Sourdough Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

with Cardamom and toasted Pine Nuts

Close your eyes. Imagine you’re eight years old, laying in bed… A waft of magic seeps under your door and tickles your nose. It’s clearly the holiday season, but there’s something different about it – it reminds you of that trip to Aunt Matilda’s house in Santa Fe last winter. Cardamom and pine nuts mingle with butter and cinnamon. You bust out of your room and run down the hall to spot your Dad pulling a tray full of nostalgia out of the oven… OMG. It’s Nicky Giusto’s Sourdough Brioche Cinnamon Rolls!

OK, time to wake up and get to baking! This elevated recipe, made with Organic Old-World Bread Flour, will exercise your artisan baking skills and yet still allow you time to enjoy those holiday mornings you don’t want to miss.

Note: You will need to have an active sourdough starter on-hand and plan ahead since you’ll need to start the process about 24 hours before you want to enjoy these tasty treats.


LEVAIN Fermentation: 8-12 hours at 70–75˚ F
Baker’s % Weight (grams)
Organic “Type 80” Old-World Bread Flour 100 89
Water 80 71
Sourdough 20 18
Total 200 178
FINAL DOUGH Fermentation: 1hr at room temp (70˚ F), then 12–16hrs in the refrigerator (40˚ F)
Baker’s % Weight (grams)
Organic “Type 80” Old-World Bread Flour 100 356
Sea Salt 2.3 8
Instant Yeast 2.3 8
Milk 5 18
Whole Egg 70 237
Granulated Sugar 20 71
Butter (Tempered) 35 125
Levain 35 178
Total 281 1000
Liquid Temperature (Refrigerated eggs) 38-43˚F
Dough Temperature 75-80˚F
Mixing Time* Mixer: Kitchen Aid
Speed 3-4 5 min
Speed 6-7 3-5 min
First Fermentation Room temperature 1 hour
Second Fermentation In your refrigerator 12-18 hours
Shaping Using a rolling pin 16″x16″ Square
Add Filling & Roll
Proofing Room temperature 90-120 minutes
Baking** 350˚F 18-20 minutes
FILLING Baker’s % Weight (grams)
Brown Sugar 100 100
Granulated Sugar 100 100
Toasted Pine Nuts 80 80
Golden Raisins (or any raisin) 100 100
Cinnamon 3 5
Cardamom Powder 3 5
Zest of one orange * *
Total 390 390
ICING Baker’s % Weight (grams)
Powdered Sugar 100 100
Warm water 14 14
Lemon Juice 3 3
Total 117 117

*Mixing time can vary depending on mixer.
**Baking time and temp can vary depending on oven.


Step 1

The morning before you want to bake off the rolls, prepare your Levain. Watch the ambient temperature to be sure it matures properly.

Step 2

The evening before, or about 12-18 hours before you want to eat the rolls, scale the ingredients.

Add all the Levain, egg (straight from the refrigerator), milk, flour, salt, and instant dry yeast to the mixing bowl. Scale the sugar and butter separately – you will add them at the end of the mix.

Step 3

Mix the Levain, egg, milk, flour, salt, and instant dry yeast till it is well developed. This normally takes me about 7-9 minutes using a 6qt Kitchen Aid on speed 4-7. Once the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl and looks smooth and a little glossy, add the sugar and butter.

Mix on speed 2-5 till completely incorporated. There will be some dough sticking to the sides of the bowl, that’s ok.


Step 4

Remove the dough from the bowl with a plastic scraper. With a little water or oil on your hands, tighten up the ball into a round. Cover with plastic or a kitchen towel and let this rest for one hour.

Step 5

While your dough is resting for an hour, you can prepare the filling you will be using the next day. Combine sugars, nuts* spices, and orange zest. You can add the raisins here too or separate the raisins and zest, and add the juice of half the orange and let this sit in the refrigerator overnight.

*You don’t have to use pine nuts, you can use any nut you’d like, just chop them to the size of pine nuts. Sliced almonds are a great alternative.

Step 6

Transfer the dough ball to a quarter sheet pan and lightly push the dough out to a rough rectangle, cover, and let rest in your refrigerator overnight – up to 18 hours.

Step 7

Once you get to this stage, you will want to work quickly and efficiently. The dough is a lot easier to handle when it is cold. Read ahead and have everything prepared.

The morning you are ready to bake, prepare your pans or baking vessels. Spray them with a non-stick spray or brush the interior of the pans with melted butter.

Ok, now to the dough: transfer the cold dough to a lightly dusted counter. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16” x 16” square.

Step 8

Brush the dough with a light coating of water. Then evenly distribute the filling leaving about an inch at the top (this is so the dough will seal once you roll it up).

Step 9

Roll it up. Then use a serrated knife to cut sections about 1.5-1.75” thick*. As you cut the sections, transfer the rolls to your baking pan. I’m using a 10”cake pan here. You can use any pan you like.

*You should have about 10-11 rolls when you’re done. If you have a few extra, just plop them into any oven safe baking vessel you can find.

Step 10

Proof the rolls at room temperature for about 2 hours. With about 30-45 minutes remaining in the proof time, fire up your oven to 350˚F.

Step 11

Once proofed, bake the rolls for about 18-20 minutes. Bake time will vary depending on how awesome your oven is. I like my rolls with a good amount of color on them. So I baked these for about 22 minutes. You may like yours soft, and lighter. If so, pull them out of the oven around the 18-19 minute mark.

Step 12 (if you can handle it)

Let the rolls cool for about an hour or so. You can drizzle the icing on the rolls after they are cool, or wait till you serve them. Enjoy!


Organic Type 80 Wheat Flour

High-extraction bread flour


News & Updates

straight from the mill


Terms & Conditions

I agree to release and hold harmless Central Milling, Keith Giusto Bakery Supply and Artisan Baking Center (hereby referred to as "ABC") and their officers, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims and/or liability for any injury suffered while I participate in an ABC cooking event/class.

I understand that my participation in this event/class is voluntary. I recognize and understand that culinary classes have inherent risks and hazards and that my participation is solely at my own risk, and that I assume full responsibility for any resulting injuries, illnesses, and damages.

I also give my consent for full and unrestricted use of my image and/or voice, for use by ABC for promotional purposes and in all media. All such representations of every kind shall remain the property of ABC. I acknowledge that I have carefully read this release and hold harmless agreement.

Registering for an ABC class will automatically opt you into our email list to receive class schedules and special events at our Baking School. You can opt out at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any email.

Please note that 5% of the class tuition is non-refundable in the event you need to cancel.

If you cancel with at least 3 days' notice, you will receive either a full cash refund less 5% or credit towards a future class. If you cancel with less than 3 days' notice, you will receive credit for a future class. We're sorry, no refund for classes cancelled with less than 24 hours' notice.