Ceux-ci ne sont pas des cinnamon rolls… (BBB April 2016)

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BBB April 2016 summary: recipe for NOT-cinnamon rolls with a nod to Magritte, based on recipes from Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) and in “Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread”; apricots, honey and black pepper; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) April 2016: “This is not a cinnamon roll” rolls

BBB April 2016

I used to think that if some cinnamon was good, more must be better. Now, I’m not so sure. Less IS more!

April has been a whacky month, following a whacky winter. It didn’t really get cold until February. We were still harvesting sage and chives from the garden in December.

And we had virtually no snow… until April, that is.

So it seems fitting that Karen chose wacky cinnamon rolls for the BBBabes to bake this month. How are they wacky? Well, in two ways: 1.) they call for three (that’s right, three) leaveners, 2.) they have no cinnamon.

Here’s what Karen wrote:

[M]ake it different. Let’s NOT use cinnamon. Let’s say cinnamon is verboten.
-Karen, Bake My Day

BBB “This is not a cinnamon roll” rolls diary:

14 March 2016, 16:01 What a great idea to forbid us to use cinnamon in cinnamon rolls.

“This is not a cinnamon roll”- rolls
(free after ceci n’est pas une pipe)
   4 cups (Plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour (I needed the extra but not all)
   1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
   1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
   1/2 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
   Melted Butter
   1 cups Sugar
   Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
– Karen, 1st draft of BBB wacky cinnamon rolls recipe

Ha!!! I love that cinnamon is still listed in the recipe.

15 March 2016, 10:03 Karen did say that she was going to revise the recipe she got from her sister that was pretty much verbatim from the Pioneer Woman website, coming up with grams as well. But hey!! Where is the cinnamon??

“This is not a cinnamon roll”- rolls
(free after ceci n’est pas une pipe)
   520 gr [4 cups] AP flour
   65 gr [1/2 cup] AP flour (extra, reserve to add later)
   1/2 tsp heaping baking powder
   1/2 tsp scant baking soda
   1/2 tBs [9 gr] salt
   melted butter
   190 gr [1 cup] sugar (depending on the rolls you make)
– Karen, final draft of BBB wacky cinnamon rolls recipe

I have to confess that I’ve gone into a bit of a decline because cinnamon is no longer listed. Maybe I’ll perversely add “Absolutely no cinnamon” to my own BBB version.

18 March 2016, 11:38 Ha! I just noticed that this is the perfect bread for April! (As long as it’s permissible to extend April foolery to the middle of the month.)

I’ve been waffling like crazy about what I’m going to put into my Not Cinnamon Rolls. I’m in the middle of reading Bien Cuit and Golper keeps going on and on about long slow rises vs the commercial quick rises that result in slightly empty tasting bread. Not that this particular recipe would produce empty tasting bread… but I’m going back to my waywardness and plan to digress from the recipe slightly. (But don’t worry; I won’t add any cinnamon. I’m disobedient but not to the point of using a verboten ingredient.) I’ve decided that I’m going to reduce the amount of yeast and make a 100% starter to ferment overnight.

10 April 2016, 13:13 It’s hard for me to comprehend that it’s almost the middle of April. It keeps snowing!! (Really, I was POSITIVE that April Fool’s jokes are not allowed after noon on 1 April!)

I’m still trying to decide what to put in our not-cinnamon rolls. I’m thinking about doing a variation of one of the bookmarked recipes in Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, either sun-dried pear and toasted poppy seed, or the apricot buckwheat. Because I’m lazy and probably won’t manage to get hold of a pear to oven-dry in time, I’m veering towards the apricot. But the pear/poppyseed combination does keep calling to me….

It’s well known that it goes against the grain of most chefs to waste anything that can add flavor to a dish. […] I originally tried this as a dinner roll that incorporated little pieces of baked apricot that I had soaked in water. Rather than discarding the water, I used it for the liquid in the starter. In this version dried apricots are used instead. The result is concentrated apricot flavor from the apricot pieces set against a light wash of that same flavor in the crumb. For a contrasting, assertive flavor, I added buckwheat flour and a bit of black pepper. Used judiciously, that’s a combination taht can really wake up a bread. First you get the woodsy aroma of the buckwheat and the sweet fruitiness of the apricot, then a sneak attack of heat from the black pepper, and finally the pungent flavor of the pepper itself.
– Zachary Golper, Buckwheat, apricot and black pepper bread, Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, p.55

11 April 2016, 00:12 I just got home from driving at around 60km/hr (sometimes slower, rarely faster) on a snow covered highway. :stomp: The only good thing about it was that everyone else on the highway was going pretty much the same speed.

