Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls, NOT from a can!

I have really wonderful memories of waking up on the weekends to the smell of warm cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven. Living with a single mother who worked very hard to make ends meet, it's safe to say that these cinnamon rolls most often always came from a can but were still delicious non-the-less!

I have been looking to try my hand at baking something from the dough up and something that would bring about the same good memories that I once had. Cinnamon rolls from scratch were the obvious choice :) October also represents my favorite baking month with its overabundance of canned pumpkin on the shelves. I LOVE pumpkin treats and because of the season, I decided to whip up a quick and easy maple pumpkin glaze too go on the top of these warm and delicious treats.

The recipe for the glaze was most definitely the easiest part of this new baking venture, including:

1 cup of canned pumpkin
3/4 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup of milk (any brand of kind of your choice, I used vanilla soy)
1 cup of powdered sugar

Just combine the ingredients, whisk until smooth and set aside for later glazing! Soo easy

Next, I would like to preface this second step by mentioning that this is most likely a two day process, so start early!

First, in a saucepan, combine half a cup of whole milk with half a cup of water and bring to 100 degrees F over medium heat. When the mixture is up to temperature, take off the burner and sprinkle over one 1/4 packet of yeast with a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes to let the little yeasties do their thing.

After five minutes, whisk in 1/4 cup unsalted, melted and cooled butter, 1 large egg yolk and a dash of vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp of pumpkin pie spice. Combine and then make a well in the center of the dry mixture to pour in your yeast mixture. With a wooden spoon preferably, combine all ingredients until dough is sticky and together into a cohesive mixture.

Throw some flour onto a flat surface and place the dough onto the floured surface so you can knead it until it's elastic and soft. This will probably take you about 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball and place the ball into a buttered bowl, coating the ball with butter as well. Cover the bowl with plastic rap or a warm, damp towel and set aside to rise. It should take a little over an hour for the dough to double in size. At this point, take it back out of the bowl and punch it down to get rid of excess air. After you knead the air out, place BACK into your buttered bowl and lay a buttered piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough. Tightly cover the bowl and place into the fridge overnight.

When dough is done rising, it is time to make the filling. This step is also quite simple in comparison to the dough. Just roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 11 by 17 inches. spread softened butter all over the dough. I find it easiest to get messy and use clean hands for this step. After butter is on, I sprinkle on 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and a little less then 1/4 cup pumpkin pie spice. This step is the one that invites creativity in a baker. You can easily make the filling with pumpkin puree or creamed cheese, maybe even some kind of nut like Pecans?? The sky is the limit! However, after you spread on your desired filling, roll the dough into a log and cut 1 1/2 to 2 inch slices depending on how large you would like the cinnamon rolls to be. I placed my cut rolls into a buttered, round ceramic dish and brushed the top of each roll with egg white to make glisten. When all steps are complete, place these rolls into a 350 degrees F oven for 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

When the rolls are done and smelling delicious, pull them out and spread on your pumpkin glaze so that it gets all melty and wonderful :)

After all of your hard work, you deserve to sit down and devour one or two of these tasty treats.

ENJOY and as always Happy Baking!!