Friday, February 25, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Cinnamon Rolls

Tonight for my night shift baking I decided to try this recipe that I have been wanting to try for ages since I saw it on Patent and the Pantry's Blog. They sounded easy and looked delicious. Her post also moved me a lot and I especially loved how she wrote it and made these for her friend who died. It goes to show that baking really does equal love and caring for others. 

The recipe is very easy. Even if you are scared of yeast, you will find this a breeze to make and a recipe that you will use over and over again. There is no kneading required and you can really mix up the icing and the filling if you want to to make them taste different. Before I go on I must say that I did make a couple of errors. The first mistake I made was to completely forget to sprinkle the dough with sugar. I did the butter bit (although not as much as the recipe stated), then sprinkled on the cinnamon...and then totally forgot about the sugar which was meant to go on before the butter. DOH!!! I tried to redeem myself but unrolling each individual roll seemed endless and fruitless, so I instead sprinkled one pan with sugar on the bottom and the other with sugar on top. I thought I might as well give it a go and see if it made a difference since I had already screwed it up...! The second mistake I made was to put the rolls in the pan too close together which meant that they weren't able to rise as well. I thought they looked a bit snug at the time but hey there is no point in regrets...or is there?

So despite the mistakes they still taste really really good. Although they are a bit small, (as they weren't able to spread their wings in such a confined space), the dough is very light and tasty. I actually think that they are sweet enough and I used only about 1/3 of a cup of sugar instead of the 1 c in the recipe. The icing really sweetens it a lot and as the dough also has sugar in it, maybe the 1 c of sugar within the rolls would have made them too sweet. Next time, however, I'll make sure to follow the recipe properly... you know just to make absolutely sure!

Anyway here it goes...

Cinnamon Rolls

2 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
1 sachet of yeast (or else 2 1/2 tsp yeast)

Put these into a pot and scald the milk (bring it just about a boil). Remove from the heat and let it cool until it is lukewarm, about 45 mins-1 hr. It looks a bit curdled but don't worry just give it a whisk and it will be fine. Sprinkle over the yeast and let it sit for a minute.

Add in 4 c of flour and stir it in. Let it rise in a warm place until it has at least doubled in size, about an hour or so.

Just mixed in

After the rising period...not a great photo sorry
Add in another 1/2 c flour, a heaped 1/2 tsp baking powder, a scant 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt. Stir it in may need to knead them a little bit to get all the ingredients in. This is a soft and sticky dough so try not to be tempted to add more flour into the dough itself.

Sprinkle the bench with a generous amount of flour. Divide the dough in half and roll out to a rough rectangle. Drizzle over 1/4 c melted butter (I used a little less), then sprinkle with a 1/2 c sugar followed by a good amount of cinnamon. In fact for the second roll I made i just brushed it with the melted butter.

Nicely spread with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon...pity I forgot the sugar!

Rolled and ready to cut
Slice rolls into even pieces, about 1- 1/2 inches wide. Brush the pan (I used disposable ones form the supermarket but any low cake pan is good), with melted butter and lay in the rolls cut side up. As you can see I over-squashed mine so give them room to expand. Let them rise for 20-30 mins.

Too squashed but luckily they still taste lovely

Bake at 190 C until golden brown- about 15-18 mins.

These ones had the sugar on the bottom

And these ones had it on top

about 300 gms icing sugar
1/4-1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
Vanilla (or you can use lemon zest and juice, or any other drizzle icing you want)

Mix together making sure it isn't too thick or too runny. Pour over the slightly warm rolls. YUM!!! The photos (which I took just after pouring the icing on top) make the icing layer look really thick but once it settles into the grooves of the rolls it does look a lot prettier. I think if I had made them properly and not so snug in the pans, the icing would have looked even better.

***Before I go, most of you overseas will have heard of the terrible earthquake that happened in Christchurch on Tuesday at lunchtime. It has been devastating to the region and to the whole country. We are a small country and I know we will all pull together during this terrible time. It is so sad to see that so many people have died and that so much of the city's heritage and beauty has been destroyed. So kia kaha Christchurch, our thoughts are with you during this time and we will all try to do what we can to help you through it xxx***

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