Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls Perfected

I've had limited success making cinnamon rolls. My first outing ended up with rolls that spread like my waistline after eating them. My sticky buns made with puff pastry were better but they didn't quite capture that wonderful layered dough you find in real cinnamon rolls.

So, I decided to try a recipe from Cook's Country that promised to be the ultimate perfect cinnamon roll. What I learned was that this recipe is superb as far as the roll. The icing is to die for - especially when you switch out the vanilla for orange extract! I also have learned that as my technique for rolling improves so do the results I can obtain. These rolls stayed together very nicely although I still lost a bit of my filling underneath. I think by the time I do this again, my technique in rolling up the dough should be good enough that I get a very tight spiral and my filling remains contained. Practice makes perfect seems to be key with cinnamon rolls.

This recipe turns out huge cinnamon rolls that would put Cinnabon to shame. In fact, I couldn't eat a whole one in a single sitting - although I tried very hard to finish it!

While I'm thinking of it, voting for Project Food Blog 2010 is now open. Please take a moment to drop by PFB2010 and cast a vote for us here at Sugar Pies. It only takes a moment and we'd really appreciate your support! Thanks!

3/4 cup whole milk , heated to 110°
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
3 large eggs , room temperature
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut into 12 pieces and softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened

4 ounces cream cheese , softened
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Here you can see the buttery layers this dough produces.
For the dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut off. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, allowing excess foil to hang over pan edges. Grease foil and a medium bowl.

Whisk milk and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves, then whisk in eggs. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

For the filling: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 18-inch square, spread with butter, and sprinkle evenly with filling to 1/2 inch from edge. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam, and cut into 8 pieces. Transfer pieces, cut-side up, to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For the glaze and to bake: Heat oven to 350°. Whisk cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Discard plastic wrap and bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and top buns with ½ cup glaze; cool 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift buns from pan and top with remaining glaze. Serve.

Make Ahead: After transferring pieces to prepared pan in step 3, buns can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours. When ready to bake, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour then bake as above.

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