Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls

About a year ago, David banned cinnamon rolls from a can in our house.  Something about preservatives…  I am not a bread baker – leave that to my mom – but I broke out the yeast packet and gave it a try.  Actually gave it 2 tries – recipe number one didn’t pass the approval test.  Think it is contingent on the amount of butter and cinnamon sugar on the inside and the icing on the outside.  Duh…

The Baker’s Mann is typically about recipes that can be made on a given weeknight.  This Alton Brown recipe has a pain in the rump factor (12 hours start to finish) because it takes patience  – something that I am in short supply of lately.  But… if you have the desire to make your own cinnamon rolls and you time it properly, this will make your house smell great and make you the star of the family.

Cinnamon Rolls
1.      4 large egg yolks, room temperature
2.      1 large whole egg, room temperature
3.      2 oz. sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
4.      3 oz. unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
5.      6 oz. buttermilk, room temperature
6.      20 oz. all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
7.      1 package instant (rapid rise) dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
8.      1 1/4 t kosher salt
9.      Vegetable oil or cooking spray
1.      8 oz. light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
2.      1 T ground cinnamon
3.      Pinch salt
4.      ¾ oz unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 T
1.      2 1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
2.      3 T milk
3.      5 1/2 oz. powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add 1 ¼ cup more flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough (with a rolling pin) into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water (I filled a tea kettle with water and then poured it into a brownie pan in the oven) and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

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