Friday, August 9, 2013

Classic Cinnamon Rolls

A few months ago Food Network Magazine did it again.  They had my taste buds roaring as soon as I pulled the magazine out of my mailbox.  As soon as I opened the mailbox I saw that brightly colored magazine with a picture of the ultimate cinnamon roll on the cover.  This cinnamon roll was huge, flecks of nutmeg throughout the roll and the right amount of cinnamon sugar was seeping through the swirls at the top of the roll, this perfection of a roll was topped with just the right amount of frosting and it was calling my name.  I skimmed over the cover as I was walking back to the house just to see what was included in the issue and then I saw the magical words "12 pages", 12 pages dedicated to the goodness that is cinnamon rolls.  12 pages dedicated to not only the classic cinnamon roll but a variety of other breakfast treats that utilize this perfected sweet roll dough recipe.
Now came the hard part; which recipe to make.  Not only did they provide an amazing, drool-worthy cinnamon roll recipe, but they also provided a mocha loaf, lemon knots and a few other recipes.  All of which were equally enticing.  I honestly wanted to make them all at once, but then at the expense of not wanting to grease the doorway to exit my house and to spare my waistline I decided to make just one recipe...at a time.  You didn't think I was going to make just one and then move on, did you?  After going back and forth between all of the amazing recipes, I finally decided to start with the classic; the cinnamon roll. 
Boy was I happy with my decision.  This cinnamon roll blew my socks off.  I mean I've tried various cinnamon roll recipes, and while some have come close to perfection none have been quite perfect.  I ate them thinking, well that was good but next time I want to try ______, or ______.  Well, let me rephrase, none of them were perfect until now.  Yes, I've finally come across the perfect cinnamon roll.  I know perfect is a strong word to use and shouldn't be used lightly, but this cinnamon roll is just that, perfect. 
Food Network got this dough just right, it's spot on and everything I want in a cinnamon roll.  In fact, the dough is so perfect they've taken it an made several other breakfast delicacies with it.  All that testing of various cinnamon rolls to find the perfect texture, amount of filling, the right frosting and just the right amount slathered on each roll paid off.  They took all that testing, went back to their kitchens and worked tirelessly to create perfection; the perfect dough, just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar, butter and frosting.   They did it and they succeeded.  These cinnamon rolls not only "walked the walk" and looked like the ultimate cinnamon roll, they "talked the talk" from the texture to the taste, it was all there. 
The dough is a basic sweet roll dough; slightly sweet, airy,  and it yields a large and fluffy roll.  The dough is very easy to make; simple combine the ingredients, knead, and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.  The dough is then punched down to release any excess air and placed in the refrigerator overnight to rise.  The next morning the dough is rolled out, just the right amount of butter that is room temperature is spread over the rectangle of dough and then the cinnamon sugar mixture is sprinkled over the butter.  After that a log is made, thread or floss is used to evenly and smoothly cut 12 rolls that are all equal in size.  Another hour of rising and then a 25 minute baking period and then your ready to partake in the best cinnamon roll ever. period.  This may seem like a long process of kneading and rising, but let me tell ya, it's worth every. single. second. 
It didn't take us long devour these rolls, and even scraping the pan to be sure we didn't leave a morsel of frosting.  Spencer even said these were the best cinnamon rolls I had ever made.  They also got Tucker's seal of approval!  These were a hit, to say the least, and they've quickly become a family favorite!  Treat your family to these amazing rolls this weekend, they will be forever grateful! 

Classic Cinnamon Rolls
Ingredients:

Basic sweet roll dough-
1/2 Cup whole milk
1 1/4 Oz packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 Tsp)
1/4 Cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more for brushing)
1 Large egg yolk
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 Cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

For the rolls-
1 1/2 Sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature (plus more for greasing the pan)
1/3 Cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon (I used Saigon cinnamon)
All purpose flour, for dusting
1 Batch basic sweet roll dough

For the glaze-
1 1/4 Cups confectioners' sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Instructions:

For the dough-
Combine a 1/2 cup warm water and milk in a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Place a thermometer in the saucepan and heat the liquids until the thermometer registers at 100-110 degree F.  Remove the mixture from the heat and sprinkle yeast over the top, followed by a pinch of sugar and set aside for about 5 minutes.

Once the mixture has had time to set and the top looks slightly foamy, add the melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla and whisk to combine. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt and nutmeg (if using) and whisk to combine.  Make a well in the center of the mixed ingredients then add the yeast mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until a thick and slightly sticky dough forms.  Turn the dough out on a clean, floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl that has been brushed with butter, turn the dough around the bowl to coat with butter. 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly to release any excess air.  Return to the bowl, brush a piece of plastic wrap with butter and wrap bowl tightly.  Place dough in the refrigerator and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

To make the rolls-
Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine.

On a clean, floured surface roll the dough out into a 10x18 inch rectangle.  Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one of the long sides.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the butter.  Brush the clean border with water, then tightly roll the dough into an 18 inch log, rolling toward the clean border.  Once the log is formed pinch the seam to seal.

To cut, slip a taut piece of thread or unflavored floss under the roll, about 1 1/2 inches from the end.  Lift the ends of the thread, then cross over the roll, pulling tightly to cut off a piece.  Repeat the process, cutting every 1 1/2 inches to make 12 rolls. 

Place the rolls in the prepared baking dish/pan.  Cover the pan with a clean dish towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. 

During the end of the rising process, preheat oven to 350.  Uncover the rolls and place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the rolls spring back when they are pressed.  Remove the rolls from the oven once they are completely baked and allow to cool for 10 minutes.* Once the rolls have cooled slightly, spread the glaze evenly over the tops.

To make the glaze-combine the confectioners' sugar, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

*The rolls can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.  Once the rolls are removed from the oven, allow them to cool completely.  Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag and place in the freezer.  To reheat, remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight, heat and then glaze.

Recipe source: Food Network Magazine, May 2013

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10 comments:

Kate said...

I love doughnuts for breakfast :)

Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Love stuffed french toast or eggs benedict!

katie said...

These look heavenly! Crabcakes benedict is my fav.

USA Kiwi (Kylee) said...

I love pancakes for breakfast! LOVE them.

The Home Cook said...

I love savory breakfasts. My favorite is eggs Benedict.

Heather King said...

I love French Toast in the morning!

susan said...

i like french toast in the mornings. spriceatvnetdotnet

llum said...

French toast with real maple syrup!

Amy said...

(I don't know if my original comment went through.)

It's a hard decision for me. I'd take an ooey, gooey cinnamon roll with a side of fresh fruit or a slice of a savory egg bake and some buttered toast!

Stacey said...

This is very hard! I go back and forth between savory (eggs benedict, an egg scramble, etc) and sweet (cinnamon rolls or hearty french toast).

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