Success at last!! My first try at cinnamon whirls was based on a recipe which said to put the whirls into muffin trays to cook but I would advise against this as they end up doughy and uncooked. This time, I put them flat onto greased baking trays and they came out perfectly. Also, a chef at work suggested melting a little marzipan into the cinnamon mixture, but as I didn’t have any I put in some ground almonds instead which gave a subtle almond taste but doesn’t distract from the delicious, sweet and buttery cinnamon. If you’re not a nut fan, you could just as easily take the almond out of the recipe below without any other adjustments and the recipe would work just as well.
Recipe for approx 18 whirls (although it’s a messy one so you can easily end up with more or fewer!)…
Ingredients for dough:
800g strong plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
100g golden caster sugar
Ingredients for the filling and final preps:
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
75g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7.
Warm the milk and butter in a pan until the butter melts.
Put the flour, salt, yeast and caster sugar in a bowl and pour the warm (not hot) milk and butter mixture in. Combine it all with a spoon then knead and stretch for approx 10 minutes by hand until it forms a ball. Cover the dough with cling film and set aside.
For the filling weigh out and melt 25g butter, then add the rest of the butter, cinnamon, caster sugar and ground almond and mix into a paste. The melted butter should soften the mixture but not melt it all or the whirls will be difficult to keep together at the slicing stage.
Lay a large piece of baking paper or cling film on the work surface and roll the dough out on it (until approx 30cm x 40cm). Flour anything you don’t want the dough to stick to. Spread the cinnamon butter all over the dough, I like to put slightly more down one of the longer sides so that when rolled there is more filling right in the middle, but exact filling distribution is down to personal taste!
Lift the paper along the longest edge of the dough to roll the dough, keep the whirl as tight as possible and then cut the cinnamon swirl into 2cm thick slices. Lay each piece flat on a greased baking tray with space to spread around them. Brush with egg and cover, then leave to prove somewhere warm for about 20 minutes.
Remove anything you put over them during proving and pop them in the oven for 8 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool before eating.