Friday, April 3, 2009
I can feel it already – the chill in the air in the mornings, the sun setting a little earlier each evening, the apples and plums that have appeared at the markets, the leaves starting to change colour – autumn is definitely here. I am always a little torn around this time of year, between wanting to hold on to the gorgeous long hot summer days, and feeling just about ready to dig out the scarf and the stockpot.
I sat on the train home the other day, doodling in a brand new notebook and writing a list of autumn and winter recipe ideas, when I remembered I’d bookmarked the recipe for Molly’s cinnamon rolls when it was published in her column in Bon Appetit back in March 2008. I was saving it for cool weather, but it has taken me a year to finally make it. And I am so glad that I finally did, because these are something special.
I’ve had this feeling lately, that I want to do more baking with yeast – I make pizza dough on a regular basis, but I do want to try my hand at more breads and sweet doughs. It no longer makes me as nervous as it used to, but I still feel like quite a beginner at yeasted doughs. This is an easy recipe that comes together in minutes in a stand mixer. In fact the only part I found a little difficult was waiting for the dough to rise!
The cinnamon rolls are sweet and sticky, with a good kick of cinnamon, but the cream cheese icing was pure genius. They are at their best when still warm from the oven. We polished off the whole batch within 24 hours, I’m not kidding. There is no doubt I will be making these again soon. The winter is long, after all.
Adapted from Molly’s recipe on Epicurious
• 1 cup milk
• 45g unsalted butter
• 3 ½ cups plain flour
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 ¼ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Non-stick vegetable oil spray
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 55g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 100g cream cheese, room temperature
• 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
• 55g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. For the dough, combine milk and butter in a microwave safe cup or bowl. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, until butter melts and mixture is warm.
2. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast and salt. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Add remaining 2 ½ cups flour and beat on low speed until flour is absorbed. If dough is very sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, adding more flour if sticky, for about 8 minutes. Form into a ball. Lightly oil a bowl with non-stick spray. Transfer dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then a tea towel. Let dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
5. For the filling, mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.
6. Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured work surface. Roll out a 30x40cm rectangle. Spread butter over the dough, leaving 1.5cm border. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a log. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices, 1.5cm wide.
7. Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with non-stick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging with cut side up. Cover with plastic wrap, then a tea towel. Let dough rise for 40-45 minutes, until almost doubled in volume.
8. Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 190°C (375°F). Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn rolls right side up.
9. To make the glaze, combine cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.