Monday, June 28, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I have often struggled with yeast, and when I have needed to work most effectively, it has failed me.  However, I have been practicing (rolls, hamburger buns, pita bread), and I can now successfully attempt cinnamon rolls!  Oh, happy day!  These are, of course, calorie-free, so enjoy!!  ;)
Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 8 large rolls

6 1/2 tbl. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 tbl. unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest or lemon extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. instant yeast (I always use bread machine yeast)
1 1/8 - 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
6 1/2 tbl. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
other spices to taste (cloves, allspice, etc. Your choice!)
1 tbl. butter, softened for spreading

For the white fondant glaze:
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. lemon or orange extract (I just squeezed an orange over the bowl and used that juice)
4-6 tbl. warm milk

Cream together the sugar, salt, and butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and lemon zest until smooth. Add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. (You may have to add more flour or water while kneading to achieve this texture.) Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer dough to bowl, rolling it around to coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Allow dough to ferment at room temperature approximately 2 hours, or until doubled in size. *(I always preheat my oven to 175 degrees, then off the heat and allow the dough to rise in my warm enclosed oven.)

Punch the dough down and transfer it to a floured work surface. Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary (be careful not to work the dough too much, or else it will become heavy). Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 10x10 square. Fold square into thirds as you would a letter to fit into an envelope. Take the open ends of the resulting rectangle and fold into thirds again, making a small square. Invert the dough so the seam is face down, and using the rolling pin, gently roll into a 10x20 rectangle.

Brush the dough with the tablespoon of softened butter and top with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Lightly press filling into dough. Using your hands, lift the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Place dough cylinder, seam side down, on a cutting board and using a thin knife, trim off the ends to make the cylinder even. Cut cylinder crosswise in half, then each half in half, and each quarter in half, making eight cinnamon rolls. Nestle the slices, cut side up, into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Cover dish with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 75-90 minutes. *(At this point, you may retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in the middle of oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool the rolls in the pan for about 10 minutes, then drizzle white fondant glaze across the tops, while the rolls are warm, but not too hot. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving (good luck with that waiting!!!! Brewing a fresh pot of coffee will make the waiting a bit easier, trust me on this!!).

For the white fondant glaze:
Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add lemon or orange extract/juice and 6 tbs.-1/4 warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add milk slowing and only as much as needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

Using the whisk or a fork, drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.

1 comment:

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