Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday I decided to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I scoured several cookbooks and didn't find a single recipe that was exactly what I wanted, so I ended up making the dough from the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book, and then just made up the filling and glaze on my own.

I accidentally made a double batch of dough, because I was looking at the wrong side of the page when I put the milk in the pan, and I added 2 cups rather than one. I decided that I would make kolaches with the extra portion, but then when it came time to make the rolls, I forgot about doing that and just made a massive quantity of cinnamon rolls. After we ate the rolls this morning, though, I decided that the dough really would be perfect for kolaches, so you can expect to see something about how that goes before too much longer. :)

Here's how we got our results.

4.75- 5.25 cups all purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
small amount of half and half or light cream (I used heavy cream because that's what I had in the fridge)

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2.25 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan, heat and stir the milk, butter, granulated sugar and salt until just warm (120-130F) and the butter almost melts. Add the milk mixture to the dry mixture, along with the eggs. (The directions now say to mix with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, then beat in as much of the remaining flour as you can...but I don't do that) Mix well. Add most of the remaining flour, about 1 cup at a time, until you can no longer mix with a spoon.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch dough down and then turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Lightly grease baking sheets. Roll each half of the dough into a 12X8 inch rectangle. (I completely ignore the dimensions and just roll until it looks good to me...this usually means that I roll it out to a larger size than the recipe calls for.)

Spread filling over the rectangle, then roll up, jelly roll style from the long side and seal seams. Slice each roll into approximately 1 to 1.5 inch pieces and place on prepared baking sheets.

I actually did 3 different fillings, one with raisins, one with cream cheese and one that was just cinnamon. I mixed granulated sugar with cinnamon until I liked the color of it. On the rolled out dough, I spread very soft butter, then heavily sprinkled the cinnamon sugar mixture over it. One I left like that and rolled up, and the other I added raisins to before rolling. The cream cheese rolls had cream cheese rather than butter, and I put a much heavier coat of cream cheese than I did butter.

After adding the filling and putting the rolls on the baking sheets, you can let the rolls rise for 30 minutes, then bake. However, since I wanted them for breakfast and didn't want to start cooking at midnight, I made the rolls yesterday afternoon, placed them on the baking sheets, covered loosely with saran wrap and put them in the refrigerator overnight. This morning, I took them out of the oven, let them sit out for 30 minutes. Just before putting them in the oven, I brushed the dough with the cream and then baked at 375F for about 20 minutes.

While the rolls were baking, Samantha and I made the glaze. I have to warn you, I didn't measure anything. I put some cream cheese in a bowl and microwaved it until it was super soft...almost liquid. I splashed some vanilla into the bowl and stirred it up, then started adding powdered sugar. I added a splash of whole milk, then kept adding powdered sugar until it was a good consistency for glazing the warm rolls.

When the rolls were done baking, I immediately moved them, one by one, to a platter or a clean baking dish. This step is VERY important, I almost didn't do it. The only reason I did is that the baking sheet didn't have edges on 2 sides and I didn't want to have the glaze dripping all over the place. I am so glad that I did move them, because I used a large baking sheet and by the time I got to the last quarter of the rolls, they were sticking very badly. Next time, I will use smaller baking sheets and just bake more batches so that the rolls don't have time to cool too much and get stuck before I get to the end of the sheet. As soon as the rolls were on their new container, we put the glaze over the tops by drizzling with a spoon or fork. Since the rolls were still warm, the glaze spread perfectly.
And they sure were yummy!


Collin and Marisa said...

Reading this post made me very hungry! :) The recipe looks easy and delicious. I have been wanting cinnamon rolls so I may have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.