My friend Oscar is leaving for Spain in a few short days. For the past two years I have promised and promised and promised again to bake the man buttermilk biscuits. I have yet to perfect my buttermilk biscuits but maybe when he gets back from Spain I will make him some.
The other day Oscar confessed that there was one thing that would top buttermilk biscuits on his list of wants…Cinnamon Rolls.
I have never made cinnamon rolls but it sounded like the kind of challenge I was up for. Did I know they would take all day? I knew they would take a good amount of time and effort.
Did I know they would be gorgeous and taste like sin itself? No!
The recipe came from the Break Baker’s Apprentice – a book by Peter Reinhart.
The book was a gift I received many years ago and until today I had not attempted a single recipe, though I have read and re-read dozens.
The recipe made 8 giant cinnamon rolls
Oscar’s Cinnamon Rolls
6 1/2 T. granulated sugar
1 t. salt
5 1/2 T. room temp. salted butter
1 large egg (room temp)
1 t. lemon extract
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour (you will likely need a little more to add in)
2 t. instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 c. milk (room temp)
6 1/2 T. granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 T. ground cinnamon (for the inside mixture)
Cream sugar, salt, butter on medium speed using paddle attachment. Add in egg and lemon extract until smooth. Then add flour, yeast and milk. Mix on low until the dough forms a ball (I had to add more flour to even get to a sort of ball, and it was still a little tacky not exactly a ball).
Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed for 10 minutes (still adding more flour as necessary – just a tablespoon or so at a time).
Dough should be silk and supple, tacky but not sticky.
Spray a bowl with spray oil. Turn the dough into the bowl and roll around the sides. Cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place. (I took this time to turn the oven to 350 and kick out a batch of chocolate chip cookies)
Spray the counter with oil and roll the raised dough onto the counter. Roll out dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle 14″ wide by 12″ long (about 2/3 inch thick) Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and roll up. Seem side down cut in half, half again and half one more time (that will give you 8 rolls) you can make them smaller if you want.
Place in a greased 9×13 pan and let rise for another 75 to 90 minutes
Preheat over to 350 (you see, I didn’t have to do this, I let the heat from the oven rise the dough and bake my cookies, then it was ready to go when I wanted to pop the rolls into the oven)
Bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Mix together 4 c. powdered sugar with 1/2 c. warm milk and 1 tsp. lemon extract.
Drizzle mixed over semi-cooled rolls (about 10 minutes out of the oven) – it ends up being a ton of glaze but trust me you want it all. Let it sit for a couple of minutes them remove the rolls from the baking pan and place on a cooling rack. Scoop up the rest of the glaze from the pan and redrizzle over the rolls.
Let cool about 20 minutes and then serve.
It is without question a great deal of work but the finished product is so worth it.
(If you are gonna go for a roll you might as well go all out and put butter on the finished product when eating)
Now Oscar can depart to Spain knowing he is loved (having witnessed the work and time these rolls took)