Sunday, November 21, 2010

To be Glazed or Not To Be Glazed

For the first time in many many years, my family is leaving home for Thanksgiving.  I am always a stickler for keeping out well worn-in and truly loved traditions for holidays. So we are taking our family recipes and menus with us!  But sometimes things change and a new recipe can make its way into your traditions... this one snuck in last year. I hope you all have great Thanksgiving and let a new recipe or two make its way into your own traditions.  

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe taken from Baking Illustrated

“A puffy cinnamon roll coated with thick white icing brings out the child in all of us, encouraging even the most mature person to greedily uncoil its tight swirls and dig in Some of us in the test kitchen have been know to drop in by the local mall just to worship at the shrine to calorie-laden cinnamon rolls (which shall remain nameless). As delicious as those artery-clogging rolls can be, they are too much for all of us but the rarest hedonistic fit. They are so sweet and so rich that it’s nearly impossible to finish one roll. Our ideal cinnamon roll is a little more reserved. The dough should be soft and rich but not greasy. The filling should be slightly sweet, rather than sugary sweet, and potent with cinnamon. The icing should be creamy and thick and boast a tang sufficient to balance the richness and sweetness elsewhere in the roll.” “Shaping the dough into pinwheel spirals could not have been any easier. The soft dough gracefully yielded to a light touch under the rolling pin as we rolled it out. We then sprinkled it with the filling and rolled it up slowly and tightly so that the rolls would not uncoil while cooking. The best tool for cutting the soft dough into rounds turned out to be dental floss. Eccentric as it seems, using dental floss (make sure it’s unflavored) lets you smoothly cut though soft dough without squeezing the filling out of place."

"Although a few tasters liked a thin, drizzled powdered sugar and cream glaze, most tasters preferred a thick, tangy cream cheese icing. We altered a standard cream cheese icing by omitting the butter and adding corn syrup for glossiness and smoothness. A judicious smear of icing (rather than a heavy, thick coating) was appropriate on these civilized rolls.” 
"Because cinnamon is the predominant flavor in these rolls, make sure to have good-quality, fresh cinnamon on hand. While we rarely grind our own cinnamon, we try to make sure that our ground cinnamon is less than 6 months old and from a reputable source, like Penzeys or McCormick/Schilling. This dough should be very tender and soft, so be stingy with additions of flour. Only a very light dusting is necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface while rolling it." 

½ cup milk 
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 
½ cup warm water (about 110˚ degrees) 
1 envelope (about 2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast 
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar 
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon salt 
4-4 1/4 cups (20 to 21 ¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface 

8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool 
2 tablespoons corn syrup 
2 tablespoons heavy cream 
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted to remove any lumps 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Pinch salt 

¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) light brown sugar 
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt - without the icing, I found this to be too salty

For the dough: Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100˚ degrees).
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, egg, and yolks at low speed until well mixed. Add the salt, warm milk mixture and 2 cups of the flour and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed ( adding up to ¼ cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary) until the dough is smooth and freely clears the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a round, pace it in a very lightly oiled large bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

For the icing:
While the dough rises, combine all of the icing ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and blend together at low speed until roughly combined, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and mix until icing is uniformly smooth and free of cream cheese lumps, about 2 minutes. Transfer the icing to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. To roll and fill the dough: After the dough has doubled, press it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle, with a long side facing you. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the far edge. Roll the dough, beginning with the long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips as you roll. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on ends, if necessary to make a uniform 16-inch cylinder. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces using dental floss and place the rolls, cut-side up, evenly in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To bake the rolls: When the rolls are almost fully risen, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350˚ degrees. Bake the rolls until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one of the rolls reads 185˚ to 188˚degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Invert the rolls onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the rolls upright on a large serving plate and use a rubber spatula to spread the icing on them. Serve immediately.

Thank you to my friend, Mo for being a great model anda fablous baker. We chose not to ice our rolls, but you make the final call on your own cinnamon rolls

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