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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

You've probably heard of Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman); perhaps you've even seen her blog or tv show on Food Network. Well, her recipe for cinnamon rolls captured my attention quite a while back. It makes a lot (if using the full recipe), and they're really delicous. I've added my own spin and think I've come up with a near-perfect cinnamon roll. The frosting/glaze is still a work in progress, but this is pretty close to perfect for me. She says they can be frozen at any point in the process, but I prefer to bake and glaze mine before freezing. When you reheat them, the glaze soaks into the rolls, allowing you to add more frosting before serving. Y.U.M.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets (15 g total)
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour (Unbleached)
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Table Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter (Salted, not Unsalted, ~1 cup)
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
Generous Sprinkling of Cinnamon
4 cups Powdered Sugar (~1 lb)
1 tsp. instant coffee
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. maple flavoring/extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. softened or melted butter (salted)
~4 Tablespoons milk
1/8 tsp. table salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot (i.e., between 100F-110F on a thermometer), sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could use the dough immediately; however, I cover & refrigerate the dough at least overnight before using-no more than 2 days, though. Watch to make sure it doesn't overflow - you can punch it down if needed.)
When ready to prepare rolls: Prepare your pans with butter on the bottom & sides (a pastry brush works well.) Set aside.
Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough (1/6th if making mini-rolls) and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle melted butter over the dough to cover - a pastry brush works well to spread it evenly. Now sprinkle sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting in the middle, begin rolling the dough in a neat line. After you have a roll started, roll from one end across, keeping the roll fairly tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Repeat this process with the other part of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes (or until nearly doubled in size), then bake at 350F degrees until light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. You want it thick but pourable/spreadable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman