BBA #8: Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls - glazed

I am going to apologize in advance for the woeful dearth of pictures I took of these cinnamon rolls and their making. They were easy and delicious, but I made them as part of my Fourth of July Fiesta. As such, I had a million kitchen projects going and didn’t get enough pictures. The good news is that I got some pictures of everything, as you will reap the rewards for the next few weeks. The bad news is that nothing is going to look as good as it should.

I started the rolls later in the day than I normally bake, around noon. Hey, it was a holiday!  The rolls were the first thing I started.  I don’t normally include photos of ingredients or a mise en place, but I want to prove that my kitchen counters started out clean that day.  Don’t ask how they ended up.

Cinnamon Rolls - ingredients

White sugar!  Whole milk!  Butter!  Salt!  An egg!  You can tell these are going to be good just by how bad for you they are.  (And this doesn’t even include the ingredients for the white fondant glaze: a box of powdered sugar and more whole milk!).  Stop and think for a minute about how your arteries are going to ache and your heart is going to race after you eat one of these.  It’s a delicious pain.  If you’re me, this is already formulating as “future breakfast.”  I like to start my day on a sugar high.

So, I got started by creaming the butter (room temperature!), sugar, and salt together with my hand mixer.  I usually  mix everything by hand, but I figured the pastry-like qualities of this recipe were best started with fluffy shortening.  I then beat in the egg (room temperature!) and the extract.

If I impress nothing upon you through all these recipes, please please please always use room temperature eggs and butter. Your baking will thank you.  If you need some shortcuts on that, check my cupcakes recipe.  No excuses.  Let’s roll.

(Hahahaha! Get it? Let’s roll? Cinnamon rolls? The sugar is going to my head).

Ahem.  So, I beat in the egg and the extract and then slowly beat in the flour, yeast, and milk.  I kept scraping down the sides of my bowl, and stopped frequently.  This dough really wanted to climb up the mixture and jump in my mouth.  As soon as I had a ball pulling away from the bowl, I removed it to the counter and started kneading by hand.  As usual, I had to knead longer than specified– 20 minutes or so.  Still, I was justly rewarded for my efforts.  The dough stretched out to a thin, delicate windowpane that looked like vellum.

Cinnamon Rolls - windowpane

I popped the dough in an oiled bowl and commenced with the cooking for my evening Fiesta.  After  a couple hours, I check the dough, and it had doubled.  I misted the counter with spray oil (you don’t get these shots because of the state of my surrounding counter space) and proceeded to shape the buns.  I rolled the dough out 18″ wide by 9″ across.  I wanted “smaller” cinnamon rolls.  I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar from the recipe over most of the dough, leaving a bit of space at one edge for a seam.  I then rolled it up into a giant cigar-shaped cinnamon roll.  I did use all of the sugar, even though it seemed excessive.  I then cut the dough in individual rolls 1 1/4″ thick.  This yielded 12 rolls and a couple of scraggly bits of dough that I made into little cinnamon twists.  I transferred the rolls to a cookie sheet lined with oiled parchment paper.  I then proofed the rolls for an hour and a half, until they were puffy and giant.

After the rolls were proofed, I baked them in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.  They were not quite as golden on top as I would have liked, but at that point in the evening I was knee-deep in salsa and didn’t notice.  As they cooled, I made the fondant icing, swapping out the lemon extract in favor of vanilla upon the husband’s request.  The vanilla colored the icing just a bit, so if you’re wondering “why lemon” color is a factor as well as flavor!  Upon closer inspection, the massive amounts of cinnamon sugar filling had melted into the buns gloriously, leaving a sticky, cinnamon-y filling.  Gorgeous.

I sloppily drizzled the icing over the buns, using a whisk, a spoon, and eventually just pouring straight out of the bowl.  It wasn’t the most attractive display, but I knew these would be unapologetically devoured.  As the fondant glaze ran off the buns, I spooned it over the buns and let it run into the swirls and crevasses.  They were excellent.  I will definitely make these again and perhaps even venture into the territory of Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns.

Cinnamon Rolls - glazed

This is some more yeasty goodness I’m sending over to Yeastspotting.

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge was developed by Nicole of Pinch My Salt. You can see what we’re baking this week at our Flickr group, on Twitter (#BBA), or check out the challenge page.

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50 thoughts on “BBA #8: Cinnamon Rolls

  1. This looks AWESOME Haley..This is Eboni..I love cinnamon buns and your delicious pictures called to me

    • Hey Eboni! I’m so glad you stopped by! I have a total cinnamon roll weakness, too, and these didn’t last long. Let me know if you would like the recipe – you just need a little time around the house, but they’re really easy!

