à la cannelle. What a delight (easy cinnamon buns)


The weather is wonderful, the grass is growing, someone I know has just finished school, we’re heading into a long weekend : this is celebration time. At four, for us French people, is goûter time, and here is a lovely thing to easily concoct and enjoy with the hot beverage of your choice, oh yes.



Despite my dislike of the material, I used a non-stick dish 23×32 cm (roughly 9×13 inches). you can also let those little treasures stand individually on a baking sheet, but as I have not tried this I am refusing to comment.


525g flour (I used white spelt)

150g butter

50g dry yeast or 25g fresh yeast*

1/3 cup lukewarm water in which 4 tbsp sugar (I use unrefined fair-trade organic cane sugar) are left to dissolve

2/3 cup kefir (the original recipe asks for fresh cream, milk would even do)

1 egg

1 tbsp vanilla extract

sugar and cinnamon or sugar and poppyseed to sprinkle generously

* this is an awful lot of yeast, by adding yeast you are effectively buying time, if you would like to do those for breakfast and thus let them rest overnight in a cool place, I would advise you to halve the quantity of yeast.

Add the dry yeast or crumble the fresh yeast into the warm water, steal a tablespoon of flour from your measured stash and mix a little (this is not strictly necessary if you are using instant dry yeast or whatever modern version but I like to do this as its bubbling reassures me that it is not defunct). The bubbling should take a dozen minutes or so to start.

By hand in a large bowl or in a mixer incorporate the butter in the flour until the ensuing mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add your bubbly yeasty mix. Incorporate with electrical or elbow power and a wooden spoon. Add the egg and the kefir and mix furiously. Knead or knead joyously and therapeutically until the dough feels nice and springy. 

Form a rough floured ball that you then return to the bowl and place in the cold oven away from draughts. If you are attempting this in a cold wintry kitchen you would do well to warm your oven to about 30 degree celsius before putting your yeasty dough in. A hot press as they say around here is a good place too. 

A couple of hours later, when the dough has doubled in size, turn in onto a floured table surface and with the help of a rolling pin or the flat of your hands turn it in the closest to a rectangle that you can achieve, the dough should be around 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) thick).

Sprinkle your chosen mix generously and roll up. 


Cut into 5-6 cm (2 inch) sections and place in your tin or you sheet. Return to the room temperature oven (if you are rushing at this stage you can use a preheated oven at about 60 degrees celsius). When these have doubled in size, remove from the oven, get the temperature to 180 degree Celsius and bake—after one last sprinkling of sugar mix for the road—for about 20 minutes (if you are baking singlets take a good look after 15 minutes). Let cool in the pan, divide and devour.



  1. These look totally scrumptious! My mother in law makes a German version of cinnamon rolls but without yeast, using quark instead. Equally yummy!!

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