Our final ‘Everyday Cake’ recipe is cinnamon rolls – or as we like to call them, Cinnamon Snails. This is a different type of dough than our previous cake: it uses yeast and resembles a bread dough. Don’t worry about this, though – and don’t be put off by this. These snails might seem a bit more fiddly than our previous cakes, where we pretty much just mixed thing together and baked it, but they’re so worth it – and learning how do make this kind of thing, and handling this kind of dough, is such a great skill to have – such a boost of confidence to go from mixing batter to dealing with this sort of dough. And, like all our skills, you have to practice a few times before you feel like you’re ‘off book’ and just know what you’re doing, and there’s lots of tasty snails to enjoy along the way.
You can fill these with anything you like! Cinnamon and sugar is our go to, but why not experiment with other sweet things – or, if you leave out the sugar, spinach and cheese goes brilliantly.
For the dough
500g bread flour
7g dried yeast
Half a teaspoon salt
75g melted butter (or oil)
150ml milk (or plant milk)
For the Filling
Dash of milk (or plant milk)
150g caster sugar
50g dark brown sugar
Mix the dough ingredients together in a bowl and knead them for 10-15 mins. You can do this by hand – like Seamus is doing in the video – or by using a standmixer or knead attachment on your handwhisk. You can reduce kneading time if you don’t do it by hand – 5-10 minutes will do it. Seamus kneads very vigorously, I knead more gently – but the end result is the same, so just get stuck in your dough in whichever way you can do and find enjoyable.
Leave your kneaded ball of dough in a warm place with a damp tea towel on top for about an hour – longer if your ‘warm place’ is cool. You’re looking for it to roughly double in size – ish. If in doubt, leave it a bit longer.
Turn it out onto a floured work surface and start rolling it out, with a rolling pin or floured bottle. You’re looking to roll it into a rectangle of c. 50-60cm x 20-30cm – about twice as wide as it is long.
Add your filling. Mix an egg with a dash of milk and spread this mixture onto your dough – quite liberally. You can do this with a brush but we just use our hands. Smooth it down and cover the whole dough area. Mix your caster and dark sugar together with the cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture generously all over your dough. It will feel like a lot of mixture!
Now it’s time to roll your snails. Roll along the long edge, from the side nearest to you: lift the dough gentle along the full length and fold it in on itself, and then just keep rolling it over itself. Cut it into 12 pieces – cut in the middle, cut each half in the middle, and cut each bit into 3 parts. Place your 12 snails into a baking dish – we just a round springform cake tin (about 28cm), but you can use any dish or dishes you happen to have. Once your snails are assembled, brush them with the egg/milk mixture (again, we use fingers for this).
Bake in a hot oven (180-200C) for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and sticky. If you like them softer and gooey-er, take them out a wee bit earlier (like brownies!).