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Chocolate chip cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven

When I moved to my most recent apartment, I picked up a Kitchenaid stand mixer. They seem to go for about $200 on Craigslist (or $400 new), are built like tanks and have a life expectancy in the decades. I was surprised at how easy it is to bake bread or other things. This recipe in particular has been one of my favorites and uses the mixer for just about everything.

Dough

Adapted from DOUGH: Simple Contemporary Bread, by Richard Bertinet

  • .25 ounces yeast
  • 8.75 ounces white bread flour
  • .75 ounces white sugar
  • 1 ounce softened unsalted butter
  • 4.5 ounces milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
Combine the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl and let it run a bit to mix them, then add the butter. While that mixes in, microwave the milk 25-30 seconds to bring it to a bit above room temperature, then add the egg to it and beat to break up the yolk. Pour the egg and milk into the mixer, and stir with the dough hook: 2 minutes on setting 1, then 6 minutes on setting 2. Scrape the dough out into a lightly-oiled mixing bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rest 50 minutes.

UPDATE: Gluten-Free variant

Instead of white bread flour, use 11.3 ounces of gluten-free flour mix (I used the King Arthur all-purpose blend because I couldn't find their bread blend) and 1 teaspoon of xantham gum. The dough won't rise nearly as much but will still be delicious.

Filling

While the dough is first rising:

  • 1 ounce softened unsalted butter
  • .5 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup something with texture: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, whatever you want
  • Spices to taste: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, whatever you want
With the mixer paddle, combine the butter, brown sugar, and spices until fully homogenized. Add the texture component slowly while mixing. The goal is to have the pieces coated well with sugar mixture and not too much excess.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board - it should come out of the bowl reluctantly but cleanly. It doesn't require much aggressive kneading, just squish it flat then fold the edges to the center and repeat, 10-15 times. Once it stiffens up a bit, stretch or roll it out to a rectangle about 8" by 14". It will take some coaxing to get it to stay there, and the edges will be thicker than the center, and that's okay. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, then roll up, starting with a long edge. Stretch the dough a bit as you roll, and seal it by squishing the edge into the outside of the roll.

Slice the roll into 2" slices (I can't stress enough how much the sharpness of the knife matters here) and arrange in the pan, leaving at least a little gap for them to grow into each other. I find that seven rolls fit nicely in a Pyrex pie pan. Cover again with a cloth and let rise 50 minutes.

Bake at 425F for 20-23 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Eat fresh out of the oven, or let cool and cover with your favorite frosting. I prefer cream cheese or buttercream, but go wild.

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The Attic Community Workshop

August 2015

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