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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I was itching to bake yesturday, to make something from scratch, to fill this foreign smelling condo with a "baking scent"...so Elle and I made Cinnamon Rolls. I have literally been to the grocery store 6 (yes, SIX) times since I have been here, and I have not even been here a week. It is amazing how many things you just have when you cook/bake often that lasts a while and you don't really consider often. Well, here I started with hardly anything- I brought along some recently purchased items from Azure Standard like organic flour, sugar and black beans- but other than that I mainly brought baby food and child's snaks. Every time I try and make a meal I find myself realizing I don't have a very basic ingrediant that I always would have had on hand back home.
Homemade meals really are cheaper than eating out (not to mention way healthier) all the time, but when you are starting with having to re-buy everything like baking soda, baking powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, spices, seasonings, etc... it gets spendy fast!
So Elle and I made these cinnamon rolls after carefully checking the ingrediants and going to to grocery store to get all that we needed. I put them in the fridge to chill overnight with the plan to get up an hour before Michael had to leave for work to set them out and cook them and put icing on them so they could enjoy them warm that morning.... As they were cooking, I began to make the icing (which had a separate ingrediants list)... and had no powdered sugar! It was 4:30 in the morning and no grocery store close enough to make it there and back in time, let alone worth risking who knows what being out in this area in the dark... so the kids and I had icingless cinnamon rolls this morning... but we made our 6th grocery run this afternoon and I got powdered sugar, so we'll try again tomorrow. =)

Here's the recipe: (altered from Better Home and Gardens Cook book)
Prep: 45 Minutes    Rise: 1 hour     Chill: 2-24 hours (or not at all)
Stand: 30 Minutes (if you choose to chill)   Bake: 20-25 minutes 
Oven: 375 degrees    Makes: 24 rolls

4 3/4-5 1/4 Cup of all-purpose flour                                      Vanilla Glaze:
1 package dry active yeast
1 Cup milk (I think whole milk works best)                           In a small bowl stir together 2 1/2 Cups
1/3 Cup butter                                                                        powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons light colored
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar                                                      Olive Oil, 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla. Add
1/2 teaspoon Salt                                                                    enough half and half to reach drizzeling
3 eggs                                                                                      consistancy. (about 2-4 Tablespoons)
1 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 Tablespoon Cinnamon
3/4 Cup butter
a few Tablespoons of half and half
1 recipe of Vanilla Glaze

Optional add ins:
Raisins, pecans, chocolate chips, peeled and diced apple chunks (I used these)

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/4 Cups of the flour and yeast. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, 1/3 Cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt just until warm (120-130 degrees F) and butter almost melts; add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with electric mixer (or a strong arm as I did...) on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as mush of the remaining flour as you can.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (about 3-5 minutes). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn one. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about an hour).
3. Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in  half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease two 9x1 1/2 inch round baking pans or 2 baking sheets; set aside. For filling, stir together brown sugar, the 1/4 C flour, and cinnamon; cut in 1/3 Cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Roll each half of dough into a 12x8 inch rectangle. Using 1/2 of remaining butter on each rectangle, spread butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle filling over butter. If desired sprinkle any optional add on's at this time. Roll up each rectangle starting from a long side. Seal seams. Slice each roll into 12 peices. Place cut sides down in prepared pans or baking sheets.
5. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. Chill for 2-24 hours. Uncover; let stand at room tempature for 30 minutes. (Or, to bake rolls right away, don't chill the dough. Instead, cover loosely; let dough rise in a warm place undtil nearly double, about 30 minutes.)
6. Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick. Brush dough with half and half. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light brown (you may want to cover the rolls with foil the last few minutes to prevent over browning). Remove from oven. Brush again with half and half. Cool for 1 minute. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze. Serve warm.