Thursday, October 21, 2010

Test Kitchen Cinnamon Rolls

It's ironic that the busier we get, the more I bake and the less I cook healthy meals.  Baking is therapeutic for me, and my theory is I make yummy sweets to de-stress.  Lately the baked goods have been dominating the blog, so I will attempt to post some savory, healthful dinners next.  For now, Cinnamon Rolls!

We do have a cinnamon roll recipe that we live by, so you can try these out and decide which you like better.  These new ones come from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook.  The main difference that puts them above our regular is the frosting!  Warning: LONG recipe.


3/4 c. buttermilk, warm
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted, butter
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 t.) instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 t. salt

3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
pinch salt
1 T. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the pan

3 T. cream cheese, softened
3 T. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Whisk the buttermilk, butter, and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup.  Mix 4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.  With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.

Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If needed after 5 minutes, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.  (you can mix by hand too, knead it for about 10-15 minutes).

Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 1 minute.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and press it into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle.  Brush the dough with the butter.  Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch border along the top edge.  Press on the filling to adhere it to the dough.  

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed.  Roll the cylinder over so that it is seam-side down.  Gently stretch the cylinder until it is 18 inches in length with an even diameter.  Pat the ends of the cylinder to even them.  

Slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls using a serrated knife.  Arrange the rolls cut-side down in a greased 9 by 13 inch metal baking dish and wrap tightly in greased plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size and are pressed against one another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake until the rolls are golden and puffed, 25-30 minutes.  

Flip the rolls out onto a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk together in a large bowl until thick and smooth.  Sift the powdered sugar over the mixture and whisk until smooth, 30 seconds.  Flip the folls upright and drizzle the glaze over the rolls.