Saturday, March 3, 2012

Giant Cinnamon Rolls w/ Buttermilk Glaze {Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off}

I consider myself a bit of a cinnamon roll slash sweet roll slash sticky bun connoiseur.  I've talked about them before.  Talked about finding the perfect bun.  Tender on the outside.  Gooey on the inside.  Sweet, but not cloyingly so.  Cinnamon-sugar filling, citrus-scented, raisin and/or nut-studded....thick icing, thin glaze, no glaze at all...a layer of sticky, caramely nuts or not...I'm willing to give all forms a try.  

So.  When I opened my copy of the Joy the Baker cookbook, you can bet that one of the first things that I fastened a sticky-tab on was the page featuring a mouthwatering pan of giant cinnamon rolls.  With a buttermilk...oh yeah, buttermilk...glaze.  I almost wanted to set the book down right then and there and start making the dough.  But I waited until I'd made my way through the whole book.  And then I waited a few more days for the weekend to get here.  You know - so that I'd have other people in the house when they came out of the oven.  So that I wouldn't be tempted to eat them all.  Okay, not that I actually could, because these babies are HUGE.  And rich.  And absolutely, fantastically delicious.  Plan on these being your meal.  And have a tall, cold glass of milk within your reach.  And maybe a bed.
But what's a girl to do?  Really?  Big, fat, tender buns sitting in a puddle of caramel flecked with pungent notes of clove.  Rewarding nibbles of fat golden raisins or nutty pecans that seem to come at just the right time.  Every time.  Oh...and a fork?  Pretty much a necessity.

But you know what?  Totally worth it.
Giant Cinnamon Rolls w/ Buttermilk Glaze

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: ~4 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast dessert vegetarian spice butter buttermilk flour American
Ingredients (8 rolls)
    for the dough:
    • 2¼ tsp. (1 pkg) active-dry yeast
    • ½ tsp. + ¼ c. granulated sugar
    • ¼ c. water, lukewarm (~115° F)
    • ½ c. whole milk, at room temp.
    • 2 Tbs. packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour + more for kneading
    • ¾ tsp. salt
    • 4 oz. (1 stick/½ c.) unsalted butter, softened
    for the filling:
    • ½ c. granulated sugar
    • ½ c. packed light brown sugar
    • ½ c. finely chopped pecans
    • ¼ c. golden raisins
    • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • pinch ground cloves
    • 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
    • 4 oz. (1 stick/½ c.) unsalted butter, melted
    for the glaze:
    • 2 c. powdered sugar
    • ¼ c. buttermilk
    Instructions
    dough
    Combine yeast, ½ tsp. of sugar, and water in the bowl of a mixer. Stir and let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.

    Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat until well combined. Using a dough hook, add flour and salt to bowl and mix at medium speed until dough just begins to come together. Turn mixer to medium-high and knead for ~4 minutes.

    Add the softened butter and continue to knead for ~6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Place teh dough on a well-floured surface and knead another ⅓-½ cup of flour into the dough. Dough should be just slightly tacky and very soft, but it should not stick to your hands.

    Place in a large, greased boil. Cover with plastic or clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

    filling
    While dough is rising, combine sugars, pecans, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl. Stir in the maple syrup and set aside.

    back to the dough
    When dough has doubled in bulk, tip it out of the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding ~3 Tbs of flour as needed for ~2 minutes. At this point, the dough is soft, silky, supple, and totally sexy. Let rest on counter for 5 minutes.

    Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into roughly a 10"x20" rectangle. Position dough so that the short sides are parallel to you (you'll be rolling from the short side). Brush about half of the melted butter over the top of the dough, enough to coat it well.

    Dump all of the filling onto the buttered dough and spread evenly, leaving a 1" border at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed. Lightly press the filling into the dough.

    Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch all along the edge to seal. Place dough, seam side down, on a cuttering board. Cut into 8 equal slices.

    Arrange slices, cut side up, in a greased 9"x13" pan. Each roll will have a bit of space on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 ½-2 hours, until they've puffed up nice and big and are touching. Place oven rack in upper ⅓ of oven and preheat oven to 375° F during last 15 minutes of rise time.

    Slide into preheated oven and bake for ~30 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Drizzle with remaining half of melted butter just after you've pulled the rolls from the oven.

    glaze
    While the rolls are cooling slightly, whisk together the powdered sugar and buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls.

    Eat. Enjoy. Gain 5 pounds. Smile.  Take a nap.

    note:
    It's the unexpected things that make these rolls such a big hit for me. Like the hint of clove that forms in the caramel while the rolls are baking...and the raisins and pecans that stud the gooey center unobtrusively. Each bite is perfect.

    adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
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    *This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*
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