Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Wednesday, 22nd February 2012

My sister, Connie, brought me not one, not two, but three delicious Italian treats in the past week, Lasagna, Cicerchiata (Italian Honey Balls) and these amazing Sweet Rolls, Pagnottini.

A cropped photo of Italian Pastry Buns arranged in a row on a white, rectangle-shaped dish.

Connie met me at the fabric store on one of my endless food prop shopping trips.  I was very happily surprised when she handed me a large pan of freshly made lasagna and a bowl of Cicerchiata to take home. I’m embarrassed to admit the bowl of honey balls disappeared on the ride home. What can I say? I couldn’t resist and I bet you couldn’t either, light and puffy pastry balls dripping in honey – yum! And then Connie stopped by a few days later with Pagnottini, how did I get so lucky?

A side view photo of Italian Rolls Sweet arranged in a row on a white, rectangle-shaped dish.

I was surprised to learn that this dough is not kneaded and rolled like your typical sweet dough used for Cinnamon Rolls. The sweet dough is prepared with oil and a generous amount of eggs and the texture of the dough is quite soft and sticky. The technique for forming the pagnottini is quite similar to that of a danish. The dough is rolled into ropes and then winded around to form a spiral. Unexpectedly after the rise the look of a danish quickly disappears.

A photo of two Italian Pastry Rolls one on top of the other and placed on a folded green-chek, cloth napkin.

These breakfast rolls can be enjoyed with typical breakfast spreads like jam, cream cheese, honey and Nutella but I quite enjoyed them on their own with fresh fruit. The rolls were rich and flavourful and the perfect accompaniment to my morning coffee, afternoon coffee and evening coffee. I really have to stop drinking so much coffee!

A photo of Yeast Buns in a stemmed wire basket lined with a white cloth napkin.

Connie prepared these rolls plain but dried fruit, nuts or chocolate can easily be folded into the dough. And if you prefer the flavour of a cinnamon roll the ropes can be rolled in cinnamon sugar prior to winding into rolls.  In fact my nephew is coming in for a visit from Ottawa this weekend and I plan on preparing the rolls this way for an extra special weekend treat. Now that I’m thinking about it cinnamon sticks sound awfully good.

A photo taken looking down on Italian sweet rolls displayed on a white dish.

If you plan on preparing the rolls with dried fruit, I would rehydrate the fruit first to make it plump and moist. I’ve provided instructions below in the recipe.

A photo of Sweet Rolls on a white ceramic plate.

This recipe yields quite a few rolls; take my sister’s lead and share with family and friends.  There’s nothing better than being on the receiving end of homemade treats like these Pagnottini (Sweet Rolls).

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Comments (20)

20 Responses to “Connie’s Pagnottini Dolci {Italian Sweet Rolls}”

  1. Maggie @MaggieCooks Says:

    Yummy! those rolls look so good! Buzzed this! :)

  2. Grace Says:

    Thanks Maggie!

  3. Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) Says:

    These look delicious!

  4. Grace Says:

    Thanks Ilan, I’ve been trying to find your guest spot on Rogers TV did the program air yet?

  5. Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) Says:

    Yeah it already aired Grace. I should get a DVD soon.

  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    I love the idea of adding chocolate to these!

  7. Lora @cakeduchess Says:

    What a sweet sister Connie is. :)I bet it was all delicious. Would love one of these for breakfast tomorrow:)

  8. marcellina Says:

    Again as all of your recipes, I love these rolls! Loving the idea of Nutella smooshed all over. YUM!

  9. Javelin Warrior Says:

    Grace, love everything about these – the color and shape is amazing and the rum and zest sounds delicious. I have featured this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks as ever for the inspiration…

  10. Grace Says:

    Thank you so much, wonderful to be featured again so soon!

  11. Daisy@Nevertoosweet Says:

    Wow these look great!!! I’ve never heard of them Pagnottini :) Thanks for introducing it to me ~~ Congrats for making Top 9 in Foodbuzz!

  12. Grace Says:

    Thanks Daisy, hope you’ll try them.

  13. Kristiina Says:

    Can the dough be frozen before baked? If so, how long will it keep for and how would one go about baking them from a frozen state?

    Thanks!! They look delicious!!

  14. Grace Says:

    Hi Kristina I normally don’t freeze yeast dough I’ve always been concerned about killing the yeast. I’ve had this question come up twice in the last week so I’ve done a little research and although freezing the dough doesn’t kill off the yeast it does slow down the action. If you do plan on freezing keep this in mind and I would shape the rolls first then freeze in airtight containers. When allowing time for the rise keep in mind it may require a little more time.

  15. lyly Says:

    Grace, your rolls look yummy. I’ve never tried it. Thanks for posting.

  16. lyly Says:

    Hi Grace, Hope you had great weekend. I tried to make it yesterday but have problems with the dough. The dough was rised after 3 hrs but it versy sticky so i have to put lots of flour in in order to shape it. I covered and let it rise again after 1 hr and bake it. My breads came out good but i don’t think if soft since I put lost of flour in. I divided the ingredients by 3 and follow your steps. Please let me know what i did wrong. Thank you.

  17. Grace Says:

    Lyly the dough should be sticky, did you add flour to the dough after the first rise? Or did you roll the pieces of dough in flour to shape? I’ve never made part of the recipe and I’m wondering if dividing the ingredients caused the problems. When I shape the buns, the dough is sticky but when I’m rolling into ropes on a lightly floured surface it’s enough to form the buns. Adding too much flour will definitely affect the texture, they won’t be light and airy.

  18. lyly Says:

    Hi Grace, thank you for your reply. I did add flour after first rise since it’s very sticky that i can’t roll it. I think may be I divided the ingredients caused problems. I may try it again and let you know. Wish you hava a great week !!!

  19. Grace Says:

    Thank you Lyly you too!

  20. angela@spinachtiger Says:

    These are perfection and I would like one to have with my morning cappuccino.

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