But come on!! April Fool’s Day is long over. And it’s officially been spring for almost a month. No more snow until next winter, please.

To calm myself, I started soaking apricots and put a starter together (using water instead of milk and dark rye and unbleached all-purpose flours instead of just all-purpose) for our NOT-cinnamon buns. As I was looking at the various recipes I’m amalgamating, I was flabbergasted to see how much yeast the Pioneer Woman uses in her cinnamon rolls:

[S]prinkle in 2 packages Active Dry Yeast.
– Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman, cinnamon rolls

2 packages!?!!! That’s 14gm (4.5tsp)! Sure, she makes a LOT of cinnamon buns by using 8cups of flour. But still!

11 April 2016, 08:55 Oh oh. The starter didn’t look very active. As in: zero bubbles. Hmmm, perhaps it was the dark rye flour I decided to use in the starter…

But. Let’s look at the bright side. The zero bubbles can go with the zero cinnamon! :lalala:

Still, I think that Golper (and no doubt other bread cookbook authors as well) murmured something about how long various flours take, didn’t he?

09:11 Yup, I was right… Alas, I can’t find anything more specific than this though:

Wheat ferments at one rate, rye ferments at another, and buckwheat at yet another. The amount of water, milk, or cream can accelerate or slow the process.
-Peter Kaminsky; Introduction: New Guy in Town; Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, p2
Because rye adds such distinct flavors, depending on whether it’s white rye, medium rye, or dark rye, I recommend that you stay with what [is called] for in the recipes. I’ve done many experiments to arrive at the flavor profile of each bread, and I’ve learned from my mistakes so you don’t have to.
-Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky; The Building Blocks: Grains and Flours; Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, p.18,19

Fiddle-dee-dee. I can learn (maybe) from my own mistakes! I went ahead and made the dough anyway.

I didn’t feel like having to wash a pot, so I added skim milk powder rather than bothering to scald the milk (even though Karen said she didn’t bother either). Then, because I have no mind, I added the full amount of water, forgetting about the apricot liquid that I planned to use. (Fascinating to learn that of the 145gm water added to the apricots last night, 65gm went into the apricots!)

So I added the apricot water (that was a lovely golden colour). And got soup. And had to stop because I had a rehearsal starting in ten minutes.

I covered the bowl of shuddering sludge, put it in the oven with only the light turned on and crossed my fingers.

13:41 When the rehearsal was over at around noon, I took a look at the bread. Yay!! Bubbles.

But it was still really really slack. It was croc slack. (Eeeeeeeek!!!) So I added 80 gm more flour. And still had soup.

I decided to do a stretch and fold. There was marginal improvement. Back into the oven it went and we had lunch.

I think I’ll go and do another stretch and fold (not easy to do with crossed fingers).

15:32 I’m happy to say that the dough has risen nicely and no longer looks like soup. But I decided to do one more stretch and fold anyway.

16:30 I’m steeling myself for the shaping part of this bread. It’s adding more flour, as well as baking soda and baking powder part that is giving me pause:

[R]emove the cover and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. […] You may now proceed to roll out the dough in a rectangle
-BBB “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls recipe

Oh oh!!! I already added the salt. Oops. :lalala:

But. How on earth am I supposed to stir flour, baking soda and baking powder into this dough?! Sure, it’s slack dough, but it’s not THAT slack!

I have to admit that I’m really tempted to skip this step and claim that because of my less than stellar reading skills, I didn’t notice the baking powder step in time. Even though Karen specifically said we were to do it and analyse why the step was there.

Driven by the question what the heck three different leavening agents are doing in this recipe. I think between the Babes we should be able to come up with an explanation. […]
You may now proceed to roll out the dough in a rectangle or refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 days. […] Relatively slack dough so it probably is easier to work with when chilled!
-BBB “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls recipe

16:04 The dough had risen beautifully and it looked and felt fantastic. Being an obedient BBBabe, I stretched and folded the flour/bakingsoda/bakingpowder mixture into the dough, as much as it went against my grain. No pun intended.

I must say that unless the resulting rolls are insanely stellar, I don’t think I’m going to bother with this step again. It felt like too much needless work.

