Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sinful Cinnamon!!

Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls

Seasons seem to be changing colours too fast these days. Feels like it was just yesterday that I had packed up our winter wears for the approaching summer. And when the summer arrived, I felt that the scorching heat would never end. This year we had a terrible summer around here, but inspite of that, I had somehow failed to notice the fall in temperature through the day and the breezy, pleasant evenings that had set in by the beginning  of this month.
It was not until the other day, while taking a stroll by my once lush kitchen garden, I noticed that my almost dead chilly and bell pepper plants had started sprouting new leaves and even had some blossoms....... So, Autumn you are here again, a warm warm welcome !!!!




Autumn is my favourite season when I am in this part of the world. Here, in the Middle East, unlike the rest of the world, this is the best season to grow plants, any kind, flowering ones, vegetable plants,anything.
It was last year that I had started growing vegetables, and man was I proud of my tiny kitchen garden :) But,it almost broke my heart to see the fiery summer burn up my babies. I had expected all of my plants to be completely dry and dead, and it was sheer pleasure to learn that at least some of them had survived.



Autumns are quite short here, hardly a month and a half, by mid October it's usually winter. I love winters too, they are definitely better than the sweaty, hot summers, which I cannot just handle, actually I tend to fall quite sick if I sweat too much, you see. So my favourite part of the year is here and I am all set to have some nice time :)
In India,my favourite time of year is obviously the monsoons, ooooh, how I love to wake up to the pitter-patter of the rains and then huddle back into my cozy, warm blanket until mom calls out that tea is ready.
I always associate winters and monsoons to a hot, steamy cup of tea and some lovely, piping hot snacks to go with it. Hmmm, Cinnamon rolls would be great , don't you think.
Well, homemade cinnamon rolls were always a dream, but somehow I never had the courage to venture into that. Cinnamon rolls as a favourite with my entire family so I decided that it would be a shame not to give it a try. I have followed the recipe from joy of baking, word to word.
The rolls came out nice and soft and beautifully cinnamony....... Nothing can beat the intoxicating fragrance of cinnamon while the rolls get baked.
I just couldn't help grab at a piece the moment it came out of the oven..... Hmm yum yum :)

Well,as you can see, my rolls don't look so perfect, hope to get excused for that on grounds of first attempt ;) next time I think I would go for a smaller size, maybe some mini cinnamons would be perfect. But surely, I am not going to stop with just this one.

CINNAMON ROLLS

Ingredients

Rolls
All purpose flour - 4 1/2 - 5 cups
Yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 3
Milk - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter - 1/3 cup

Filling
Cinnamon powder - 1 tbsp
Light Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Flour - 1/4 cup
Unsalted butter -  1/2 cup/ 1 stick cold, cut into pieces
Light cream or half and half ( this can be made at home by mixing 210 ml whole milk with 2 tbsp melted, Unsalted butter. That's what I did)
                                 
Preparation

Rolls
Take milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat till just warm and butter has almost melted. Remove from flame, leave for a minute and then add the measured yeast into it. Wait till the milk mixture has fermented and is bubbly.
Place 2 1/4 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. Pour the fermented milk mixture into the flour and using hand or stand mixer,whisk the two together on low speed.
Add one egg at a time and continue whisking on high speed for 3 mins.

Now add the remaining flour little by little and knead until you get a soft,elastic dough which is not sticky. You may need approx 2 1/4- 2 3/4 cups.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well greased  vessel, turning over once. Cover using cling film and leave to double up in a warm corner. This might take 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

Punch down the dough gently and let rest for another 10 mins.
Using a rolling pin roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thick , apprx 40 cm square on a floured surface.

Filling
Place all the ingredients for the filling, except half and half,in a bowl and using your fingers mix them till you get a crumbly mixture.
                                            

Assembly
Sprinkle the filling evenly over the rolled out dough. Apply half and half on one edge of the dough, this is used to seal the edges well.
Now roll the dough from the side opposite to the one with half and half on it. Do not roll too tight as this can cause the centre of the roll to pop out while baking.
Roll the dough into a log, seal the edges with half and half and finally using a sharp knife cut the log into equal sized circular pieces. You should get nearly 8 to 10 pieces.
Arrange your rolls in a baking pan (I used a glass ware) , cover loosely with a cling film and leave to rise until doubled.
Break any air bubble with a toothpick,brush lightly with half and half  and then pop the baking dish into your oven and bake at 190 degree C for 25-30 mins or until the surface of the rolls turn light brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Once removed from the oven, immediately brush on some more half and half and let cool for 5 mins.
This can be served right away.

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