Happy March! These past few weeks have been incredibly busy with everything from the final gymnastics meets before states (only 9 days to go!) and various orchestra performances and even beginning to talk about college with my guidance counselor! It’s crazy, but I’m glad that I finally have some time to take a moment to update you on what’s been going on around my kitchen.
I guess my blog has inspired my chef mom to create her own cooking blog/ web-zine, which I will be featured on once a month! The website is www.theweiserkitchen.com and my posts will be underneath The Weiser Baker. While I hope that you all will check out her website to see my original recipes, you should really explore the whole thing. Seeing that I’m the person who got to try all of the recipes posted, I can tell you first hand that everything is absolutely delicious and not something to miss. But for now, back into the world of swirly cinnamon goodness.
My adventure into the world of yeast begins again after taking a brief hiatus to tell you about one of the most wonderful banana bread’s I’ve ever made. Obviously, after making some savory bread, I needed to venture back into sweets, and this recipe from King Arthur Flour was just perfect. I love a good loaf, but a warm cinnamon roll that is oozing with cream cheese icing sounds just incredible. Does anyone want to bring me one now?
Carl’s Cinnamon Rolls
(To make 20 rolls)
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
- 4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (4 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
- 3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (5/8 ounce) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
Manual Method: Dissolve the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in the lukewarm water. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, and mix until fairly smooth. Knead the dough, by hand for 10 minutes, or with your mixer equipped with the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and supple. Turn the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until puffy, 1 to 2 hours.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. Check the dough during the final 10 minutes of the kneading cycle, adding additional flour or water as needed to produce a smooth, supple dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface; divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat and then roll the dough into an 18 x 24-inch rectangle.
Filling: Brush the dough with the butter, leaving a 1-inch bare edge along one long side. Combine the remaining filling ingredients — sugar, salt and cinnamon — and sprinkle them evenly over the dough.
Assembly: Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a long log (not too tightly, or the centers of the rolls will pop up during baking). Make sure to finish up at the edge that isn’t brushed with milk or butter. Brush that edge with water and pull it up over the log, pinching to seal. Roll the log so it’s seam-side-down on your work surface.
Use a ruler to mark off 1 1/2-inch intervals, then use a serrated knife to gently cut 20 rolls; you may also loop dental floss around the log at each interval and pull, which gives you a nice, clean cut. Transfer the rolls to lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 1-inch between each roll. These will fit on a full-sheet pan or two half-sheet pans.
Brush the sides of each roll with melted butter or vegetable oil, if desired; this makes the rolls easier to pull apart after they’re baked. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap, and set them aside to rise until puffy but perhaps not doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, reversing the pans midway through. They should be golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool slightly, as you prepare the frosting.
Frosting: Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture should be of spreading consistency, like a soft butter cream frosting.
Using a metal spatula, frost the rolls while they’re warm. Remove them from the pan, and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Eat them soon, or freeze them, well wrapped, for later use. (If you’re going to freeze the rolls, it’s better not to frost them before freezing.)
To Reheat Rolls: Remove the rolls from the freezer, and allow them to thaw, in their wrapping, at room temperature. This will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours, more or less. Remove the wrapping, and bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for about 7 minutes, or until they’re very hot. Remove them from the oven, and frost them. To reheat in the microwave, remove the rolls from their wrapping and microwave for no more than 30 seconds. Better still, heat them in a microwave set on defrost until they’re warm. Serve rolls immediately. Yield: 40 rolls.
Take your expectations for these, and double that by 20. Yeah, they’re that good.