Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cinnamon Buns for Breakfast

I have been looking for a cinnamon roll recipe that suits my fancy for years. One time I made some that were just perfect. Not doughy and soggy like some, but more like a thin bread dough rolled with butter, sugar and cinnamon. They were baked in a small 8x8 square pan, so they didn't spread out, just up. They were very tall and tight, browned to perfection and drizzled with powdered sugar icing and delicious. Just as I have many times before (and since) I lost the was in a bread machine cookbook. You know one of those cheesy made up cookbooks that comes with the 30 dollar bread machines. It is probably buried somewhere in a closet or the dreaded attic, but where ever it is I haven't been able to match that recipe. Maybe if I found the recipe I would realize that it wasn't as good as I remember, but hopefully someday I will either find it or figure out the secret to match it. Until then I keep searching...

I have tried plain bread dough rolled with butter, cinnamon and sugar...too dry and not enough flavor. I want them to rise up through the middle, so that the center is higher than the rest like a mountain or volcano. I have also tried numerous other "recommended" recipes and recipes in various cookbooks, but most of them are the thick gummy sweet dough that reminds me of a honeybun. They always leave me with that yeasty aftertaste, that just doesn't go well with my coffee...

Well the bread machine has long since been given to Goodwill, and I keep searching... Last night I got about 4 hours sleep trying a new recipe, which I have to say is very good, but still not the ultimate cheapo bread machine recipe. It was the recipe from Peter Reinhart's book A Bread Baker's Apprentice on page 143 for cinnamon buns. The word buns lets me know that it is probably not what I am looking for, but I knew the kids would love them...and they did.

First, the shortening (or in my case butter since I was out of shortening) is creamed with sugar and salt. Then the egg is added and mixed in with the butter mixture. Peter adds lemon extract, which I omitted. Next, is the flour, yeast and liquid is added. I used a small amount of whole wheat flour, a cup of AP flour and the rest bread flour (If I had it to do over I would use all bread and whole wheat, because I am looking for a tougher dough). It is then mixed for a few minutes in the stand mixer with the paddle and 10 minutes with the dough hook. (Peter suggests that the dough should pass the windowpane test, but mine never did, probably because of the AP flour making it too tender) The dough is placed in a greased bowl to rise for 2 hours, then rolled out thin into a rectangle. (Mine was bigger than suggested in the book, but I just seemed too small at 14x12 inches) Next, the cinnamon sugar is sprinkled over the dough and it is rolled tight, jellyroll fashion. Then it is cut into large pieces about 1 1/2 to 2" thick, and placed in a 1/2 sheet pan lined with greased parchment. I went to the fridge with them (because of time, 1am now).

I set the alarm for 3AM and went to bed. Once the alarm went off, I stumbled downstairs and pulled the rolls out of the fridge (just in time I might add, because my sour dough starter was about to explode on the counter...but that's another post for another time). Now, I set the alarm for 5:30AM and went back to bed.

Now, the cinnamon buns had risen significantly, and were ready to go into the oven. I preheated the oven to 350 F and popped them in for about 25 minutes, until golden and cooked through.

They turned out very nice and smelled delicious...Everybody loved them...except maybe for one guy who's still searching for the perfect cinnamon roll.


Anonymous said...

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Chad said...