After all, it’s not as if there isn’t plenty of leavening power in the yeast that is already in the dough.

To make the filling, use your imagination… go sweet, go savoury, go wacky. Make it yours and make it good!
-BBB “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls recipe

I don’t think I can take credit for this apricot filling, even though black pepper and apricot might be considered to be on the whacky side. I really have to give all the credit to Zachary Golper. My only contribution is the tiny amount of honey I added to the apricot/butter mixture.

It’s fascinating to see that 75gm apricots turned into 150gms. Golper calls for only 90 gms apricots. But as I’m not making his recipe, the Bien Cuit police can’t come after me to tell me that it’s wrong wrong wrong to use all the apricots. I also decided to add a few more grinds of black pepper, once the original amount was sprinkled over the spread-out butter, honey and apricots on the dough rectangle.

I probably did the next part wrong. I confess I didn’t look to see where I was supposed to put the formed rolls and just placed them on a parchment papered cookie sheet. They’re covered with a tea towel and languishing in the oven with only the light turned on. I’m guessing I’ll bake them in an hour or so.

But why don’t I read the instructions anyway, just to see if that’s close to being correct….

     [B]eginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.
     Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1.1/2-inch slices. Grease a pie pan or rectangular baking sheet and arrange rolls. […] Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.
– Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman, cinnamon rolls recipe

[S]tart rolling, I always start with the long side closest to me and roll away from my body. You could do it the other way round, I am easy like that! Just keep a tight roll. Once you have your roll, pinch the seam and roll it once over so the seam is on the bottom. Slice into 1.1/2 inch thick slices. Cover and set aside to rise for at least 20-45 minutes before baking. Bake for 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven (375F/190C)
-BBB “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls recipe

Well, will you look at that?! I got it right. Or mostly anyway. I’m not sure that I was overly careful about making sure the roll was tight….

Ha! I like the way that Ree Drummond says to remove the towel before baking. It’s hard not to read between the lines there, isn’t it? :-)

Wahhhhh!! I just looked at Karen’s perfect spirals in the photo she posted.

NOT-cinnamon rolls I’m afraid that what I achieved is so far from being even close to spiral-like that I might have to serve the rolls in the dark to stop anyone from laughing.

21:15 I was surprised by how long it took to bake the rolls. I set the timer for 15 minutes. Then 10 minutes more. Then 5 minutes more and took them out of the oven. I kept thinking about the Pioneer Woman’s instruction, “Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown“.

But T thought they didn’t look quite done and that they were browned enough. And as he was looking on with a disapproving eye, I couldn’t help remembering what I had just read in Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread.

When bread is bien cuit, it is baked to a dark, often mahogany-colored crust. On first seeing a loaf that is bien cuit, you might think it’s burnt. Most people do. But I believe there is a bliss point when foods are almost, but not quite, burnt. […] [This] is known as the Maillard reaction […] a transformation that protein undergoes when combined with a sugar and heat. The result is hundreds-maybe thousands-of flavor and aroma components that are complex and pleasurable.
-Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, p.12

And in a split second, I knew that both T and Zachary were right. So I put the rolls back into the still hot oven for 10 more minutes.

They’re now out of their tray and cooling on a footed rack under a lace umbrella to keep a furry black fiend’s curious nose and tongue from testing them in the middle of the night.

In spite of the rolls’ – um, let’s say rustic – shaping, they look fabulous. And the aroma is even more fabulous. I can’t wait to try them tomorrow morning!

Well!! They were really good. With our morning coffee, we had the rolls with goat’s cheese and apricot jam. I was surprised that I couldn’t detect the black pepper at all. Next time, I’ll add more!

BBB April 2016

Thank you, Karen! We love not-cinnamon rolls!

