Sunday, January 07, 2007

King Arthur's Cinnamon Rolls

I was in Hawaii a few weeks ago and when I got back to Portland, my mood turned as grey as the cloud-filled sky. So to cheer me up, I went to the grocery store. There had to be something fun to do there!

And look what I found!

fun in a box
fun in a box!

After reading breadbasketcase's blog for the last year, I have been feeling the bread bug. I've only baked a few loaves of bread, usually when Portland gets one of those freak "snow storms" and the city shuts down for a day or two, but I've really enjoyed working with yeast doughs. They are so much fun to knead, and that whole rising thing is just magical!

However, I am reluctant to start baking fabulous bread, which I would under RLB's instructions, because I am a bread hog and I would gain so much damn bread weight. Cannot. Bake. My Own. Bread.

But, bake a box of cinnamon rolls? Perfect! I thought freshly baked cinnamon rolls would go good with the Belgian Lambic, spaghetti, and jarred tomato sauce I also bought. Can we say comfort food binge?

It actually took me a couple of days to get to the cinnamon rolls, only because I was lazy and also upset at being back in crappy Portland. Why isn't Portland tropical? Wah.

pre-baked little roll
focus ECL...this post is about cinnamon rolls...

These cinnamon rolls are pretty easy to make. There is a bag of the bread mix, to which you add the yeast, an egg, some warm water, and a chunk of butter. Then you mix to combine, dump it in a greased bowl, cover and let rise.

I added a little too much water and my butter wasn't quite room temperature. But that's okay! I mixed it up with my hand so as to smush up the butter, and it was a sticky, sticky mass o'dough.

Who cares! Beer and cinnamon rolls!

After the dough rose a bit, I spread out a large lightly greased mat of plastic wrap, dumped out the sticky yet springy dough, covered it with another layer of lightly greased plastic wrap, and began rolling.

Rolling out springy cinnamon roll dough is kind of a pain in the ass. Eventually, after what seemed like the passing of many many hours, the damn dough, so cute and puffy and a pain in the ass, was rolled out to the right size and I could spread it with the cinnamon paste.

Now, sit up straight and pay attention, because this is the fun part:
to roll the cinnamon rolls, you have to roll up the long edge of this sticky dough. I never knew how the hell to do that without drama, until I read how to do it somewhere in some RLB book. You use the bottom layer of plastic wrap to roll up the dough, much like you would use that little bamboo mat to roll up sushi!

Is that cool, or what? Cool!

After rolling up the big log, I cut the dough into 9 uneven pieces and placed them in a 9x9 square pan. Greased, of course.

This got covered with a lot of plastic wrap and shoved in the refrigerator.

first rise, rolled, and ready for the refrigeration
ready to be shoved in the refrigerator

The next day I dragged myself out of bed, pulled the little rolls out of the refrigerator and placed by our tiny electric heater to warm up while I forced myself to wake up (ie: showered).

The rolls puffed up a little bit more and were ready to go by the time I was clean and awakened.

second rising
after the second rise; puffy and so cute!

Off they went into the oven for 45 minutes, and I tell you, those little puffy cinnamon rolls were already so cute that I was in love before they were edible. You can bet when they baked up all nice and golden that I was even more in love with them, and as they cooled in their pan I stirred up the glaze and spread it over the rolls.

And all I have to say is, "tasty."

cinnamon roll!

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