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Friday, February 11, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

When I was little, I loved the weekends. Wait, my love of the weekends was not because I wanted to sleep in and I didn’t have to go to school. No no. I loved school. I loved doing homework. I loved practicing my flute. I was a big ole nerd, just not the briefcase carrying, coke-bottle glasses kinda nerd. I was a secret nerd, but now is not the time to discuss my secret nerdiness, perhaps another time. Now we are talking about the weekend!

The weekend meant enjoying a warm breakfast with my family. Mom and I would toil in the kitchen as dad read the morning paper and brother played computer/video games in his room. I would toast slice after slice of bread or watch the bacon get all crispy (then forget it and it gets burnt). Mom would make everyone omelets or cook up dippy eggs. Dad would clip coupons and brother would slaughter monsters, or something like that.

Sometimes, I would take control of the whole breakfast situation. This meant heading to the fridge and pulling out a tube of dough. I’d proudly rip off the label and crack the tube on the counter top. As the dough exploded from its cardboard prison it would let off an amazing aroma of cinnamon and yeast. I always thought the raw dough looked delicious, mom suggested I didn’t eat it, please.

Cinnamon rolls were always my favorite and I preferred when we got the tube of seven, rather than the tube of 5. Sure, the tube of 5 meant bigger cinnamon rolls, but the tube of 7 meant leftovers! I’d have one right out of the oven, then try to sneak back later in the day to get another. Sometimes I’d be too slow and brother would have eaten them all, blast him!

Now I get all the cinnamon rolls. I don’t have to share. I’m greedy with the cinnamon rolls, so here’s the recipe. You have to make your own, I ate all of these and there aren’t leftovers.

Be sure to stop by Candy Challenge 2011! (see it up there?  Below the banner?)  This is where I'll link all of my candy recipes for this year.  This is also where you must add your challenges.  Got a candy you want me to try and make?  Post a reply and consider the gauntlet thrown! 

Cinnamon Rolls
Okay, confessions...  I didn't actually eat all of these, this recipe makes a good amount of cinnamon rolls.  I prepared the rolls on Sunday, up until you cut them and place them on the baking sheet, and stuck them in the fridge.  Then I set my alarm for 3am Monday morning and took them out of the fridge.  Upon waking at 6am I popped them in the oven and took a shower.  When I was ready to go to work I poured the frosting over top.  Coworkers enjoyed warm cinnamon rolls, although they did have to share - the recipe made 9 rolls and there are 11 of us.

6 ½ tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 ½ tbsp shortening
1 egg
1 tsp lemon zest
3 ½ cups bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/8 cups buttermilk
½ cups cinnamon sugar (6 ½ tbsp sugar, 1 ½ tbsp cinnamon)

Cream together sugar, salt and shortening. Add egg and lemon and beat until smooth. Finally, add flour, yeast and buttermilk. Mix together, adding up to two more tablespoons of buttermilk if necessary, to bring together all the ingredients.

Knead dough by hand for 10 minutes or by machine for 8. Dough should pass the windowpane test and be tacky, but not sticky (as in, when you poke it, dough isn’t stuck to your finger). Oil a large bowl and place dough in the bowl, roll dough around to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 2 hours. You want the dough to double in size.

Turn dough out into the countertop and roll out into a 14x12-inch rectangle. Top with an even layer of cinnamon sugar. Roll up the dough so that you have a 14-inch long tube of dough, pinch edge closed. Cut dough into 8-10 rolls and place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. (You can hold the dough at this point in the fridge, just be sure to bring out two hours before baking)

Allow rolls to rise for 75-90 minutes, the rolls should double in size and grow together. Bake at 350 °F for 20 to 30 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown.

Allow rolls to cool for 10 minutes before drowning in fondant glaze. Devour. Try to share.

Fondant Glaze

4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp orange extract
6 tbsp milk

Whisk together all the ingredients, pour over rolls. Lick excess out of the bowl.
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