Holiday Recipe | Chef Matt Gordon's Famous Cinnamon Rolls

November 20, 2013

Chef Matt Gordon’s famous cinnamon rolls are a favorite for San Diego locals and a perfect dish for the holiday season.  Every day Chef Matt welcomes guests with the sweet smell of cinnamon, sugar and butter pecan. This beloved treat has led customers to try many of Chef Matt’s other dishes including his bread pudding, s’mores and warm cheese biscuits, all made with zero artificial ingredients. These dishes are a terrific addition to a holiday meal!

"I grew up eating those canned Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Whenever I ate one that was made at a bakery or restaurant, I always thought they were too tough or too bready or not cinnamon-y enough, etc. … so, I gave up on them," explained Chef Matt. "Finally after we were open for a couple years, I wanted a signature brunch item like the biscuits had become for the dinner, so I worked on a few recipes and after a couple weeks, came up with the version we serve now … soft and not tough, brioche based, but not overly bready, made with tons of butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. The real magic happens when the butter, cream cheese and sugar frosting hits the top … unbelievable delicious."

Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Serves 10-15

1 ½ cup milk
½ cup buttermilk
¼   cup butter
1 ½  Tbs yeast
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ egg yolk
6 ½ cup AP flour
½ Tbs kosher salt
½ tsp cinnamon

Place the milk, buttermilk and butter in the microwave until the butter is melted and the milk is between 105 and 115 degrees.  Mix ½ of the sugar in to the warmed milk mixture and add the yeast.  Whisk to incorporate and let sit for 5 minutes to let the yeast bloom.  Pour into the empty bowl of a mixer. Whisk in the eggs and yolks and the remaining sugar.   Add the flour, salt and cinnamon to the liquid mixture.  Using the hook attachment, mix on low speed for 4 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl.. lightly oil the top of the dough and cover with plastic. Let rise for 1-2 hour or until it is just about doubled.  Dough should not over-rise

1 cups butter at room temp
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
¼     cup ground cinnamon
5 swipes nutmeg

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
To make the rolls, roll the dough out to a rectangle.  Dough should be about ¾ inch thick.  Liberally spread the dough with the whipped or room temp butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Leave a 1” “clean”strip at the top of the rectangle so that you can brush it with egg wash to form a seal after you roll it.

Gently, but tightly roll the rectangle into a log (without stretching the dough to thin) to form a large cinnamon log.  Cut into 1” thick slices.  Place on a buttered sheet pan.  Spread apart for round rolls or put in a greased pyrex for more square rolls.  Let proof at room temp for another 30 to 40 minutes prior to baking in the convection oven at 325 degrees until just lightly browned.  (375 conventional oven) Top with the cream cheese frosting.

Chef Matt is the owner and chef of three San Diego restaurants - Sea & Smoke in Del Mar, Urban Solace in North Park and Solace & the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas.