Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze

These cinnamon rolls were oh so good, especially covered with a maple-coffee glaze on top. Soft, sweet, and decadent, these were everything a cinnamon roll should be. I don't make cinnamon rolls that often because I'd seriously eat the entire pan, but I decided to make these as a surprise for my husband on his birthday. I had intended to bring him breakfast in bed, but as soon as he smelled these baking, he came running down the stairs. Yes, they are that irresistible. 

Cinnamon Rolls
Servings: 12

1 1/2 to 2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup non-fat dry milk
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105-110°)
2 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Choose one of the glazes below (optional):

Maple-coffee glaze:
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. strongly brewed coffee
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring or maple extract
Pinch of salt

Cream cheese glaze:
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. whole milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, sugar, dry milk, salt, and yeast together until well combined. Add the water, butter, and egg; mix on medium-low speed until incorporated. 

Remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook. Knead for 5-7 minutes, adding 1/4 cup of each flour (alternating flours), until a smooth, slightly tacky dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface. Knead by hand until a smooth ball forms. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size. 

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, 16 x 20". To prepare the filling, in a small bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Stir in the melted butter. Sprinkle the filling mixture in an even layer over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Starting with the long end, roll the dough up tightly, like a jelly roll. Cut 1 inch of dough off the ends and discard. Cut the remaining dough into 12 even rolls with a sharp knife. 

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter. Arrange the rolls in the pan.* Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until puffy and the sides of the rolls are touching. 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake for 22-28 minutes, or until lightly browned and the internal temperature registers 190°

To prepare the glaze, whisk the ingredients together until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more milk or confectioners' sugar. Pour or spread the glaze over the rolls. Serve immediately.

*Freezing instructions: The cinnamon rolls can be frozen at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing in the freezer. Remove the pan from the freezer and place in the refrigerator 24 hours before baking. When ready to bake, remove the pan from the refrigerator and discard the aluminum foil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 hour or until puffy and the sides are touching. (If your kitchen is cool, preheat the oven to 180°, then turn it off for 10-15 minutes. The temperature should be about 80°. After the temperature reaches 70-80°, place the rolls in the warm oven to rise.) After the rolls have risen, bake at 350° as directed above. 

Source: dough and filling adapted from multiple sources, maple-coffee glaze from Pioneer Woman, cream cheese glaze from Alton Brown

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