Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls: Baking with my brother

 Pinwheel phun ©Cookaroo
On Saturday night, I was suddenly seized with this great desire to teach my brother how to make cinnamon rolls. There were three reasons for that:
1. It was the first thing I had ever learnt from my mother
2. It was the perfect thing to begin learning baking especially under supervision.
3. I wanted to eat it for breakfast Sunday morning

My brother, the keen learner and a lefty, measured out all the dry ingredients while I went ahead with warming the milk and butter to the said temperature. Don't you have a thermometer, he asked me. Of course I did. Don't you have measuring spoons, why do I have to use spoons from your drawer? Yes, they are in the other room.

Apparently when you teach someone how to bake, you need to pull out all your gadgets. 

I told him how it was science - the fact that yeast needed to grow at a particular temperature. I taught him how to knead, how to push the dough away withthe heel of your palm, folding it over to increase its elasticity. I told him how important it was to prove the dough and how we'd have to wait for a bit to get that soft bread-like structure.

He was patient. We waited for a little over an hour before we went ahead with the next step - the filling. Except I'd run out of brown sugar. That's ok, he said. let's just use white sugar. We did. I brushed the rolled dough with melted butter while he learnt how to sprinkle the filling evening. And with that done - we rolled the dough and cut them for further proving. Only at this step, we let it rise half-way (about 20 minutes) and covered it, and let it rest in the fridge till the morning.

The next morning over a game of Life and some nachos and salsa - hot and fresh cinnamon rolls were our breakfast of choice. Between the five of us, we ate nearly a dozen - without even waiting to glaze it. They weren't rich and heavy like Cinnabon, instead they were light and delectable.Sweet and spicy they really hit the spot. 

Do make them.  
 Not quite Cinnabon  ©Cookaroo


Cinnamon rolls adapted from Abigail Johnson Dodge's The Weekend Baker. Available in IndiaUS and UK

Makes 12


Ingredients
For the dough:
1 cup (8 fl ounces/233 ml) whole milk
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
3½ cups (15½ ounces/447 grams) all-purpose flour
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
1/3 cup (2½ ounces/71 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg

For the cinnamon filling:
½ cup (4 ounces/113 grams) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
½ cup (4 ounces/113 grams) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1½ ounces/43 grams) all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the glaze:
2¼ cups (9 ounces/255 grams) confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

For the dough
1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and the 8 tablespoons butter. Set over medium heat and heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the liquid registers about 125 degrees (52°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat.
2. To mix by hand: In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.

3. Check the temperature of the milk mixture; it should now register about 120 degrees (49°C) on an instant-read thermometer. In order for the yeast to grow, the liquid needs to be between 115 and 125 degrees (46 and 52°C). Add the warm liquid and the egg to the flour and stir with the wooden spoon until a rough, shaggy dough forms. Lightly dust a work surface with a little flour. Dump the dough onto the surface.

4. Knead the dough with your hands. It will be sticky at first, but resist the urge to add more flour. First, gather the dough together. Next, using the heel of one hand, push the top part of the dough away from you. Fold that piece over the part of the dough nearest you. Give the dough a quarter turn clockwise and repeat. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

5. Let the dough rise: Scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the bowl and pop the dough back into it. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. (I like to use a large rubber band to hold the plastic in place.) Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size, 45 to 55 minutes.

For the filling
1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Whisk until well blended. Set aside. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch (22.75-by-33 cm) baking dish (I use Pyrex). Turn the dough out onto a clean surface (there’s no need to flour; the dough is soft but not sticky) and press down gently to deflate it. Roll out the dough into a 12-by-17-inch (30.5-by-43 cm) rectangle. Use your hand to stretch the dough gently when necessary.

2. Pour the melted butter into the center of the rectangle and spread evenly over the dough with a spatula. Don’t worry if a little spills over the edge. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the butter, spreading with your hand, if necessary.

Assembly for the rolls
1. Starting on a short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Pinch the long seam of the dough to the roll to seal. Position the roll, seam side down, on the work surface and cut into slices 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide.

2. Arrange the slices, cut side up, in the prepared pan, forming 4 rows of 3 slices each. Using a bench scraper, scoop up any escaped filling and sprinkle it over the rolls. Spray the tops lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm spot until they’re about 1½ times their original size and have risen about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the baking dish (they won’t yet fill the dish), about 40 minutes.

4. While the rolls are rising, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla. Stir until well blended, smooth, and thick. Cover with plastic wrap and stow at room temperature until ready to serve. Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (180°C).

5. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls until they are puffed and well browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the baking dish to a rack and let cool slightly. Check the consistency of the glaze; it should form a thick ribbon when it is dropped from a spoon. If it’s too thick, add a drop or two more cream.

6. Serve the rolls warm with a thick ribbon of glaze over each roll.

Notes:Do aheads
• Prepare the dough through step 5 (of for the dough), but let rise until only about 1½ times its original size, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours before proceeding with the recipe. It will continue to rise slowly in the fridge.
• Prepare the dough through step 3 (of the assembly of the dough) but let the rolls rise until only about 1½ times their original size, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate the rolls for up to 12 hours before proceeding with the recipe. Remove from the fridge and set on the counter while heating the oven.
• Prepare the rolls through step 5 (of the assembly of the dough) and let cool completely. Freeze the rolls in a heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 2 months.

Glaze of glory ©Cookaroo

5 comments:

  1. baking cinnamon rolls is next on list!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you must. They are easy and can be made over a lazy weekend :)

      Delete
  2. that looks like work, but result worth the effort :) Thanks for dropping by my blog - please do join my blog - happy to follow yours cheers, priya

    ReplyDelete

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