Rolling in Dough … Cinnamon Dough

Last night at church they handed out cinnamon rolls to kick off our new Bible study/small group season.  The problem was that they were dinky.  Oh, it’s not that I wasn’t appreciative–I appreciated my little roll quite a lot, actually–but at the time we hadn’t had dinner yet and it was like being offered a lick of hot fudge.  So, today, on the way home from a full afternoon of ice skating, I announced that I had a craving.  My family loves it when I get cravings because that means we make yummy stuff.  So, sure enough, the first thing I did when we got home besides assign Timothy the task of heating up dinner was pull out my largest mixing bowl and start my yeast rising.  One of the glorious things I have always appreciated about the Waldorf perspective on living is to keep the pleasures of life simple.  When you make something yourself, the sweeter it tastes.  So, on that sweet note, my cinnamon roll recipe:

Yeast Dough

(this is actually the same dough I use for both loaf bread and pizza dough, the only difference being with loaf bread I do two cycles of kneading/rising instead of just one)

Ingredients:

3-3.5 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 package fast-acting yeast

1.5 Tablespoons (Tbsp) brown sugar (I use dark brown because I prefer the taste to light brown)

1 cup water, divided

1 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

Cinnamon to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to warm (170 F)

Mix together brown sugar, yeast, and 1/2 cup very warm water (for me, warm bathwater temperature is what I aim for–if it feels too hot at all, add cold water until it is just very warm–this is important otherwise you’ll kill your yeast–ask me how I know this…).  I put all these ingredients in a tall dinner glass so we can admire the foam.  Once mixed, place on stove burner that vents the oven (this will be warm and help your yeast to rise).  After 5-10 mins., check glass.  If it doesn’t have a layer of foam on top, you’ve killed your yeast and you need to start this bit over with cooler water.

While yeast is rising, measure out 2 cups of flour and add salt.  If you have a child, this is the point where you hand them the cinnamon shaker and tell them to go to town. Melt butter in a small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup cold milk to melted butter.

Once yeast has risen, pour into flour along with butter/milk mixture and additional 1/2 cup water.

Stir with a large spoon.  Add 1-1.5 cups more flour.  I know, I hate recipes where the amounts aren’t exact.  The way this works is that if the dough feels knotty when you knead it, add more liquid.  If it sticks to your fingers and feels tacky, add flour (I usually just add several fingerfuls at a time, probably 1/8 cup or so until it feels right).  The texture that you want to get it to as you knead it is smooth and non-sticky.  I knead my dough in the large mixing bowl by pressing down with my fists until it’s flat and then folding one side over.  Knead for 10 mins. once your dough is at the right consistency.

Cover dough with a bit of olive oil and gently lay a layer of Saran Wrap on the dough itself to help hold in moisture.

Turn off warm cycle of oven (very important detail this–if you don’t you will accidentally cook your dough on the bottom) and place bowl of dough to rise for 1 hour.

After dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and stretch/smush it flat onto a countertop or flat surface until it makes a large rectangle of thin dough.  Then, sprinkle on a generous layer of brown sugar followed by more cinnamon shaker action (don’t go too wild with cinnamon or it will be spicy–remember Red Hots?).  Use a pizza cutter to slice dough into long stripes, 1-1.5 in. apart.  Each “stripe” of cinnamon dough will look very long and thin but as you roll it toward you it will get thick and bulk up.

Preheat oven to 400 F while you do the above step.

When your buns have been rolled up, place them into whatever you want to cook them in.  I use 2 9-inch cake pans sprayed with Pam.  Once oven is preheated, cook for 10-12 mins. being careful not to overcook.

Mix together glaze while buns are cooking:

Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

5+ Tbsp. liquid (you can use water, OJ, lemon juice, milk … anything wet.  Cecily likes OJ, so that’s what we do)

Mix and stir together (you may need to use a whisk or a fork to break up sugar clumps).  You want the texture to be slightly thick like molasses but pourable.

Drizzle on fresh buns when they come out of the oven.

Ah, it is a sweet life!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: How to Make Homemade Yeast Rolls : Grandma’s easy, quick dinner yeast rolls recipe « Youtube Videos

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