Here is the BBB April 2016 “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls recipe. And here is what I did to it:

BBB NOT-cinnamon rolls
aka “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls; whacky cinnamon buns (ie: anything but cinnamon)

based on recipes on the Pioneer Woman (Plowing through Life in the Country…One Calf Nut at a Time) website and in “Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread” by Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky


  • 74gm dried apricots
  • 145gm boiling water


  • 240 gm (240ml or 1 c) water milk ¹
  • pinch yeast
  • 240gm (~1+3/4 c) flour ²
       » 100gm dark rye flour
       » 140gm unbleached all-purpose wheat flour


  • all of the starter from above
  • 280gm (~2+3/4 c) flour
       » 50gm buckwheat flour
       » 30gm 100% whole wheat flour
       » 200gm unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 110gm (120 ml) sunflower oil
  • 95gm (0.5 c) sugar ³
  • milk
       » 240gm (1 c) water at 100F
       » 25gm (0.333 c) skim milk powder
  • 80gm apricot water (oops!! that was supposed to be part of the 240gm water above…)
  • 2gm (0.5 tsp) active dry yeast4
  • 9gm kosher salt (0.5 Tbsp table salt)
  • 80gm more unbleached allpurpose flour (to make up for the extra apricot water)

Shaping and filling

  • 65gm (0.5 c) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3gm [0.5 tsp heaping) baking powder
  • 2gm (0.5 tsp scant) baking soda
  • 50gm (3.5 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 190gm (1 c) sugar
  • 85gm (4 Tbsp) liquid honey
  • all the drained apricots from above, coarsely chopped
  • 2 gm (~1 tsp) black pepper, coarsely ground
  • absolutely zero (0) cinnamon
  1. Apricots: The night before you will be baking the rolls, put the apricots into a small heat proof bowl. Pour boiling water over top, cover with a plate and leave to sit on the counter over night.
  2. starter: Put flours for the starter into a large mixing bowl. Measure water at 100F (please do not use water from the hot water tap!) into a small bowl and whisk yeast in until it has dissolved. Add the yeasted water to the flours and stir 50 times with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a plate and put it in the oven with only the light turned on overnight. Completely forget what you read in “Bien Cuit” by Zachary Golper that rye flour might need a different water temperature to get the yeast going…. :stomp:
  3. dough: The next morning, pretend that you don’t notice the fact that there are zero bubbles in the greyish sludge that appears not to have budged one iota overnight. Proceed as if this is normal. Put the flours on top of the starter. Feel happy that now you can’t see that there aren’t any bubbles. Add the oil and salt (completely ignoring the fact that the BBB recipe says to add the salt later). Set aside briefly.
  4. Pour warm water into a small bowl. Whisk in milk powder and yeast until they have dissolved.
  5. Drain the apricots, setting them aside and reserving the apricot water. Be amazed that 75gm of apricots turned into 130gm and that 145gm water was reduced to 80gm. Chop the apricots into small pieces and set aside.
  6. Pour the yeasted milky water and the apricot liquid over the flours. Stir with a wooden spoon and notice that you don’t have bread dough at all but a thickish batter. Play “mushy gushy” for about 5 minutes to smooth out any lumps. Freak out mildly that the dough is so liquid. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave for a few hours.
  7. kneading in the bowl Use your hands to turn and fold the dough in the bowl as many times as you feel like. Try not to worry that the dough still seems to be on the liquid side, in spite of the fact that you’ve added more flour. Put a plate over the bowl and leave it to sit in the oven with only the light on.
  8. stretching and folding: After a couple of hours (or less – it doesn’t seem to matter), give the dough a few turns. Repeat this one more time and then realize that it’s time to do a real stretch and fold. Scatter some flour on the board and pour the dough out onto it. Using a dough scraper, gently fold the mess in half. Use your palm to pat extra flour off. Gently fold it again, and one or two more times again, removing excess flour from the surface of the dough. Plop the dough back into the bowl and cover it. Put it back into the oven with only the light turned on and cross your fingers.
  9. adding extra leaveners: Be thrilled that the dough has risen nicely and that it actually looks like dough instead of porridge. Whisk together baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 65gm flour in a small bowl. Spread the flour mixture on the board. Ease the dough onto the flour and, using the dough scraper, keep folding the dough to encorporate the flour mixture. Try not to sigh too often and wonder why on earth you’re doing this step when the dough appears to be perfect already.
  10. shaping: Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Smear the soften butter overtop. Add honey (if your honey has crystalized like ours, gently heat it first to remove the crystals). Distribute the apricot pieces over the honey and finally, evenly scatter the pepper. If it looks like there isn’t quite enough pepper, grind on a little more. Roll the rectangle up into a log, as tightly as you can, sealing the seam with your fingertips. Use the dough scraper to cut the log into rolls. Place them spiral side up (ha, if you have spirals…) on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and put into the oven with only the light turned on for about 30 minutes.
  11. baking: Preheat the oven to 400F. (Don’t forget to remove the rising rolls first!). When the oven is hot, put the tray on the middle shelf of the oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 375F and bake for 30-40 minutes until the rolls are uniformly golden brown on top.
  12. cooling: Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting into it. It’s still baking inside! N.B. Of course you may want to serve warm rolls. Reheat them after they have cooled completely. To reheat any UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.
  13. Notes:

