Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls {recipe}

I admit, this is a completely selfish post.  

I love these cinnamon rolls from Pioneer Woman. Her recipe makes about 40-50 rolls.  My only problem with making 50 cinnamon is that I would eat 50 cinnamon rolls.

So I've taken to making 1/2 a batch.  But for whatever reason, I cannot do the math while I'm baking them and have ended up throwing out way too much dough.

So I'm writing down 1/2 the recipe for myself, and thought I'd share.

Full disclosure - the only thing I've adapted here is the icing.  Her icing is delicious, she uses coffee and maple extract (which I would substitute for high grade maple syrup), but I'm a traditional girl and I love a vanilla icing on my cinnamon rolls.

I made these last weekend for Tahoe and they were perfect for our snow weekend!

{breakfast in Tahoe}

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls [1/2 recipe]
Yield: 20-25 rolls
 - 2 cups whole milk
 - 1/2 cup vegetable oil
 - 1/2 cup sugar
 - 1 packet active dry yeast
 - 4 cups all purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup extra
 - 1/2 tsp baking powder, heaping
 - 1/2 tsp baking soda, scant
 - 1 tsp salt, heaping

 - 1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
 - 2 tbsp cinnamon
 - 1 cup sugar

 - 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 - 1/4 cup whole milk
 - 3 tbsp butter, melted
 - 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
 - dash of salt


To make dough:
Heat milk, vegetable oil, and sugar on stove just before the boiling point.  Let cool until mixture is lukewarm.  I usually pour it in the kitchen aid mixer bowl to help it cool a bit faster.

Check that the mixture is the right temperature - about 100-110 degrees.  I don't have a thermometer so I test it by putting my finger in it.  If it's too hot for me to hold my finger in it, it's too hot for yeast.  Don't let it get too cool either though.  When the mixture is ready sprinkle is dry yeast and give it a slow stir.  Let sit for about 7-10 minutes until it gets a bit foamy / bubbly on top.  Note - the weather outside and how warm your kitchen is may effect this timing.  I have no idea why.

Add 4 cups of flour.  I use the dough hook on my mixer but you can mix by hand as well.  Mix until incorporated.  Then cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area.  I turn my dryer on and set the covered bowl on top.  Let rise for about 90-120 minutes.  Again, the timing depends on the weather outside and how warm your house is.

Combine 1/2 cup more flour and baking powder and baking soda.  Stir into mixture.  At this point you could cover the dough and refrigerate for a couple days until you wanted to use it.  When you go to use it again, after rolling out the dough and making the rolls, let them warm to room temperature before baking.  This will make them rise a bit more.

To make rolls:
Melt butter.  Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle the surface you will be rolling out the dough on generously with flour. Roll the dough into a 30 x 10 inch rectangle, roughly, no need to be exact.

Pour the melted butter all over the dough. Use a pastry brush (or your hands) to make sure it covers all of the doughs surface. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture all over buttered dough.

Starting on the 30 inch side farthest from you, roll the dough in a relatively tight roll towards you.  When you get the end, pinch the seam to the roll to seal it.

Because we were traveling the next day, at this point, I wrapped the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerated them.  I stored them in the coolest part of the car for our 3 hour drive.  When we arrived that night, I cut them into rolls and placed them in the baking dish and left them on the counter to rise a bit again overnight.  They didn't rise as much as the usually do but they were still delicious.  See photos below.

baked after refrigerating rolls

baked right away
To bake:
Cut rolls into 1 inch thick slices and place in buttered baking dishes.  Leave some room in between them as they will puff up in the oven.  Let rolls sit for 20-30 minutes to rise.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until the rolls are light golden brown on top.  It took 23 minutes in Tahoe, apparently it's the mountain time, everything's slower.

To make icing:
Combine everything in a bowl and stir until incorporated.  Taste, and add more of any ingredient to your liking.  Too sweet? - add a bit more milk.  Not sweet enough? - add a bit more sugar. You get the picture.  It's hard to mess this part up.

Generously drizzle icing all over rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.  Your house will smell amazing. Make sure to invite friends over so you can button you pants the next day.



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