I thought it would be fun to do a post on cinnamon rolls. They have been a favorite at our house for as long as I can remember. I have learned a few “secrets” that have made them not so daunting. I am assuming since Cinnanbon is a pretty successful franchise, that most people love a good cinnamon roll fresh from the oven. I feel a little better about serving the ones I bake since I use a soft whole wheat bread dough, no butter in the inside and a thin glaze for the topping. Any good bread dough will do–you want a tender crumb so some fat and a dairy product in the recipe is better. Prepare your recipe up until the shaping–for whole wheat doughs that usually includes two risings.
Roll the dough out thinly–I like to use a dowel as pictured. Then spread with water–this is a trick I heard from my older sister, Shelley–she saw it on a cooking show years ago.
Sprinkle with cinnamon mixed with sugar and brown sugar–amounts are up to you–how decadent do you want it???? Now roll quickly. It’s a bit of a mess with the water spilling but just keep rolling!
Firmly squeeze the dough to seal.
Cut the dough with floss or string.
Place on a greased pan to rise, slightly apart.
When rolls are nearly doubled, preheat oven to 375F.
Rolls should be nearly touching each other before baking.
Bake for untl rolls are nicely browned–I find about 20-25 minutest is about right for a whole wheat dough.
Glaze with a thin icing of butter, powdered sugar and milk or water.
I have been advised that I should have added the bread recipe I used to make these rolls……..so here it is:
Buttermilk Bread Recipe
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees–I still use a thermometer to test the water for the yeast every time I bake)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small cup.
3/4 cup very hot water
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cup buttermilk or milk keifer (If you aren’t familiar with Keifer a post on it is coming soon!)
Mix the hot water with the honey and then add the cold buttermilk
Place in your KitchenAid mixer (you can use a big bowl and your hands but be ready for some strong kneading……)
5-6 cups good quality white whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
Mix briefly with the dough hook. Stop the mixer and make a well in the center. …Now pour your liquid ingredients into the well (that would be the yeast and the buttermilk mixtures)
Knead with your dough hook until the sides are clean, the dough looks shiny and not sticky–add 3-4 tb cold butter, cut into little bits, during the knead.
Turn dough out on your counter, give it a few turns to make a nice round dough ball, place into a bowl three times the size of the ball, cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled. When it has doubled, punch down gently, rework into a ball and let rise until doubled again. Now you are ready to follow the directions above. This bread recipe is from Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book–still the best whole grain bread book ever published for home use in my opinion. I have used it extensively and highly recommend it to the beginning or experienced bread baker.