    1.) Water/Milk The BBB recipe calls for milk. I’m lazy and didn’t feel like warming milk. So I decided to use just water in the starter. I used powdered milk for the actual dough. You already know what I’m going to say about getting the water to 100F, but I’ll repeat it anyway: please do not use water from the hot water tap. Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave. If you are allergic to using a thermometer, you can check the temperature by putting a few drops of water onto your wrist: if it feels warm, it’s too warm; if it feels cold, it’s too cold; if it feels like a cross between cool, warm and nothing, then it’s fine. Please note that before the yeast is added, the liquid temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

    2.) Flour The BBB recipe calls for using only all-purpose flour. That’s just too ordinary. In keeping with the whacky theme, I used some rye flour in the starter and some whole wheat and buckwheat flours in the actual dough. I was going to add some ground flaxseed too, but I forgot.

    3.) Sugar The BBB recipe calls for using sugar in the dough and the filling. But the amounts of sugar to be used were left up to us. I decided to use zero sugar in the dough (as per Golper’s Apricot bread recipe) and then also decided to substitute honey for the sugar in the filling (Golper calls for zero sugar in his bread and lets the apricots add all the sweetness).

    4.) Yeast The BBB recipe calls for 2 to 2+1/2 tsp yeast (6-8gm). That just seemed excessive to me, especially because I wasn’t adding sugar. So I used a generous pinch (about 10 grains) of yeast in the starter and just 2 grams in the dough itself.


Ceux-ci ne sont pas des cinnamon rolls
BBB April 2016
NOT-cinnamon rolls (apricot honey and black pepper) with goat’s cheese and apricot jam

Bread Baking Babes BBB April 2016

Karen is our host for April 2016’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

Driven by the question what the heck three different leavening agents are doing in this recipe. I think between the Babes we should be able to come up with an explanation. […]Then, there’s wacky. Wacky because of the above but also…. Let’s try to make it different. Let’s NOT use cinnamon. Let’s say cinnamon is verboten. So if you were tempted by the bialys recipe….make bialys rolls. Or make bacon and cheese rolls. Orange pudding rolls? Lemon curd?

I have NO idea what the extra leaveners are there for! Maybe she just likes to have lots of insurance. I wonder why she didn’t add egg too!

So I did a little reading. Only one of the many books we have even comes close to addressing this issue. But the internet, as usual, came through in spades!

