Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

I'm still working on a post about my trip. For now, I thought i'd share some of the baking I did beforehand.

I'd been meaning to try this recipe for a while, and i'm really pleased I did. Most of the cinnamon bun recipes i've tried yield rich, danish-like pastries as opposed to fluffy, bread-like ones. The relatively low fat content of the dough makes these buns ideal for topping with sugary glaze or creamy frosting.

I used whole milk, all purpose flour, and lemon extract for the dough. I think bread flour would have been better, and i'm eager to try the buttermilk variation. I encourage you to be very cautious with the lemon extract. The Nielsen-Massey brand is incredibly potent, and I wish i'd cut the amount in half. Most of my friends liked the lemon flavor, but I think I would have preferred vanilla.

I haven't included the fondant glaze from the original recipe; it was a pretty standard combination of confectioners' sugar, warm milk, and lemon extract. Instead, i've added a cream cheese frosting recipe from another blog. These buns are texturally similar to the ones sold at Dozen Bakeshop in Lawrenceville, so if you're a fan i'd try out the recipe.

There's nothing quite like biting into a huge, freshly-baked cinnamon roll. I spent a leisurely afternoon proofing, shaping, and baking the dough, and then end product was incredibly satisfying.

Cinnamon Buns
From Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Makes 8-12 large or 12-16 smaller buns

6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract or zest
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups (9 to 10 ounces) whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1. Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to cover it with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

2. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

3. Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 even pieces, each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns; or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.

4. Line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren’t touching but are close to one another.

5. Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

7. Bake the buns for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

8. Cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then glaze the tops. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.

Cinnamon Bun Glaze
From Molly Wizenberg, Bon App├ętit, March 2008

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Anonymous said...

this recioe looks sooo good, and the photos look just great!

Melissa said...

Those look great! I'm always trying to find the perfect cinnamon roll. Matbe this one is it!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lisa, I haven't had a cinnamon bun or roll in ages! These look like the ones I love.
I'm glad to see you are back and can't wait to catch up on your posts.

Jada Ach said...

Wow--these look divine! I've always wanted to try my hand at cinnamon rolls, and I think your post just gave me the final grain of agency I needed. Cheers!