Saturday morning, I wanted cinnamon rolls. There were none in the fridge, since I don’t buy them at the grocery anymore, though I have some wonderful memories of Sunday mornings with Pillsbury rolls and super-sweet coffee with Dad. And I hadn’t made any to freeze for later, so I was out of luck. But I was determined to have some by the weekend’s end, so Sunday was up to bat. Unfortunately, by 0100 on Sunday morning, while we were all sitting around the kitchen laughing at each other during one of those late-night bonding ventures, I still didn’t have a proper recipe that didn’t require a two hour first rising time before I could put it in the fridge for an overnight rise, or didn’t have oddball ingredients like cottage cheese (none in the fridge, thanks). Eventually I went to bed, cursing my lack of recipe. When I woke up at 0630 (thank you, furry children), I went a-hunting for a recipe. More oddball ingredients, too-long rise times for this go-round. Finally, I came to the end of my search at Gluesticks, a domestic & crafts blog. Sandy got the recipe from AllRecipes and altered it to have caramel icing. I altered hers to have butter and homemade vanilla icing. Let me tell you now – these are worlds away from Cinnabon.
This was my first experience with “laminated” dough – or really, any type of short rise yeast dough, and it was a mighty pleasurable experience. Everything mixed up easily, the dough was pliable and simple to work with. If I had to complain, it would be because of the dough’s resistance to rolling, but I suppose that’s a given with any proofed yeast dough; and the butter/sugar spread for the filling Eventually I got it rolled out with a little patience. The spread was a little harder to manage, since the dough was matte and the butter was (of course) a little slippery. But it all worked out in the end. I got it rolled up, pinched and cut into 14 pieces instead of the given 12 in Sandy’s recipe. No complaints there.
Just a tip, in case you’ve never heard it before: when cutting sweet rolls or anything of the like, use unflavored dental floss or stout thread, preferably undyed. Wiggle the thread underneath your dough (without slicing bits off the bottom), wrap around and pull steadily. It will cut your dough cleanly, without the pinched, mashed look you’ll get even when cutting with the sharpest knife.
I won’t give a recipe for the icing, since I didn’t measure anything. Basically, mix powdered sugar and milk until it’s the consistency you want. Add flavoring if you want – my aunt adds almond, I add vanilla, some folks add orange or lemon. Do as you want. They’re your rolls, after all. I think I came up with about a cup and a half or two cups of icing. In the future, I’ll probably make less; that much icing was nearly overkill with the amount of filling in each roll. In any case, make it before you make the rolls, or while you’re waiting for the rolls to bake, or cool, or whenever’s good for you.
Given all that, being a sweet laminated dough covered in sugared butter and powdered sugar icing, I’ll warn you – these rolls are rich business. Cullen couldn’t eat more than one and a half, though Samantha and I managed two apiece as self-proclaimed fat kids. They made quite a breakfast, but if I were you, I’d make sure to cook up some bacon or sausage to cut the sweetness. Now go make some rolls and have a happy Sunday – whatever day – morning.
90-Minute Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Gluesticks recipe
ingredients:3/4 cup milk1/4 c. butter3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 (.25 0z) package instant yeast1/4 cup white sugar1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softeneddirections:Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in butter; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, softened margarine.
Roll out dough into a 12×9 inch rectangle. Spread dough with bu
tter/sugar mixture. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place in lightly greased 12×9 pan/casserole dish. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle icing over rolls (if desired). Serve warm.