Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

A few weeks ago, I hosted a breakfast extravaganza for Mom, Dave, Lenny, Jerome, John and myself. I served two different kinds of waffles, vegetarian sausage links and patties, Mom's fruit salad, and the cinnamon buns described in this entry.

These cinnamon rolls are based on the Fruit Sweet and Sugar-Free cookbook's "The Best Egg Bread" and "Our Famous Cinnamon Rolls" recipes. I've made a few little alterations. I've included both still photos and little movies in the description. Please let me know what you think!

Do ahead:
The day before, make the cinnamon roll filling below.

Cinnamon Roll Filling:
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour

1. Toast the walnuts in a 350 degree F oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool, then chop them coarsely either by hand or via a food processor.
2. Boil one cup of water and add the raisins. Cut off the heat when the water returns to a boil again, and let the raisins plump for 10 minutes. Drain the raisins and store them in the fridge until needed.
3. Cream the agave nectar and the butter until well mixed. Stir in the cinnamon and flour, then the walnuts. Refrigerate this mixture until you're ready to use it.

Make the Egg Bread:
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons agave nectar
6 tablespoons softened butter
3 eggs beaten
2 teaspoons dry baker's yeast
2 teaspoons salt
5 - 5 1/4 cups unbleached white flour

1. Scald the milk with the agave necar over medium heat.
2. Combine the scalded mixture with the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.

3. After the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add the eggs, yeast, salt and 5 cups of flour until it forms a soft dough. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Place the well-kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

5. After the first rise (about 1-2 hours), gently deflate the dough and knead it in the bowl for about 1 minute. Then cover it again, and let it rise again until doubled.

Assemble the Cinnamon Buns:

1. After the dough has risen twice, roll it into a rectangle measuring 18 inches by 20 inches. Cover the rectangle with the chilled filling, leaving 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of space at the top of the rectangle. Sprinkle the raisins on top.

2. Beginning at the side closest to you, tightly roll the dough and mixture all the along the length of the rectangle until you've made a spiral.

3. Use a serrated edge knife to cut the roll into equally sized portions. I cut mine about an inch thick because I didn't want gargantuan rolls.

4. Place each roll 1-inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap for their third rise.

5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and slightly crusty.

6. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze.

Cinnamon Roll Glaze:

1/4 cup instant nonfat dry milk (get this as powdery as possible by putting it in a ziplock bag and crushing it with a rolling pin)
2 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple juice
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1. Whip all the glaze ingredients until just foamy.
2. Generously brush the rolls with the glaze while they're still warm from the oven.
3. Chow down with friends!

I deviated a bit from the recipe because I wanted to freshly bake these the morning of the event. I had refrigerated the rolls after their third rise, and I think this affected the dough a bit. They were somewhat hard after baking, but not altogether bad at all. I had enough dough and filling leftover to make two loaves of cinnamon bread. I gave one to Mom and Dave, which they enjoyed. I also had some of the glaze leftover. This did not store well, and in fact, separated. The foamy bit on top really reminded me of marshmallow fluff. Overall, flavor was good, and the loaves fared much better than the rolls. This makes me think that it was cook's error, and that I should have sliced the rolls much thicker. A B- would be a fair grade.

Next time, the waffles, which were far superior to the cinnamon rolls. They should have been, their recipes came from the Dorie Greenspan "Waffles" book.


zmnim said...

I want to try this recipe but the glaze is troubling me. I never buy dry milk seeing as I don't ever use it but I don't know where it can be bought anyway (I live in a small town in Greece and the only dry milk I've seen is baby formula) so I was wondering what I can use as a substitute. Oh, no almond extract either! How about a cream cheese glaze made with agave?

Thanks :o)

Deb Schiff said...

Hi Zmnim,
Sure, cream cheese with agave sounds delightful!
This is a pretty old recipe, and I haven't made it since, so let me know how it turns out.

zmnim said...

Hi Deb,

Okay, thanks for the info.

I found this:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

and was thinking of substituting the sugar with 3/4 cup agave. What do you think?


Deb Schiff said...

Hi Jennie,

I'd probably cut the butter by 1/3 when you make it. Otherwise, I'd be interested in hearing how it goes.

zmnim said...

Hi Deb,

I suck big time at fractions so I had to use an online calculator and reducing 1/3 from 1/4 cup would make that 1/12 cup. That doesn't look right. Or did you mean that I should use a third instead of a fourth of a cup? I told you I suck!

Deb Schiff said...

Oh, sorry about that. You could probably fudge it to 2.5 tablespoons and be alright.

zmnim said...

Okay thanks! So the recipe would look like this:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup agave
2.5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

I don't know when I'll make this (I'm waiting for my agave to come in the mail :oP) but I'll let you know how everything turns out when I make it.

Thanks once again for the help!

Deb Schiff said...

OK. Good luck! I've never made a cream cheese glaze, so I'd be interested in seeing how it comes out.

zmnim said...

I finally made this yesterday and it was a big hit. The cream cheese glaze tasted so good, like caramel! There was quite a bit left over (after glazing 21 buns generously on top and then on the sides and bottom) so I started eating it up with a spoon but had to stop myself by throwing the bowl in the sink and turning the tap on. It was that good. I think I should use less agave since making so much and having to throw it out was a waste, maybe half a cup next time.

Thanks for having such great recipes on your blog!


Deb Schiff said...

Hey Jennie!
So glad to hear of your success. Keep up the marvelous experiments!