It’s another FOOD post! Whee.
A while back I went through my process of making home made pizza. Today… I’m going after your sweet tooth! Cinnamon rolls, baby!
When I make raised dough (meaning, when I make a yeast dough) I have a basic recipe that I follow. I adjust yeast and sugar measurements based on what I’m making. For cinnamon rolls I will obviously use more sugar than I use when I make pizza dough. So here’s the scoop:
In a large bowl I mix together 3 tablespoons of yeast and 1 cup of sugar. Then I add 2 cups of warm water (about 110 degrees…warm enough for it to feel hot on your wrist without burning you). You’ll let that sit and get bubbly. It should look like this:
See how it’s all foamy? This takes about ten minutes. I add 1.5 tablespoons of salt and 4 tablespoons of oil to the yeast mixture. Then I begin adding flour. When making a “2 cup of water” recipe I will use approximately 12 cups of flour. I dump the first six cups right into the yeast mixture and stir it really well. I add the remaining flour a cup at a time. I stir with a wooden spoon until it’s too diffcult to stir, at which time I dump it onto my flour covered table. Don’t worry. I don’t normally have a flour covered table, but I sprinkle flower over it so the dough doesn’t stick to the table. I add the flour until it’s the right consistency. The right consistency is not sticky. If it is still sticking to your hands as you knead it, you need to add more flour.
Once the dough is the proper consistency I continue to knead it for about five minutes, then form it into a ball so that it can begin to rise. Like this:
This is what it looks like when it begins the rising process. Below is what it looks like when it’s done rising:
I cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel so that the top doesn’t dry out. A lot of people who bake will cover the top of the dough with olive oil or some other kind of oil so that it doesn’t dry out. Do you know how many additional calories you add by putting oil over the top? Not that it matters because, hey! They’re cinnamon rolls. You’re not making this if you’re overly concerned about the fat calories. *shrug*
It takes about an hour to double in size. Longer if your house is cool. Shorter if your house is warm. If you want to really rush the process you can heat your oven to 150 degrees, then turn it off and put the dough inside the oven. It’ll raise in 1/2 hour or less. I only do this if I’m desperate because I feel like it changes the consistency of the dough somehow. I could be wrong, but that’s just been my experience.
After it rises, dump it out of the bowl onto your floured table. With this size of a batch, I’ll split the dough into two portions just to make it more manageable to roll out and roll up. If you cut the recipe in half it’s easy enough to roll out the whole thing.
After it is rolled out spread melted butter evenly over the surface of the dough. You can pre-mix your cinnamon and sugar, or you can dump it individually over the surface. I’m lazy so I don’t pre-mix. I just sprinkle. You know what this means, don’t you? It means I do NOT measure! I just sprinkle it. I use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. Granulated is much easier to spread, but I think it tastes better with brown sugar. Some of your other options at this point are chopped nuts or raisins. I despise raisins in my cinnamon rolls so I don’t do it that way. I do put nuts in it. Since I split my dough in half and do two separate rollings I do one with and one without nuts. Not everyone likes nuts. Then I begin rolling the dough into a long log.
I cut the rolls between one and one & a half inches thick. Put them into a greased (or Pam sprayed) cake pan. Make sure to leave room for them to rise. You can see how much room I leave for them.
Now you have to let them rise again. It takes about half the time during this phase as it does initially. After they’ve doubled in size, bake them at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes (depending on how hot your oven cooks).
Om nom nom!!!! Oh wait. We’re not done! What is a cinnamon roll without some sort of glaze or frosting. My mom makes a powdered sugar/milk glaze and drizzles hers. They’re fine. I guess. But I like something a little richer so I make cream cheese frosting. (1 pck cream cheese; 1/2 stick butter; 1 tablespoon lime juice; 3 cups powdered sugar; milk to get it to the desired consistency).
When they’re all done, this is what they look like:
Take them in to work so that you don’t have a thousand rolls around your house tempting you to eat them. My co-workers were very happy with me!