September 28, 2009

Cinnamon Scrolls

Obviously I have been absent form here for a while. Life stuff has been getting in the way, as has lack of motivation. I've been making things but never getting around to blogging about them. I'm on leave at the moment, and while I'm on leave I thought I'd like to do all those things that have been put aside for "later". So, here I am. Let's get on with the show.

Cinnamon Scrolls; one of those things that I've been wanting to make an never really got around to making. I wanted an inspiring recipe that used yeast and not just self raising flour, so when my husband emailed me this recipe, I knew it was what I'd been looking for.

These turned out so beautifully. The bread was nice and soft, even the next day. I was a bit surprised about that, as every time I've made bread before, it's been nice on the day, but it only good for toast the next day, and I could never get the crumb quite right. My bread has always been crumbly, and if you tried to bend it in half, it would break. Not like the store-bought bread which you can fold in half without it breaking. So I was very pleasantly surprised that this turned out nice and... what's the word, ...elastic? Well, un-crumbly anyway (obviously I'm not a writer, I'm not eloquent enough! haha!).

One thing I will note about this is that I actually used way more flour than the recipe states below, as the dough was very sticky, (originally, the recipe instructed me to use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but I don't have one of these so was doing it all by hand) I kept adding flour by handfulls until it wasn't too sticky to knead. I suspect this is why my rolls turned out so huge (they were supposed to fit into a 9" x 13" pan, but I ended up using a large baking dish, which is maybe twice that size).

I won't lie to you an say it was the most easy thing in the world to make, and it was no-fuss, (it took me about 5 hrs from start to finish - most of that was rising time so I could do other things in-between), but the results were well and truly worth it. I would even make them again, I was so impressed.

This recipe is adapted from Saveur.com

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MAKES 8 ROLLS

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH:
7g package active dry yeast
1⁄2 tsp. plus 1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3⁄4 cups flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
3⁄4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

FOR THE FILLING:
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
(Note; the original recipe also includes 1⁄4 cup finely chopped pecans and 1⁄4 cup raisins or sultanas, but I didn't as I didn't have any, and they turned out just lovely anyway)

FOR THE ICING:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1⁄4 cup buttermilk

Method

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1⁄2 tsp. of the sugar, and 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk until thoroughly combined, (about 1 minute).
  3. Add the flour and salt. Mix with a mixing spoon until the dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 4 minutes. (Note; This is where I kept adding the flour until it was no longer too sticky to knead)
  4. Knead the butter into the dough, and keep kneading until dough is smooth (about 10 minutes).
  5. Spray a large clean bowl with spray oil. Place the dough into the bowl, then turn once to coat with the oil from the bowl (leave dough oiled side up). Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 1⁄2–2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the sugar, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl; stir to combine (if you're using the pecans and/or raisins/sultanas, add them to this mixture). Stir in the maple syrup. Set filling aside.
  7. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it's no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary, about 1 minute.
  8. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10" x 10" square.
  9. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with a rubber spatula until it's smooth and spreadable. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square; then fold square into thirds as you would fold a letter to fit it into an envelope. Take the open ends of the resulting rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square. Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll into a 10" x 20" rectangle.
  10. Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you. Brush the top of the dough with half of the melted butter. Spread the reserved filling over the dough, leaving a 1" border at the edge farthest away from you. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. (Make sure you roll it tight, otherwise it will come apart during the next faze).
  11. Place dough cylinder, seam side down, on a cutting board and, using a thin, sharp knife, trim off the ends; cut cylinder crosswise into 8 equal-size slices. Nestle the slices, cut sides up and evenly spaced from one another, into a buttered 9" x 13" baking pan (or, if your rolls are large, use a bigger pan). Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours. (Alternatively, the rolls may be refrigerated overnight.)
  12. Heat oven to 180°. Uncover the rolls. (If refrigerated, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.) Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the rolls comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  13. Make the icing: While the rolls are baking, whisk together the sugar and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth.
  14. Transfer the pan of cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack; brush with remaining melted butter. Let cool for 5 minutes. Dip the tines of a fork into the icing and drizzle all over the rolls. Serve immediately.
Ah, warm cinnamon scrolls. Bliss!