inside. Use a fork to lightly beat the egg. Then pour the warm water around the edges of the bowl, and use the fork to stir until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth but still a little bit sticky, adding a little extra flour as necessary.

Lightly oil the mixing bowl and transfer the dough back to the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, coat a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with a neutral oil (I love the coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s). In a small bowl, mix the sugar, molasses, and cinnamon together with a fork until well combined.

Once the dough has risen, lightly flour your work surface again and roll the dough into a 12½ x 20-inch rectangle. Plop the softened butter on top of the dough and spread it all over in an even layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top, evening out with your fingers or the back of a spoon.

Roll the dough all the way up from the short side, then cut 12 equal rolls (each will be slightly over 1-inch thick). Set all of the rolls into the prepared baking dish, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes. At this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

When the 30 minutes are up, uncover the rolls. Mix the baking soda and hot water together in a small bowl and gently brush the solution all over the rolls. Sprinkle with salt, then bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the rolls are puffy with dark brown tops.

Cinnamon rolls are, as everyone knows, best eaten warm.