These easy cinnamon twists can be made quickly, then popped in the fridge overnight to rise. Bake in the morning to enjoy fresh and warm in the morning!
I happened upon a little jar of Rapid Rise Instant Yeast in my cupboard recently, so I've been looking for ways to use it up (can't be wasting any yeast these days :) The advantage of rapid rise yeast is that the typical first rise period of yeast baking is cut to a short 10 minute rest period, so you can go from mixing the dough to shaping in no time.
This shortened time makes rapid rise yeast ideal for an overnight, refrigerator rise for the second rise, meaning that you can spend just a bit of time the night before preparing your bake, then refrigerating it to be ready to bake first thing in the morning. And if I'm going to be baking something to enjoy first thing in the morning, these Cinnamon Twists are just the thing I want - warm, sweet and cinnamon-y.
Don't worry if you don't have Rapid Rise in your kitchen right now. These will work with other yeast, as well, but they'll just take a little longer. See the Tips section below for adapting this recipe for Active Dry or Instant Yeast.
Confused about the different types of yeast? Check out my Types of Yeast and Which One To Use When resource page!
Here are the ingredients you will need for these easy twists ...
- All-purpose flour
- White sugar
- Rapid or Quick Rise Yeast - see "Tips" section below for how to use other types of yeast with this recipe.
- Brown sugar - light or dark
- For optional garnish or icing drizzle: Icing/confectioners' sugar
- Step 1: Combine some of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl.
- Step 2: Add the warmed milk/water/butter mixture and mix several minutes.
- Step 3: Add the egg and mix briefly to combine.
- Step 4: Add a bit more flour and mix the dough another minute.
- Step 5: You should have a thick batter at this point. Scrape off the paddle attachment and remove.
- Step 6: Change to the kneading hook and add additional flour, as needed, until you have a smooth moist dough.
- Step 7: Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.
- Step 8: Form the dough into a ball, cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Step 9: Roll the dough into a 8x16 inch rectangle.
- Step 10: Brush the dough with melted butter, then top with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Step 11: Fold the dough in half, folding from the short side.
- Step 12: Roll gently to flatten to about 10-inches wide, then cut into ten 1-inch wide strips.
- Step 13:Twist the strips and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
These twists are best enjoyed freshly baked and still slightly warm, though they do keep well stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
To make this recipe with Instant Yeast, simply follow the recipe as written, EXCEPT, you will need to do a first rising period beyond the 10 minutes, or until the dough doubles (likely in the 45-60 minute range).
To make this recipe with Active Dry Yeast, you will need to proof the yeast in the 1/4 cup of water specified in the recipe, warmed to 110F. Add the proofed yeast mixture to the bowl and mix as detailed. You will need to do a full first rise at room temperature, until the dough doubles, about 45-60 minutes.
The minimum refrigeration period for dough made with Instant or Active Dry Yeast should be extended slightly to at least 4 hours, before baking (or again, up to 24 hours).
Easy Overnight Cinnamon Twists
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp Rapid or Quick Rise Yeast (1 packet *see Note 1 for other yeast options)
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp butter (cold and cut into cubes)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
- Icing/Confectioners' Sugar (for dusting)
- Icing Sugar Glaze (see recipe instructions below)
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add 1 cup of the flour, the 1/4 cup sugar, the yeast and the salt. Mix briefly to combine.
- In a small saucepan (or in a measuring cup in the microwave), warm the milk, water and butter to 110F.
- Gradually add the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix to combine. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Add the egg and another 1/2 cup of flour and continue mixing at medium speed for another minute of two. Scrape off the paddle attachment and replace it with the kneading hook. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and begin adding more flour in very small increments, kneading well as you go, until you have a smooth, moist dough.
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead by hand about 1 minute. Form into a ball, cover and let rest on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling by stirring together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Melt the 2 Tbsp butter for the filling and set aside. Prepare one large baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- After 10 minutes, roll the dough into a rectangle about 8x16-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over-top. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, folding from the short (8") side. Gently roll the rectangle to flatten and widen to about 10-inches wide. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into ten strips, each 1-inch wide.
- Shape the twists by taking a strip of dough and twist it 2-3 times. Place onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough strips, placing on the baking sheet with some space in between. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to rise for 2 - 24 hours.
- When ready to bake, remove the twists from the refrigerator and uncover. Preheat oven to 375F. Let twists stand at room temperature for 10 minutes while your oven preheats.
- Place twists in the oven and bake until set and golden, about 13-17 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
- Serve dusted with icing sugar, or make a quick icing sugar glaze with 1/2 cup icing/confectioners' sugar, mixed with 1 1/2-2 tsp milk and mixing until smooth. Drizzle over cinnamon twists once they have cooled slightly (or the icing will melt right off :).