The Temperature Mistake To Avoid When Making Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls on plate
cinnamon rolls on plate - Roman Tohtohunov/Getty Images

Despite their mouthwatering taste, cinnamon rolls are often surprisingly simple. It's relatively straightforward to whip up a batch with fridge and pantry staples found in almost all home kitchens, such as flour, butter, cinnamon, and sugar. However, one key cinnamon roll ingredient needs a bit more care during preparation: yeast. Without paying proper attention to temperature, bakers can end up with dense, heavy rolls instead of delightfully light and fluffy ones.

One of the most common mistakes everyone makes when making cinnamon rolls is killing their yeast by activating it with water that's too hot. For active dry yeast, a popular style used by many bakers, Cinnabon corporate chef Jennifer Holwill told Mashed the temperature must be below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a food thermometer, she added that you should be able to comfortably put your finger in the liquid without it being too hot. Above this, yeast cells begin to die instead of activate.

This principle applies to all recipes that use yeast to rise, though it's critical with recipes that mix the yeast directly with the liquid to activate. Others, like Mashed's easy cinnamon rolls, integrate instant yeast with dry ingredients like flour and sugar -- no proofing necessary -- and pour in a mix of liquid ingredients later.

Read more: 13 Store-Bought Ice Cream Bars Ranked From Worst To Best

Low Temperatures Are A Risk, Too

thermometer in pot of liquid
thermometer in pot of liquid - Yacobchuk/Getty Images

On the other hand, it's also critical not to mix the yeast with liquid at too low a temperature. When yeast is mixed with water or other liquids under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the cells can leak an amino acid known as glutathione that can make doughs too sticky to handle easily. Liquid temperatures that are too low can also fail to activate some or all of the yeast, meaning it'll provide far less rise than expected.

In addition, temperature also comes into play with another of the biggest cinnamon roll mistakes you might be making. It's important that the butter in your recipe is softened to room temperature — not melted, and not too firm. This ensures it's easy to work with and will evenly incorporate into the dough, creating the ideal soft, fluffy texture.

Remember this tip and keep your thermometer handy for your next batch of cinnamon rolls; you may be surprised at the difference just a few degrees can make!

Read the original article on Mashed