The NY Giants’ regular season opener was on a Sunday morning, out here in LA at least, and it was the perfect excuse for me to try making cinnamon rolls. As you may remember I was originally intimidated by this recipe, and also didn’t want to take the necessary time needed out of my day to wait for yeast to rise, so last time I had that cinnamon itch I made these cinnamon roll cookies instead. (totally legit and way quicker!)
Well, I finally did it. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. It took more time than I expected, I gave myself 3 early morning hours, and it still didn’t allot me enough room for error, or slow rising. I had even mise en placed all my ingredients the night before, and prepared to use my car ride for some of the proofing time. Oh well, they took a little longer but were well worth it in the end, because they came out fantastic!
I got this recipe from On Baking, the textbook from my baking class, so the measurements are in weights. I made half a batch, 12 Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls, and that’s the recipe I’m providing for you below. For my first time it wasn’t a bad experience, though I think I worked the dough a little too much, it got too warm, because after proofing there was a lot of butter at the bottom of the bowl. Well, you do what you do, and hopefully you’ll master these like I did!
12 JUMBO CINNAMON ROLLS – from On Baking, p.261
For the dough:
- 6oz Buttermilk
- 30g Instant Yeast (about 4 packets if you’re using the tear apart kind)
- 24g Egg (half an egg – whisk one egg a bit, then measure out 24g)
- 30g egg yolks (1.5 yolks – same thing – mix 2 yolks together and measure out 30g)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 240g (1/2 lb) pastry or AP flour (I used AP)
- 240g (1/2 lb) bread flour (not optional – can’t sub AP)
- 75g granulated sugar
- 11g salt
- 270g unsalted butter, softened
In the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook, combine buttermilk, yeast, egg, yolks, and vanilla. When those are mixed, add everything else. (sorry the pix are so dark!)
Mix on medium until well blended so the dough reaches 75F (I mentioned mine might have gotten too warm, I didn’t take the temp but I should have), and passes a windowpane test. (I’d research windowpane if you aren’t familiar, but basically a small pinch of dough should stretch thin enough that you can see through it but it doesn’t tear.)
Let the dough rise until doubled – about an hour. (**This took me 2 hours**) For this I used a trick I picked up somewhere on the internets, I’d give you credit if I could remember from whom I obtained this info. Put the covered bowl (plastic wrap) in the oven on the upper shelf, and a pot of boiling water on the bottom for a makeshift proofbox. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN. This just creates a nice warm and moist environment for the yeast. (It could have been too warm, maybe that’s why my butter melted. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.)
For the filling:
- 90g unsalted butter, melted
- 8g ground cinnamon
- 90g brown sugar
- Pecans and raisins are optional (180g each if you want), but I chose to use neither
So I used a bit extra sugar. Who’s putting back extra sugar? No one. You’re welcome. You can start the filling while the dough is rising. You can actually finish it too, it takes two seconds. Combine the butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Boom. Set aside.
Maybe set up your baking pan now too. I used a half sheet lined with a silpat to make sure I had plenty of room for these puppies to spread.
Once your dough is ready, punch it down and roll it out into a rectangle that’s 18×15″. I actually found that my wooden carving board is exactly 18×15, so I used that as a gauge. It’s really difficult to get the dough into a rectangle, so don’t be discouraged if you’re having a hard time. It took a lot of rolling for me to get that wonky quadrangle.
Spread the filling evenly over the dough. This might be a bit easier said than done. The butter was flowing everywhere, and the sugar and cinnamon were clumping. I used a silicon spatula and just did my best. Once these are rolled, I’m sure you’ll find there’s plenty of filling in each.
Speaking of… Roll up your dough starting from the shorter end. You heard me, these are jumbo rolls! Then split them into 12 even segments, about 1.5 inches wide, using a very sharp knife. I had a little trouble cutting these evenly, even after scoring the tops to lay out a guideline for myself. (see them in the picture?) You can use a ruler, but that depends on what kind of person you are. I’m the kind who, upon thinking about it, doesn’t own a ruler. I make my own rules! (bwahahaha)
Ahem. Put the rolls cut side up in your half sheet, or whatever vessel you’ve chosen, and let them rise until they’ve increased 70% in volume (as in not quite doubled). This took me about an hour I’d say. The car ride was 35 mins, plus once I got there they still looked small so I let them sit on top of the stove for a bit where I noticed significant rising. You can preheat your oven to 350ºF while these are proofing, or call your friend and have him get it started for you. (forgot to get a pic when they were done proofing, sorry, but they were significantly puffier. Say 70% so ) Also, see the wonderfully even rolls I cut? WTF is wrong with me?
When they’re ready, bake until golden brown – about 20-25 minutes. You’ll be so glad you did.
For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp warm water (I ended up using 3Tbsp, but use more or less depending how thick you want it. They’re going to be drippy, it’s supposed to be, get over it )
When I took them out, I doused them, still in the half sheet, completely with the frosting. I’d considered doing self serve, but this just seemed so much more fun! They’re so… hypnotic!
Use a spatula (or your hands) to serve, and enjoy!
I think these were pretty evil, at least a 4, in both preparation and the squeals of ecstasy I heard coming from everyone not only while they were baking, but once they were being consumed. I’d say these are highly dangerous to your waistline and your free time.