Monday, April 21, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

I've got this thing about cinnamon rolls. We all like them here in this house, but I don't like the sort that are overly sweet. And many times, the pre-made, store-bought rolls can be just that: sweet to the point of sickening. Plus, the number of preservatives that can go into an item that doesn't come from my kitchen can sometimes scare me. (I've even given up the thought of ever drinking Mountain Dew again. The brominated vegetable oil on the label and the green color of the drink really make me think about the purity of such a beverage. And yet, I still eat gummy worms. Hmmm...)

Anyway, a while back, I wanted to make cinnamon rolls -- from scratch. And I didn't want a long and involved recipe. Thankfully, I found this one, over at Sally's Baking Addiction. They're good, easy, and can be made the night before you want to eat them. Furthermore, they're just the right amount of sweet.

To make it easy on you, I printed the recipe below:

  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon (or more)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream (or coffee, if you want a coffee glaze)
  1. For the dough: Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, mix the remaining 2 and 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until evenly dispersed and set aside.
  2. Place the water, butter, and milk together in a microwavable bowl and heat (in microwave) until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. (This should be about 115-120 degrees F, but I didn't check). Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, add the egg, and stir. Then add some of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Sally only needed 1/3 cup, but I didn't even need that much at first. Once I started kneading, I could tell I needed more and you may need the entire 1/2 cup. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency (Sally says that. It was a nice sentence, so I left it that way!)
  3. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes on a lightly floured surface and place in a greased bowl. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. For the filling: After the 10 minutes are up, roll the dough out into a 14x8 inch rectangle. (This was harder than I thought, but still manageable.) Spread the softened butter all over the top of the dough. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the flattened dough. (You can add more cinnamon/ sugar if you like.)
  5. Roll up the dough as tightly as you can, being careful not to work too quickly. Cut into 11 evenish pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan; pie or cake pan will work. I put three pieces in the center and arranged the other 8 around those three.
  6. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes. Here is what Sally recommends, and I've done it as well: heat the oven to 100-200 degrees F and turn the oven off. Place rolls inside the warm oven and allow to rise.
  7. After the rolls have doubled in size or are about to burst out of the pan, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned, but be sure to cover the rolls with foil after 15 minutes, and check often to see if they are done. My rolls have never taken as long as 30 minutes.
  8. The glaze: Just before serving, cover the cinnamon rolls with glaze. Mix the powdered sugar and milk (cream or coffee) together until smooth and drizzle over the rolls. If you like a glaze that is thick, add more powdered sugar (this might need a touch of salt to cut the sweetness). 
You can make these ahead of time, up through step 5. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. The next morning, let rise and then bake.


No comments: