Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Last week I baked 50 cinnamon rolls as my contribution to the Sunderland Public Library book, bake, and plant sale.  Last week also happened to be my husband's birthday and I was short on time...  I ended up going to bed early on Thursday and getting up at 4:00 a.m. on Friday in order to prep the yeast dough and bake them off before work.  My time estimate was dead on - it took me roughly 3 hours from start to finish. 

I used my Aunt Carol's sweet roll dough recipe with a few variations.  I substituted some of the white flour for whole wheat flour and I used Gold Medal's bread flour instead of the all purpose flour. 

The cinnamon sugar combo was also of my own invention.  So are all of the times.  I finished the rolls off with a sumptuous cream cheese frosting.  I brought the extras in to work.  I ended up typing the recipe up from memory because a coworker wanted it!  I consider that a success.

Emily’s Cinnamon Rolls (makes 12-14)

Prep and resting time = 3 hours
Baking time = 20 minutes at 350 degrees

1 c milk
2 T butter
1 t salt
1 T active dry yeast dissolved in ¼ c “warm to touch” water
½ c white sugar
1 egg
3.5 c flour (I usually use half whole wheat and half unbleached white)
1 T melted butter
1 T cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
2-3 T white sugar
1 T brown sugar

Combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan. Heat until butter melts. Meanwhile, dissolve active dry yeast in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
Remove from milk mixture from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Combine milk mixture with yeast mixture.
In a large bowl, mix the flours. Add the milk/yeast mixture. Beat the egg and add it to the flour and wet mix. Combine well with a large wooden spoon (if available – it does work a bit better than a metal spoon!). Add flour as necessary to make bread dough.
Knead for 5 – 10 minutes until the dough springs back when poked with a finger (do not knead in too much flour; keep it tacky but not too wet or dry). Lightly oil (canola, olive, or PAM) the mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and moisten the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set to rise until double (about 1 – 2 hours).
Knead the dough briefly. Roll out into a rectangle, with the long end facing you and the short ends to your right and left. Spread the melted butter onto the dough. Combine sugars and spices. Liberally dust the dough with the sugar/spice mix. Roll up (from end closest to you) – not too tightly, not too loose! To seal, pinch the dough together (end of the roll + rolled portion).
Slice with a large knife or a dough cutter into 1 inch portions. Place in a buttered dish, leaving approximately ½ inch between rolls. Press down lightly. Spray tops with a bit of oil spray (PAM or olive oil, canola oil, etc.). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until “double”, approximately 30 – 40 mins.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Let cool.

When cool, frost with whatever mixture you like! I typically use powdered sugar + vanilla + coffee. Try cream cheese + powdered sugar + milk, or simply powdered sugar + milk. Enjoy!

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