  2. OK, my Challah is toast (no pun intended) when compared to your gorgeous and mouth watering cinnamon buns! Step aside, Cinnabon, we have the best looking (and no doubt best tasting) cinnamon rolls right here! OMG, I’m drooling…they are perfection – and that dripping glaze..mmm. Might I also add that your photos are lovely? 🙂

    • Thanks, Viki! They are really amazingly delicious, and they were so easy. I will be making these again and again, especially as the dough can be made and shaped, then refrigerated and baked in batches.

  3. These are making my mouth water, literally.

    Two helpful things that I’ve picked up making these (many, many times):

    1) from my blogging idol Joe, of cut the rolls by pulling taut dental floss around the “dough log” which results in more precise cuts/less accidentally smooshing.
    2) roll the dough up on a silpat if you have one, the surface is more forgiving than an oiled counter top.

    Excellent job, and thanks for making me want to spend a weeks worth of calories and saturated fat on my “lunch”

    • I love the dental floss tip! I will have to buy some plain floss, because I’m pretty sure “Mint Satin Glide” would be a little odd. Finally, a use for that unwaxed plain floss the dentist gives out! I also love the idea of rolling this up on a silpat. Two things that will make Round 2 even better.

  4. OMG. Commence drooling.

    See, this is why I rarely bake. My kitchen is the size of a master bathroom. I’m not kidding.

    Those look really good by the way.

    • tee hee! Thank you – I’m glad they inspire a reaction! I, too, have been cursed with a number of odd kitchens. One, galley-style, was a misery. The current one has no dishwasher and not enough counter space, but lots of weird open wall space. I am making do and dreaming of a huge kitchen with a center island one day. Sigh….

      But I will think of cinnamon rolls instead. They were delightful.

  5. So gooey and delicious-looking! And you made your own dough! I hardly ever have time to do that. I’m eating some cinnamon streusel muffins, but I’m sure they don’t hold a candle to these.

    • They were perfect – the yeasted dough was flavorful and substantial, they were cinnamony, and the glaze was a nice touch. But muffins! I could go for some of those right now…I need a change from the sugar I’ve consumed the past few days.

  6. drool, drool, and more drool. cinnamon rolls can never look unappealing to me, regardless of their presentation. kudos to you for making them–from what i can tell, they’re perfect!

  7. Yours turned out so much better than mine, it’s not even funny…. Once the challenge is over, I’ll have to go back and try to perfect a few recipes, cinnamon rolls included.

    Great job!

    • Thank you! But Sally, your recipes always turn out beautifully! And you are one hell of a photographer. I agree about revisiting recipes. I think the Artos could have been even better, and I’d like to make caramel pecan sticky buns, poolish ciabatta. ugh – too many variants! Too many things to try again!

  8. Those look so good. I loved them!!! I made mine the night before and baked them in the morning worked out great. You might want to try that next time?

    • Thanks! I was actually served them for dessert the night I made them – with dulce de leche ice cream and grilled pineapple. I couldn’t get a decent picture, but I will almost certainly keep the dough in the fridge and bake them off in the mornings otherwise.

  9. OK, bad cinnamon bun jokes and all… I’m loving these rolls.
    These really are gorgeous. And the best part is all the drooley frosting lingering beneath them in the pan. Ain’it?

  10. I adore cinnamon buns. Made them once and they were so good I ate the whole pan. Decided I lack the discipline to make them again. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through this post.

  11. Pingback: YeastSpotting 7.10.09 | Wild Yeast

  12. Those cinnamon buns look so perfect . . . And I love the shot of the “windowpane” of dough. Great job!

  13. WTH is wrong with these shots? These rolls look amazing. If they injected vitamins & such in them, I’d have them as a meal replacement.

    • tee hee – you flatter me! Some of the pictures were quite dark, but I used my handy-dandy recipe notebook to reflect a bit of light from the kitchen window for these since they were in an awkward spot. And oh, I so wish I could eat cinnamon rolls instead of proper meals. And bacon. Cinnamon rolls and bacon.

  14. Lovely looking buns you got there Appoggiatura.

    I agree with Peter. Your pictures are great. You’re making me crave cinnamon rolls.

    Loved your post.

  15. I am doing mine on Friday. I am planning on eating them for breakfast on Saturday and then promptly going into a sugar coma and falling asleep for the weekend.

    Looks amazing!!!

    • Thanks, Laura! I am really wanting to make the sticky buns variation. I love caramel, but I was a little intimidated. Now that I’ve got one version under my belt, I’m ready for it!

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