Puff pastry cinnamon twists are a quick and buttery sweet treat to make when you already have puff pastry in your freezer.
No puff pastry in your freezer? No worries. I’ve got you covered.
These puff pastry cinnamon twists were made for the reddit 52 week baking challenge (Week 35: Laminated Dough). We are now two-thirds of the way through 2021….
The recipe inspiration
The puff pastry in this recipe has been adapted from the Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. If you are new to pie and pastry, I highly recommend this book!
Classic puff pastry vs quick or “rough” puff pastry
Classic puff pastry is made by pounding a bunch of butter into a square and wrapping it in dough. You then roll out a series of folds and turns to get layers and layers of butter and dough that puff up when baked. While bashing the butter can be therapeutic, with classic puff you really have to make sure that the butter doesn’t get warm.
With quick puff pastry (or rough puff, if you’re a fan of the Great British Bake-Off), large chunks of butter are incorporated into flour like a pie crust. Then the dough is rolled and folded like classic puff pastry. Rough puff pastry doesn’t puff as much as classic puff pastry, but it is so much easier to make, especially in a warm kitchen.
Tips and tricks
Working with pastry
One of the most important rules when working with pastry dough is to keep it cold. If your dough starts to warm, put it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
Sometimes I roll out dough on a floured cutting board instead of my countertop. It means you can cut out strips without worrying about scratching your countertop. It also means you can easily pop your dough into the fridge if it’s getting warm.
Rolling and filling
Panel 1: When rolling puff pastry, you want to be careful not to roll over the edge of the dough, smashing the layers together. So I start in the middle of the dough and roll away from me. If you are rolling out a rectangle, rotate 90 degrees (a quarter turn) and roll.
Panel 2: Repeat until the dough is the about an eighth to quarter inch thick. My slightly more than half pound of puff pastry rolled into a rectangle 7.5 by 13 inches.
Use a pastry brush to brush the melted butter evenly on the dough (Panel #3 above). Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and use your hands to press it gently down into the butter (Panel #4).
Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut three-quarter inch strips (Panel #5). Or, you can buy a multiple wheel pastry cutter if you want things perfectly event. You should have about 16 strips. Holding the strip steady in one hand and use the other to turn it into twists. Press the ends of the twists down onto lined baking sheet so they don’t unroll when baking (Panel #6).
What to do with extra cinnamon sugar
Any extra cinnamon sugar can be stored in an air-tight container indefinitely on your countertop. Use it for cinnamon toast or to sprinkle on waffles. Make pie crust cookies. Or use it with raisins and chopped nuts for classic rugelach.
No, you don’t have to do anything. But you will get more consistent results if you weigh your ingredients, especially for baking.
All butter is not the same (reference: my chocolate chip cookies). That is particularly true when making puff pastry or pie crust, where the butter plays a starring role. If you can, use a European style butter with a higher fat content.
Yes, just make sure to buy one that is made with butter. I’ve used this brand before with good results.
Oooh, puff pastry cheese twists. Grate some Parmesan and add a bit of paprika to it and sprinkle the cheese mixture over the butter. Twist and bake as in the basic recipe. Or go classic with palmiers.
You could, although you’d get better results if you freeze the puff pastry (3-6 months) and then do the rolling, twisting, and baking when you want to snack on them.
Salted butter will last for a longer time than unsalted butter, but both should be stored in the freezer. Unsalted butter can be stored in the freezer in its original packaging for a few months before it starts to taste off.
Puff Pastry Cinnamon Twists
- Food processor
Puff pastry (Makes about 1 pound)
- ¾ cup (5.8 ounce or 164 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- ¼ cup (1.1 ounce or 31 grams) cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons or 8 ounces or 227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ⅓ cup (2.4 ounces or 68 grams) cold water
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter, melted
- ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Add the flours and salt to the food processor and blitz until mixed.¾ cup (5.8 ounce or 164 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, ¼ cup (1.1 ounce or 31 grams) cake flour, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse about 10 times.2 sticks (16 tablespoons or 8 ounces or 227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- Add the cold water and blitz until the pastry just starts to come together.⅓ cup (2.4 ounces or 68 grams) cold water
- Dump the mixture out onto a clean cutting board or lightly floured countertop and mash it together with your hands just until it forms into a ball.
- Use a rolling pin to roll it into a thick rectangle with the long edges to the sides, and then fold it like a business letter. That is, fold the bottom third up over the middle third and then fold the top third over the folded bottom and middle thirds. This is fold #1. Make a note to yourself as a mark on a piece of paper or something like that. I've seen a colleague use their kid's abacus to keep track.
- Rotate the folded dough clockwise 90 degrees or one quarter turn. Repeat the steps above by rolling out the dough into a thick rectangle and folding it like a business letter. This is fold #2. Make another mark. Rotate the dough clockwise another 90 degrees.
- Repeat for fold #3 and #4.
- If making these cinnamon twists, cut the dough in half using a sharp knife. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Double wrap the other half in plastic wrap and place it in a small freezer bag for future puff pastry treats.
Puff pastry cinnamon twists
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Take the wrapped puff pastry out of the refrigerator a few minutes before you want to roll it out.
- Roll out the pastry into a rectangle about 7 to 8 inches on the short side and 1/8 inch thick.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the rectangle thickly but evenly with melted butter.1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter, melted
- Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt and sprinkle it evenly over the rectangle. Use your hands to pat it gently into the butter.½ cup (3.5 ounces or 100 grams) granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, pinch salt
- Slice the rectangle into about ¾ inch strips that will be 7 to 8 inches long.
- Holding one end steady, twist the other end of the pastry as tightly as you can, and press the ends down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. This will help prevent the twist from unwinding while baking.
- Put the baking sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes prior to baking. This will again help to prevent the twists from unraveling.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and slightly browned.
- Let cool on the baking sheet. These cinnamon twists can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for about one week.
If you make these puff pastry cinnamon twists, please leave a comment or rating. I really appreciate it!