Baking 101: Doughnuts and Cinnamon Rolls and Stollen (oh my!)

In this second week of the Baking 101 segment of our course, Kevin and I entered the Sweet Yeasted 2 station which involves, primarily, making doughnuts (making the dough, rolling and cutting, frying and topping) and cinnamon buns (dough, rolling, topping, slicing).

The photos you see for this segment all came in on the last day as I had, again, forgotten to take pictures all week. Above, for example, are the cinnamon raisin rolls we had made and were heading into the freezer for the next day’s bake. They look a lot better baked, I can assure you but I hadn’t got any pictures of that stage all week. I’ll try harder to make time.

Here’s the breakdown of he schedule: Pull doughnuts from the freezer in the morning, let warm up while we each make the 7.5 pounds of cinnamon roll dough which is actually a sweet brioche dough. While that’s proofing, we do a MEP of doughnut dough, about 10 lbs.

Once these two things are done, the doughnuts are usually warmed up enough we can pop them in the proofer and start up the big fryer at 360ºF.  While that takes 15 minutes to heat up, we get all out toppings ready: chocolate dip, bun icing, sugar, cinnamon sugar, custard cream to fill, sprinkles, roasted almond, hazelnuts and so forth.

While one of us is on frying duty (1 minute per side for the plain ring doughnuts, a bit longer for the solid filled ones and 1:45 for the apple fritters) the other gets creative on topping the hot doughnuts.

I do wish I had photos to add here, they came out pretty darn nice.

Once doughnut duty was done and all the racks and toppings are put away, we mix the MEP doughnut ingredients and set it aside to proof. We then use the sheeter to roll out the cinnamon bun dough, spread it with custard and add cinnamon sugar. Now and then we get to switch one of these up; I did a lemon sugar and cranberry and a cran-orange version.


Above left, Kevin spreads custard to a cinnamon roll sheet. Right: Raisins are included in the dough for this batch. Below: Cranberry Orange rolls are ready to proof or freeze.

In addition to these standard items our station produces each day, we also had to make a specialty bread: Stollen. Again, no photos. Maybe I can get a few next week when the second batch get baked up. In spite of lack of pictures, I can assure you that these came out really nicely. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I’ve had Stollen before and was unimpressed with the dry, mealy texture. But the ones we made this week were tender, moist and full of rum-soaked raisins, candied pee and almond slices. We also stuffed the crescent shaped loaves with Frangipan, a mixture of (in part) ground almond, butter, sugar and egg. Deeelicious! These cakes, once baked, are coated in sugar and wrapped in festive cellophane bags with a red ribbon. Not only tasty but visually enchanting as well.

On our last day in this section, we also had to make 60 mini burger buns. Not exactly challenging but interesting to make any way.


We used the divider to make two batches of 36 balls, rolled them, proofed then flattened them again, applied egg wash and lightly seeded with sesame, proofed a little more then baked. They came out very nicely.

Finally another extra product we made was a Lemon-Poppy Seed Butterfly. Let me pull up the photos first.


These started out similarly to the cinnamon rolls: make a sheet, spread the filling (butter, poppy seed butter and a good splash of lemon juice) roll and cut. Mr B explained the “butterfly” process by saying that you then take the sliced piece and, using a wooden dowel, press it down across the top until you reach the bottom, making a deep divide. He then went off to help the next person but didn’t actually show me how this was done. So I did what you see above: pressed right down the middle until I had divided it very well. Once I had done a tray full, I looked for him to ask how tightly together these should be placed since unlike cinnamon roll  that can touch their neighbours, i presumed the shape might get lost if these butterflies were too close.

“Well, that’s a new way to do things” he said when he came to look at my work. Turns out that I was supposed to take the long, snake-like roll of dough, slice each piece and without flipping them on their side, press down thoroughly on each piece’s edge. Like so:


Having just a couple more rolls left undone, I set these on a small pan along with the remaining wrongly made ones. We’ll have to wait ’till Monday to see how these turn out.

The really sad part of this is that Mr B showed us how to do exactly this design back in week three of the course and I even have photos. D’oh!! What tripped me was when he specified to “dust the tops” then press the dowel down. “Top” for me registered as the top of a cinnamon roll we had been doing all week, not the top when they were still on their sides. Ah well. They’ll taste good regardless!

On to week three of the baking 101 section: Wood Fired Oven! Am I “stoked” (har!) for this one? YOU BET!! I just need to wear dark clothes as Josie, who’s team we follow in rotation, was basically black with ash and soot all week. Playing with fire week: how fun will that be?

Here, to close these last two wekks’ reviews are a couple of snaps I have of the other teams.

Paul C, Josie and Andrea have a chuckle.

From the previous week: Chelsea pipes some of the 200 mince meat pies we made
(as well as several types of bars and cookies) for a special order.

And that’s about it for this week. Hopefully, I can get a bunch of good pictures of the wood fired oven and maybe catch some of the Stollen, baked cinna-rolls and finished doughnuts to flesh out this weeks’ products.

See you in a bit!

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