As with baking powder, the leavening effect of the alkaline baking soda is based on a chemical reaction that takes place when it is combined with an acid and a liquid. In baked goods with an acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or buttermilk, baking soda will neutralize the acid and thereby improve the flavour of the final product. But don’t be surprised if both baking soda and baking powder are called for in such recipes. The baking soda neutralizes the acidic ingredient, and the baking powder acts as the leavening agent.
-Pamela Cross, Kitchen Wisdom, p.20
The basic leavening gases commonly found in baking recipes are: air; water vapor or steam; carbon dioxide; and biological. In baking recipes, one or more leavening agents participate in the leavening process. However, chemical leaveners and yeast usually are not combined, but there are some recipe exceptions. In some frozen or refrigerated dough found in the grocery store, yeast and chemical leavenings complement each other. […]
Baking powder and baking soda, and their siblings, baker’s ammonia and cream of tartar are known as chemical leaveners. […]
Yeast is the most commonly used leavener in bread baking and the secret to great bread making lies in its fermentation, or the metabolic action of yeast.
-Sarah Phillips, Leaveners, CraftyBaking | Formerly Baking911
Baking powder and baking soda fall into the category of chemical leaveners. This means they react with another substance to release carbon dioxide (gas). The gas forms trillions of tiny bubbles, which expand and give rise to baked goods. This happens very rapidly, which is why breads calling for baking powder or soda are called “quick breads”. […]
Yeast is the oldest form of leavening, dating back over five thousand years to the Egyptians […]
What is fermentation? Simply put, it is the breaking down of sugars and converting them into a variety of gasses and other compounds (like alcohol). For this to happen, there must be something acting upon the sugars, and that something is yeast. Yeast is made up of many tiny, single-celled organisms. Unlike chemical leaveners like baking soda or powder, yeast is quite literally alive. These organisms, like any living thing, need food… […] In baking, the carbon dioxide creates little bubbles and pockets within a dough, which then expand when exposed to heat.
– Willow Arlen, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Yeast – Blowing Bubbles in the Name of Science (FAK Friday), Will Cook for Food
[The Pioneer Woman] said she had no idea what the baking powder did but she did say the dough would be ready within 1-hour and the rolls would be delicious. When she made mention of the baking powder I said why would she need baking powder? Then I found an old cookbook on baking (Home Made Breads) […] by the Food Editors of Farm Journal it was (published in 1969) The book contained 5 recipes using yeast and baking powder. It said time is the problem with many women because it takes a lot of planning to get breads in the oven. Recognizing this situation, home economist of flour milling and yeast companies work constantly to develop methods that will shorten the time needed and lesson the work in bread making. […] The high-rise loaves that results from this method are beautiful. They brown well and the bread has an even, fine texture. The flavor is some-what different from that of many yeast breads. […] So the yeast and baking powder saves baking time. And at the same time baking power does add a unique flavor to the dough.
-Jolly, “Using Yeast and Baking Powder together?”, The Fresh Loaf, 5 March 2014
I suspect that the baking powder contributes to the rise in both phases of its activation. In the initial, immediate reaction, it will produce many tiny starter bubbles which will then grow from the added CO2 contributed by the yeast during proofing. The heat activation in the oven will produce even more CO2, which, in combination with the oven spring, whould result in a very light, high loaf.
It would be interesting to make the bread both with and without the baking powder to compare them for texture and flavor.
I make biscuits with yeast, baking soda, self-rising flour (baking powder), and buttermilk, and they’re wonderfully fluffy AND flaky. Google “angel biscuits” for an assortment of recipes. The one I use is from Bread Alone, by Daniel Leader
– Rich, Baking Powder in Yeast Bread, The Fresh Loaf, 24 Oct 2007
Yeast […] feeds on starch and sugars, releasing CO2, alcohol and sugar. The CO2 bubbles give the dough a light, airy texture […]
Baking soda (NaHCO3) […] releases CO2 according to the equation
2NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O
However, as this also produces a strong base, […] which has to be neutralised, baking powder is used instead.
Baking powder […] is baking soda with acid added. This neutralises the base and produces more CO2 […]
As soon as the yeast has been added to the dough or batter, the yeast begins to feed on the starch in the mixture, forming sugar, alcohol and carbon dioxide. […] If the mixture is left too long, acid produced by the oxidation of the alcohol causes the product to taste sour. […]
When [baking soda is] used on its own, only half the available CO2 is released and, more seriously, the sodium carbonate produced is strongly alkaline and gives the baked product a bitter, “soapy” taste and a yellow colour. […] [S]odium bicarbonate is very rarely used on its own, but generally mixed with some acidic maerial such as cream of tartar, honey, cocoa or golden syrup […]
When baking powder is used rather than baking soda alone, the by-products are less alkaline than NaCO3, and thus they have no undesirable effects on the taste of the product. The type of acid used in the baking powder affects the rate of CO2 production, which in turn affects the product, e.g. a fast rate of CO2 production is required for doughnuts so that the batter is aerated quickly and will float in the hot oil, ensuring a crisp product.
– J.H. Czernohorksy and R. Hooker, The Chemistry of Baking, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, p.1,2,4,5,
A small amount of baking soda in a yeast dough will react with the waste of the yeast and any other acids in the dough to enhance the rise. Just a bit too much baking soda (or salt) will dramatically retard the growth of, or kill the yeast beasties… leaving the baking soda as the only leavening. Thus giving a smaller rise.
-Kris Rosvold, Baking soda in yeast breads…, Quora, 20 Jan 2015

And what does this all mean? For me personally, it’s allowing me to give myself permission to forget the extra step. I just can’t believe it makes that much difference in the final analysis!

But I’m glad to have done the reading. It was fascinating. And now that I know that chemical leaveners are meant to be used immediately, if I were to lose my mind and try the extra step in the NOT-cinnamon rolls again, I definitely would not do the resting refrigeration step after adding the baking powder and baking soda. I’m guessing that that would ensure a bitter taste because the baking powder and baking soda would complete much of their leavening in the fridge and start to go into a decline.

