Winter Storm Jonas, I thank you. Cozy home, smelling of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, usually a once-a-year, carby Christmas treat. Mmmm. Except your blustery deluge gives me the perfect physical outlet to burn off these babies.
I mentioned in my last post that I’m into bread making lately, partially as research for a story I’m working on and mostly because I’m looking for another way to cut out processed foods. Okay, yeah, and because I love the smell and memories of a fresh loaf. Slather on some pastured butter. Yum!
The recipes for all of my endeavors, including the one below, come from an out-of-print cookbook (Breads: Step-By-Step Techniques, Sunset Books) that I found years ago in a used bookstore. Each recipe has been spot on.
Colossal Cinnamon Rolls
(Makes 6 rolls, about 12 servings)
2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons of loose
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup currants or raisins
Directions: In a small pan, combine milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, salt, and the 1/2 cup of butter. Heat, stirring, to about 110 degrees (butter need not melt completely).
In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Blend in milk mixture. Gradually mix in 3 cups of the flour, then beat for 5 minutes. Beat in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve remaining egg white), then gradually beat in enough of the remaining flour (about 2 cups) to make a stiff dough. If hand-kneading, turn dough out onto a floured board; knead 10-20 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. If using a stand mixer, add flour a little bit at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl or your finger. Dough should be smooth and shiny.
Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).
Punch dough down. Knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air bubbles; let rest for 10 minutes. Then roll and stretch dough into an 18 x 24-inch rectangle. Brush evenly with the 1/4 cup melted butter.
Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over butter, then sprinkle with raisins. Starting with a narrow side, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Moisten edge of dough with water and pinch it snugly against roll to seal. With a sharp knife, cut roll into 6 equal parts. Arranges slice, cut side up, in pan. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 1 1/2 hours). Note: Because I made my rolls the afternoon before, I let the rolls rise at this step for an hour. Then I covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. The next morning I placed in a warm oven and let them rest for 1/2 hour or so.
Beat reserved egg white with 1 teaspoon water, and brush on the surfaces of rolls. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree (325 degree for a glass pan) for 30 to 35 minutes or until well browned.
With a large spatula, transfer rolls from pan to racks. Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (recipe below) while still warm.
Powdered Sugar Glaze. Beat together until smooth 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon butter (softened). 1/8 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water.