Tuesday, April 6, 2010

24 delicious reasons not be scared of yeast

Although I didn’t get my act together in time to plan a brunch, I couldn’t let Easter pass me by without making a batch of cinnamon rolls, after all, we only get them twice a year, Easter and Christmas, and December is a long way off. Since I don’t have a crew to feed them to this year, I thought about just taking the easy route and making something more simple and low calorie, like Hungry Girl Cinnamon Rolls, or one of the plethora of recipes online for cinnamon rolls that don’t require rising and rolling and rising again. I found out that some people are scared of working with yeast! They think it’s too hard. To that I say, “Have you TRIED my cinnamon rolls?” So, partly just on principle I decided to go ahead and put in the effort to make REAL cinnamon rolls: straight from the Kitchen Aid cookbook and into my family traditions.

Basic Sweet Dough

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
3 eggs -room temperature
5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Place milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture, eggs, and 5 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 2 minutes.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled. Punch dough down.

(Unless you have a big space to work with and a trusty assistant to help with rolling, I would suggest splitting the dough in half here and continuing on in 2 batches. Also, this is where you could turn this dough into any type of roll or loaf your little heart desires, just to sure you plan for a second hour-long rise after you shape but before you bake)

Cinnamon Rolls

1 batch of basic sweet dough
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 tbsp ground cinnamon

Roll out dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Brush butter evenly onto dough and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the sheet of dough into a log. Cut with a sharp serrated knife into 24 sections.

Place sections face up in a well greased glass baking dish (I usually fill my 9 x 13 and my 8 x 8) being careful to leave about an inch of space between each roll for rising. Cover and let rise in warm place 1 additional hour after shaping.
Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Mom’s Simple Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk or cream

Drizzle milk into powdered sugar until mixture is thin enough to drizzle. Spoon icing over warm cinnamon rolls before serving.

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