Monday, March 21, 2016

Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

I feel like I should title this- "How To Make The Perfect Cinnamon Rolls". I finally got it! I watched a Chef at Chefs Cooking Classes make Cinnamon Rolls in his bread class so many times I could roll them in my sleep- but I never could quite do it and get a good enough recipe. I then came across a video from FOOD52 Your Guide to the Best Cinnamon Rolls of Your Life.

This article tells you to use a brioche like dough and I found an amazing recipe for Cinnamon Rolls in my Breville Bread Machine Recipe book and perfection came together! You can use this recipe or find a brioche or sweet dough to make by hand.

I threw this recipe together into my machine-
Put all ingredients in order as it is listed. I did it the same day as making my rolls, but next time I will make it a day ahead and chill it overnight wrapped in wax paper and put in a bag.

Dough Recipe-
1 cp Milk (warm, not hot)
2 Eggs (room temp. or soak them in warm water for a bit)
1/4 cp Unsalted Butter- in 1/2" pieces
1/4 cp Coconut Oil (soft, not liquid. You can melt it in the microwave and stir it as it cools and use it  in a soft whipped stage). Note I added this Coconut Oil to the recipe because it's healthy and I wanted the rolls richer tasting with more fat like a brioche.
1 tsp. Salt
1/3 Sugar
4 cps. Bread Flour I did a health switch by using 2 cps. Bread Flour, 1 cp. All purpose (to keep it light) and 1 cp White Whole Wheat and I got an awesome dough! If you use any Whole Wheat Flour add at least a 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl. of  Gluten per cup
2 1/4 tsp. Active Yeast

Add all the ingredients as listed in order making sure the salt is on the bottom with the liquid and the yeast on top of the flour (salt kills yeast). Put it on the dough cycle and watch it kneed. If you need to add more flour- add up to a 1/4 of a cup slowly if the dough seems too wet. It probably will be because I added that additional Coconut Oil and I needed to add more flour- I added 1/4 cp bread flour. But I am at High Altitude, in a very dry climate (Colorado's desert Plains are East of us, beyond the city of Colorado Springs). So what your dough will do is a bit too much of a guess for me. It's easy to figure out out and make adjustments- adding flour or water depending on what your dough looks like. You don't want it dry with flour patches. You don't want it to wet and sticky. Squeeze it real fast. Does it stick or feel too mushy? Then add more flour slowly while the kneading cycle is still working, scrape the sides with a silicone spatula.

It'll probably be done in 90 mins. depending on your machine. You can let it sit to rise a little longer in the bread pan (20- 30 mins.) and then shape it into a rough rectangle, roll it up in wax paper and put it in a plastic bag for the night. If you are making it the same day- refrigerate it for an hour or freeze it for 15 mins.

When you're ready to handle your dough grab your rolling pin. I have one covered with a sock-like cover and I have a pastry cloth my Mom gave me in the 80's. This one has been well used. I leave it flour covered and in warm months I actually freeze it in a bag to keep it clean. It makes rolling out dough effortless.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface using a dough scraper or your hands to make straight edges and a rectangular shape about 1/2 inch thick (thinner will make room for more filling and thicker will make it breadier- up to you). The size will depend on how much dough you made. I made a smaller rectangle and got super sized Cinnamon Rolls and I was real pleased with that. About 11" X 16".

Make the filling.

The Filling-
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use raw sugar)
1/2 cup softened Butter or a mix of 1/4 cp. Butter and 1/4 cp. softened (not liquid and whipped by hand) Coconut Oil
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (Saigon Cinnamon is what I used for a bigger punch of flavor)

When your dough is the right shape take the filling and spread it all over your rolls. I went to the very edge so no cinnamon roll would be neglected.

Forgive my glitch; my daughter erased all the shots she took of me rolling out the dough and cutting it. I discovered it's impossible to photograph yourself doing something! Yup obvious. But she thought I didn't need them (?). So I'm borrowing from FOOD52 Your Guide to the Best Cinnamon Rolls of Your Life which is an awesome guide to making Cinnamon Rolls and should be consulted anyway. 
Start at one smaller end and roll it up! Don't be overly tight so it has room to bake and expand, but not too loose either.

When done rolling your roll- pinch along the seam to keep it together as best as you can and if it gets ugly flip it down so it holds (and looks pretty). 

To cut use a sharp knife and a slight sawing motion is best. Make these rolls nice and thick- 1 1/2" to 2" thick. They'll be lovely.

I choose a pan that is big enough for all the rolls, but also makes them a bit crowded when they rise. I don't like dry cinnamon rolls and they bake moister if crowded, touching each other. Butter your pan of choice (you don't have to use this much butter- just enough to grease the pan).

I let it rise for almost an hour- yours might be 30 to 45 mins. depending on how warm your kitchen is. It's winter here and it took longer. I wait till they all crowd the pan.

I added crushed walnuts on top-

And Bake at 350 degrees (my oven runs too hot and I put it at 325 so they don't bake too quickly) for 20 - 30 minutes depending on what you want in a cinnamon roll. I like them like a Cinnabon Roll- Moist and doughy still. My son and husband like it bread like and all cooked. So I had to compromise and get an inbetween result which was around 25 mins., I worked with a chef that cooked his so undone that it looked real doughy still and I was thinking- what? But they were wonderful- a real Cinnabon experience! The Food52 Blog recommends baking till the center is still soft, and the buns are browned.

     Mine turned out sublime, perfect. I mean the most awesome Cinnamon buns! I think I got it just right. They are thick- so the extra cooking made the outer swirls bread-like, but still moist and inside is still soft and a little doughy.

Let them cool a bit and frost if desired-

     I created a simple cream cheese spread with 1/2 a brick of  softened Cream Cheese and 2 Tbls. softened butter, and about 2 Tbls. Honey (to taste). You can use confectioner sugar, but I didn't want it overly sweet. Whip by hand and you're all good to spread it on your cinnamon buns:

Bon Appétit!

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