Friday, January 27, 2012

So-so Cinnamon Rolls

Yes - I know my cinnamon rolls aren't that pretty. But considering this is the first time I've made any sort of dough from scratch, let alone cinnamon rolls, I think they are quite ok. The taste, however, needs improvement. There were 2 different versions of the cinnamon roll recipe in Baking Unplugged: one for if you were making cinnamon rolls immediately and one for if you wanted to start them the night before then bake them the next morning. I chose to do the overnight cinnamon roll recipe and I believe that I may have let them refrigerate for too long. They had a slightly yeasty, doughy flavor.

Oh well....maybe I'll have to make a batch of the original recipe for comparison???

To make these, you start with the following basic sweet dough recipe (Baking Unplugged, Nicole Rees):

3 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
1 - 1/4 oz package fast-acting yeast
1 cup very warm water (115 degrees F)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt

Combine half the flour with the yeast in a medium bowl. Stir in the water until well combined. Cover the bowl and let ferment for 30 minutes. Stir the melted butter, sugar, and salt into the dough. Stir in the remaining flour as best you can to make a shaggy, stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and begin to knead.

As you knead, sprinkle only tiny amounts of extra flour onto the board to prevent the dough from sticking. Rely on a bench scraper to help fold the dough over itself, since it will be sticky. Do not add more than 2-3 Tbsp of flour during the 10 minutes of kneading. Place the dough in a lightly buttered mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls (Baking Unplugged, Nicole Rees)
     Makes 9 rolls

1 recipe Basic Sweet Dough
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Gently press out excess air from the sweet dough recipe. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and shape into a rough rectangle. Roll into a 11" x 14" rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread 2-3 Tbsp of the soft butter evenly over the dough to within 1/8" of the edge. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture over the butter evenly.

Roll the dough up lengthwise, starting to roll from the long edge. Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log on the board to that it's seam side down. With a serrated knife, gently trim 1/2" off each end. Cut the log into thirds then cut each third into three slices. Arrange the slices evenly in a buttered 9" square pan, cut-side down. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Bake the rolls for 24-28 minutes, until the edges and tops are browned and the rolls near the center of the pan are no longer doughy. Top with glaze.


3 Tbsp cream cheese, very soft
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until no lumps remain. Spread evenly on the cinnamon rolls.

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