We know you’ll want to make “This is not a cinnamon roll” – rolls too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the rolls in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 February 2016. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ April 2016 bread:

As Katie has so fittingly said in the past:

As always, we have some very busy Babes at the moment….. But just so you know: We’re all still BABES! (You can tell by the panties….)


When we were standing in line waiting to buy cabbage and beets for dinner last night, I couldn’t stop myself from buying two pears to oven-dry. I keep thinking about Zachary Golper’s pear and poppy seed bread!

The overall effect of enhancing a sourdough roll with pears and poppy seeds is a roll that’s sweet, nutty, and slightly crunchy all at once.
-Zachary Golper, Sun-dried Pear and Toasted Poppy Seed Mini Baguettes, Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, p.215



This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, food & drink, posts with recipes on by .

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14 responses to “Ceux-ci ne sont pas des cinnamon rolls… (BBB April 2016)

  1. Kelly

    Hahahaha, love reading your posts! Love your filling, apricots are a great choice and I can see the pepper enhancement being tasty. And with creamy goat cheese on the side? Set me a place next to you!

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      The really interesting thing is that, as delicious as it was, the goat’s cheese and apricot jam almost completely cancelled the flavour of the black pepper. It wasn’t until we tasted the rolls with just a little butter (okay, okay, maybe it was a lot of butter…) that the black pepper flavour shone through.

      I’ll definitely do this combination again. (But I don’t think I’ll bother with the baking soda/powder step. That just felt like too much work!

  2. Karen

    Awesome filling and you are reminding me to actually READ my copy of Bien Cuit! As always, your posts are an adventure. I feel like I’m joining you as you bake =)

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      It was really quite delicious – I’m glad I added the honey though. The apricots on their own were not quite sweet enough and soaking them made them quite plump but also removed a lot of their flavour. (they WERE on the old side, so maybe they were becoming flavour-free anyway)

      And yes! Do read Bien Cuit. It’s definitely worth the effort.

  3. Barbara M

    Ha! Seeing “not cinnamon”, I remember the time I brought “cinnamon rolls” to a picnic. They tasted very strange, bordering on nasty, although everyone was polite. I realized I had put something other than cinnamon in. If I recall correctly, it was garam masala. (Would garam masala fully qualify as “not cinnamon”?)

    But I don’t recommend trying garam masala in sweet rolls – ew. I can’t unsquinch my face after thinking about it.

    The apricot-pepper filling sounds great.

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      Oh dear! That reminds me of the tragic short story I read in high school about a woman who gave her children cayenne toast instead of cinnamon toast.

      I wonder if garam masala would be okay in savoury rolls (maybe with onions along the lines of Bialys filling). But, of course, it wouldn’t have been allowed in THIS batch of not-cinnamon buns.

      You’re right; the apricot-pepper filling was good.

      1. Barbara M

        Mmm, onions and garam masala sounds good! I do like savoury “cinnamon rolls”. I usually make mine with cheese in the dough, and cheese and salsa as the filling, but I think I’ll try onions with some kind of masala next time.

        1. Elizabeth Post author

          I do love actual cinnamon rolls but I think I like savoury rolls even more. You could add some cashews and maybe raisins too to make a sort of samosa-like filling.

  4. Bread Experience

    Elizabeth! I love your play by play and your not cinnamon rolls! Apricot honey and black pepper sounds delicious especially paired with the goat cheese and the apricot jam.

  5. katiezel

    But I love cinnamon! And I bought such wonderful cinnamon in Marrakesh… Well, okay, I’m rather fond of apricots and goat cheese as well. But… Snow? In April? I think you should do something about that.

  6. Lien

    O my, you even added more liquid than stated, it was too wet even without any extra (soaking)liquids, glad you got rid of the soup!. In the end they worked out just great, love apricots in buns, great idea to combine with something spicy!

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      It was pretty ridiculously wet. But so are “Tuck Shop cinnamon rolls” (recipe from my alma mater) so I thought that was probably correct.

      The pepper was surprisingly delicate and almost undetectable. It think it was a bit like adding pepper to fresh strawberries. It just brightens the flavour of the fruit.

  7. tanna jones

    Once again, you show us how it’s done and make me chuckle all the way. Your filling sounds brilliant and I have now added it to my list to do. Apricot has always been on my favorites list. This week, I think I need to bake these … with or without the baking soda and powder.


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