Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

As I mentioned in the previous post, the motivation to make this recipe came from an episode of Paula's Best Dishes on the Food Network. Paula is always cooking when I come from work...so much delicious butter, right when I'm getting hungry for dinner. I was intrigued by the starter used to make these, and honestly, what's not to love about cinnamon rolls? They are a fabulous breakfast, brunch, dessert and/or snack food. Since making these....I have eaten one at every time mentioned, so I prefer the "and" in that sentence.

This recipe was fun to make, and would be a great recipe to make with young children...they could help slather all the ingredients on the dough. I put raisins and pecans into the cinnamon rolls. The raisins added a sweet and chewy component and the pecans added a rich crunch. Happy cinnamon roll making :)

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients for the Dough:
-1 c sweet bread starter
-1/2 c granulated sugar
-1/2 c coconut oil (vegetable oil could be substituted)
-1 tbsp salt (I use fine ground sea salt)
-1 1/2 c warm water
-1 tbsp dry active yeast
-6 c all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the Filling:
-1 stick butter, at room temperature
-1 1/2 c dark brown sugar (light brown sugar could be substituted)
-1/4 c + 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
-1 cup chopped pecans
-1/2 cup raisins

Ingredients for Glaze:
-2 c powdered sugar
-1/2 c half and half

1. Attach the dough hook to your electric stand mixer. Mix starter, sugar, oil, salt, water, yeast and flour on low speed setting. Mix until incorporated (2-3 minutes).
2.  Place the dough in a large, buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
3. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size (2-4 hours).
4. Place the dough onto a well-floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, work the down into a long, 1/4 inch-thick rectangle
5. Using your hands, spread stick of butter over dough. Coat dough with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and pecans. Make sure the filling extends to the edges of the dough.
6. Roll the dough into a tight roll.
7. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 2-inch pieces and place into a buttered baking dish.
8. Allow the rolls to rise for an hour.
9. Start the rolls in a cold oven. Bake them at 325°F until they are golden brown (35-40 minutes).
10. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and half and half.
11. While the buns are still warm, evenly cover them with the glaze.
12. Enjoy the cinnamon deliciousness!

Pictures and Tips:

Step 1. Just in case you aren't familiar with the dough hook attachment...here is a picture of what mine looks like. Make sure to scrape down your mixing bowl a few times using a rubber spatula. Also, use your rubber spatula to make sure any flour at the bottom of the mixing bowl gets incorporated.

Step 2. Place the dough into a well-buttered bowl. This is a sticky, sweet, heavy dough....Kind of reminds me of a certain Def Leppard song.

Step 3. The dough should double in size and be very puffy.

Step 4. Place the dough onto a well-floured surface. Emphasis on well-floured...this will really help you when it comes time to roll the dough.  Using a floured rolling pan, work the dough into a long rectangle that is 1/4 thick.

Step 5. The messiest step of all. Here is where little kids could really have some fun. Use your hands to spread the stick of butter over the entire surface of the dough. The heat from your hands will aide in this process. Then, coat the dough evenly with the brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and pecans.

Step 6. Roll the dough. You want to make as tight of a roll as possible. To do this, pull the dough lightly toward yourself before you roll it. I had to work in sections, from left to right, because the dough was too long to roll all at once. I found it helpful to keep my hands lightly floured so the dough didn't stick to me and tear.
 Here is a picture of my finished roll. You can manipulate your roll size here if you want to. For example, if you want an increased number of small rolls, lightly stretch the roll into a longer shape. You can also freeze the dough at this time....So, if you have a small crowd, perhaps freeze half to enjoy later. If you freeze them, let the dough thaw, and proceed on with the remaining steps.

Step 7. Place the dough into a buttered baking dish. I used a rectangular glass pan for a yield of 24 cinnamon rolls. Choose a baking dish based on the amount of rolls you want to bake. Cozy the rolls up close in the baking dish.

Step 9. Allow the rolls to rise for an hour until they become puffy.

Step 10. Start the rolls in a cold oven. This means that you should not preheat your oven. After you have put the rolls into the oven, turn the oven on and allow it to come to temperature. Bake the rolls at 325°F until they are golden brown.

Step 11. Prepare glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar and half and half. You can really make the topping for these rolls work for you...if you like a lot of glaze, make more. If you like a thicker/thinner glaze, manipulate the amount of liquid.

Step 12. Enjoy! I brought this pan of rolls to my boyfriend's house and shared them with his roommates. The rolls that remained became delicious breakfast and after-work treats. I hope you enjoy making and sharing this recipe.

As always, thanks for visiting.

-The Delicious Dabbler

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