My very first Daring Bakers Challenge and it came at a really busy time…but that never stops me! This challenge was for Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns courtesy of this month’s host, Marce.
The recipe is from Peter Reinhardt’s excellent The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, so I knew that this would be a good recipe for us all to make. In my experience, if you want to make any bread-type recipe, this book is one of the best to work from. The instructions include both weights and measures and also have accompanying photos to help clear up any procedural questions.
And we’re off…
I must start by saying that I did use the book itself in my work area since I had it on hand. This helped with any additional questions I might have, just having the opportunity to read up on this type of dough. It has been years since I have made any type of cinnamon roll and so I felt more comfortable reading about the ins and outs of it.
6 1/2 Tbls granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
5 1/2 Tbls shortening
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp lemon extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast*
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
6 1/2 Tbls granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
White fondant glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon or orange extract
6 to 8 Tbls warm milk
Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or fast-rising.
Step 1 – Making the Dough:
Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand).
Note: if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast.
Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Step 2 – Fermentation:
Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Step 3 – Form the rolls:
Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Proceed as shown in the photo below for shaping the rolls.
(Transcription in case photo did not print: (A) Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger rolls, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller rolls. Don’t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished rolls will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. (B) Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and (C) roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger rolls, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller rolls.)
Step 4 – Prepare the rolls for Proofing:
For cinnamon rolls: line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the rolls approximately 1/2-inch apart so that they aren´t touching but are close to one another.
Step 5 – Proof the rolls:
Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped rolls in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.
Step 6 – Bake the rolls:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon rolls but on the lowest shelf for sticky rolls.
Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky rolls 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. If you are baking sticky rolls, remember that they are really upside down (regular cinnamon rolls are baked right side up), so the heat has to penetrate through the pan and into the glaze to caramelize it. The tops will become the bottoms, so they may appear dark and done, but the real key is whether the underside is fully baked. It takes practice to know just when to pull the rolls out of the oven.
Step 8 – Cool the rolls:
For cinnamon rolls, cool the rolls in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the rolls are warm but not too hot. Remove the rolls from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Toppings for the Rolls:
White fondant glaze for cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.
Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add lemon or orange extract and warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.
When the rolls have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the rolls. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)
So everything went quite well. I had to add quite a bit of additional flour (it must have been too moist in my kitchen. I wasn’t expecting the dough to take quite so long to rise as I use my KitchenAid’s dough proofing setting. Unfortnately, that did very little for me and so I ended up waiting exactly as long as the recipe had stated.
Once the dough was ready for me to roll out, I was knee deep into a baby shower cake and had no time to stop. So I put the dough in the fridge and had to let it sit overnight. I was really worried that this would cause a lot of problems, but I kept my fingers crossed.
The next day, I took the dough out of fridge and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then I rolled out, filled and rolled according tothe instuctions. I then cut the rolls and placed on parchment onto a sheetpan (some of the cinnamon mixture fell out of each one as I cut with bench scraper and sort of poured it back into the spaces.
I put the sheetpan in the oven on the proofing setting for about 25 minutes until they doubled. Once they were doubled, I baked the rolls for 22 minutes on the convection setting. Once they were cooled, I iced them – I only needed 3/4 of the glaze (I used orange extract).
These were a big hit and very tasty. There did not seem to be a big problem with refrigerating the dough for so long and picking back up the next day, which is GREAT to know! I brought in the extra rolls into work and they were devoured (luckily, I kept a couple at home for myself.