17-4: Cinnamon Rolls

I realize it’s now June, but here’s a recipe I made for Mother’s Day this year, at the request of my very own mother. What can I say…it takes a while to actually sit down and write these things sometimes. We were doing brunch at their house this year, and she wanted us to bring cinnamon rolls, so I solved two problems at once by making 17-4: Cinnamon Rolls.

This particular recipe doesn’t include an icing/glaze with it, but if you want one (as I knew my mom would), I used this recipe from food.com and it works just fine. Let’s be honest–the ones in their picture are probably NOT what you pictured when you thought of cinnamon rolls. Whether you’re thinking of their picture or mine, this recipe (with a few tweaks) will probably suit your needs.

This recipe turns out a bit different than what I had anticipated originally (I was picturing more of the Cinnabon/Pillsbury-type rolls), but with the icing recipe I linked to up top (here it is again) and by rolling them tighter and smaller, I was able to somewhat replicate what I wanted.

These ones turned out about the size of Nutrisystem rolls (if you’ve ever had the displeasure of inflicting that culinary torture upon yourself in the name of weight loss, you’ll know what I’m talking about–I’ve done a few rounds of it myself), but definitely much more tasty.

Ingredients. Lactose free milk because that’s how we roll, and yeast is in my jar that I refill from the bulk bins. If you do bulk bin yeast, measure 2 ¼ tsp for 1 package of yeast. I keep a little note with that on top of the jar to remind me.

Mixing my flour into the yeast/milk/butter/sugar/salt mixture. I neglected to take pictures of any of that–my bad.

Dough rolled up and ready to rise. I like to throw a towel over the bowl and put it on top of the refrigerator–a warm, safe, draft-free place to do its stuff.

While my dough rises, I’ll work on making the filling.

Think of it as very spicy frosting.

Flipped the risen dough onto a lightly-floured counter to roll it out.

Okay, it’s a rectangle now.

Using my icing spatula for icing–gotta love justifying superfluous kitchen tools.

I got 8 decent rolls off of my rectangle, with two weird stubby (unpictured) end ones. Those can be the ones we eat for “quality assurance” after they bake.

Simply Delicious eschews traditional white icing for a sprinkling of granulated sugar on top–I got fancy and used turbinado brown sugar that I keep around for fancy coffee and things like this.

Another view of the sugared rolls, with some smatterings of egg wash (I like to thin my egg down with a bit of water when I use it for pastry) sprinkled about. I baked one set of rolls on a Silpat and the other on parchment paper–I wanted to see if there was any difference between the two. For science!

After baking. They got some good rise and color to them, and I think going with the brown sugar was a good plan.

Can you tell which ones were on parchment and which were on the Silpat? Neither can I. So much for that.

They just looked too naked to me, and I knew the reason my mom wanted the rolls was for that icing (she LOVES icing). So, in the spirit of Mother’s Day, I moved my rack onto the still-parchment-lined sheet pan (I LOVE that standard commercial kitchen stuff all fits neatly into each other), whipped up some standard icing, and went to town. This way, at least the clean-up would be easy.

I have to admit, we ate a few of these before we brought them over for brunch. But you know what? Totally worth it. These (especially with the addition of the icing) are pretty damned good. Too good–it’s not always a beneficial thing to have the knowledge and ability to make these kinds of things at home on a whim.

Grade: A