Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Sweet Kitchen: Cinnamon Roll Tips and Tricks
Yes...they really are just as good as they look. Out of the seven pans that I made...I now only have one in the freezer (and it is already claimed to go to my direct supervisor tomorrow at work - aren't you excited Bonnelle?)
My family has a sweet roll recipe that you will find gracing our brunch plates around the holidays, but at the end of the day I have to admit that the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls are my go-to. I won't waste our time by giving you the recipe because she does a great job of showing you picture by picture how to make cinnamon roll magic in your own kitchen (she also shows the picture by picture in her cookbook). I will however give you a couple of my tips and tricks to making these bad boys. After having made them a few times with a few fails, I feel like I know what will truly help to make them turn out better each time.
Rule #1: Accept that they will not turn out perfect and uniform. By acknowledging this on the front end you will have much more fun and flexibility as well as being more satisfied with your results.
Rule #2: When she tells you to let your milk/oil/sugar mixture cool to lukewarm, listen. Don't drop that yeast if your pot is still hot. When in doubt just wait it out.
Rule #3: Please allow time to let your dough refrigerate overnight. The two times I have failed miserably making these rolls I worked with my dough right away. The only results I had were tears, a husband who thought I was crazy, and sticky dough to scrape off the counters. That dough needs a little beauty sleep too!
Rule#4: When ready to work with your dough, if using a surface other than PW's awesome stainless counters take a large cake pan and fill it with ice. Set this on your surface to keep it nice and cool so the dough will be less inclined to stick. Obviously, remove the ice pan when ready to work. I also think using a Silpat mat or large Roulpat mat makes a HUGE difference.
Rule #5: Flour, flour, flour. Make sure that your work surface is saturated in ample flour. This will be messy but totally worth it when it comes time to roll up your rolls. They will be less likely to stick to the surface and roll a little (key word) more uniform.
Rule #6: Buy a couple packs of throw away cake pans for baking your rolls. They will make it so easy to simply freeze a few pans and transport to all your friends and family. I usually get about 7 to 8 pans per recipe.
Rule#7: Really make your icing to taste. I love the coffee flavor so I always add in more. I have also used half the dough for cinnamon rolls with the maple coffee icing and the other half for cranberry orange rolls with cream cheese icing. Gives a little more variety and options in your freezer!
Rule #8: Don't hoard the frozen pans. Share with friends and family with a label to bake at 250 straight from the freezer for 12-15 minutes.
Rule #9: Do not clean your kitchen in the days leading up to baking the rolls. You will have to clean so much when you are done that cleaning earlier in the week would be useless (totally worth it though).