I practiced on these babies all week. I made so many batches that I ate WAY more than I should have, walked a pan down to the neighbors, and forced the rest on hubby and the kids.
Why all the practicing, you ask? Well, in my opinion, cinnamon rolls taste best on the day that they're made, preferably about a half hour out of the oven, and one minute after they've been frosted. I knew that I wanted to make these cinnamon rolls for the co-irkers, but I didn't want to send in day old rolls and I certainly didn't want to get up during the middle of the night to start baking. So I finally found a way to make the dough, form the rolls, refrigerate them overnight and bake them in the morning.
That doesn't sound like it should have taken a rocket scientist to figure out, does it? Not that I've ever claimed to be the brightest bulb on the tree, but sometimes things aren't as easy as they might seem. You see, when I took the rolls out of the fridge in the morning, it was still taking them over two hours to rise before I could bake them. That would still be cutting into too much of my beauty sleep.
When I discovered that by putting a pan of boiling water in the oven and then placing the rolls on the rack above the boiling water, I shortened the rising time to just a little over a half hour. (NOW you may call me a rocket scientist.)
My recipe instructions below do not include this step, but if you're planning on making cinnamon buns for breakfast instead of lunch, you might want to consider trying it my way. Want to know something ridiculously ironic though? As it turns out, hubby isn't going into work until late tomorrow after all, so I could have just made the whole darn business in the morning!
Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting
For the dough:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup buttermilk powder
1 large egg
1 tsp buttery sweet dough or vanilla flavoring
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup bread flour
1 1/2 TBSP vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
7-8 ounces water. room temperature
For the filling: (see note below if you'd rather not use Baker's cinnamon filling)
1 cup Baker's cinnamon filling
4 TBSP water
For the frosting:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
To make the dough:
In bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, buttermilk powder and salt until well combined. Add in the egg and beat well. Add the butter sweet dough or vanilla flavoring and beat well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat gluten and yeast.
Add the flour mixture and 7 ounces of the water to the mixing bowl, switch to dough hook and mix/knead dough for 10 minutes. Add the other ounce of water if necessary to make a smooth, supple, tacky but not sticky dough.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment dough at room temperature for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
When dough is about finished proofing mix the filling. Just add the water to the filling mix and stir well to combine. Set aside
Spray clean countertop with cooking spray. Transfer proofed dough to counter and pat down into a rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough relax for about 15 minutes.
Spray rolling pin with cooking spray and roll dough into an 18 X 9 inch rectangle. If dough wants to spring back, let it relax for a few more minutes.
Spread the filling over the entire surface of the dough. I really meant to have a picture of this part, but I forgot to take one before I started rolling. I even considered unrolling it to get the photo but I'm sure you can imagine the mess. Bad idea.
Starting with a long side roll the dough into a log. Slice the log into twelve even pieces. Spray two 10 inch cake pans with cooking spray and place sliced rolls into pans.
Cover pans with greased plastic wrap and let rolls rise for 60-90 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for five minutes, then remove from pan to cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting. Once frosted, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.
To make the frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter together. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and beat. You may have to add a tablespoon or two of milk to reach desired consistency.
*NOTE* An alternative to using Baker's cinnamon filling is to mix together a cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter.
*EDIT* Tonight is the Buckeyes football season opener and as of this edit they're ahead 21-7. Gavin got his first Buckeye jersey today and even though I'm sure he's sleeping through the game, he's dreaming in scarlet and gray.