After all my talk about yeast and yeast bread basics, I thought it would not be completely amiss to tempt you with another super-easy no-knead bread recipe. This time around for soft cinnamon rolls. Because, suddenly I realized, cinnamon, chocolate and other sinful kinds of sweet no-knead breads are missing from my list. Hopefully, imagining the aroma of cinnamon scented yeasted rolls wafting in your home will make you give it a try? May I also mention that this recipe is from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I first saw this recipe on Happy Home Baking and was immediately interested. Tough not to be when the recipe goes by the name Magical Rolls. Apart from being seriously good, they are easy-peasy, no knead, non-butter laden, sweet yeasted cinnamon rolls, with surprise ingredients, baking powder and soda to boot. Tough not to feel tempted to try.
Followed the link to Pioneer Woman's blog. Cinnamon rolls made with oodles of butter, drenched in maple frosting. Ree thinks its a great idea to make loads of these and gift them to friends during Christmas time. In her true trademark humorous style she says, these rolls can possibly influence people and win friends (not to mention receiving marriage proposals, people passing out after the first bite and other little things!!), they are that good she says. Now, really really tough not to make them ASAP. Not that I want to see people passing out purely out of gastronomic delight (no such high ambitions!), as I had no plans featuring oodles of butter and maple frosting (now what does maple syrup taste like?). But very certainly want to feel that high when I find another keeper of a recipe. And did I feel happy! These indeed are good, even without an overload of butter and frosting! Good enough to elicit a sigh of pleasure when you bite into a soft warm roll and plan baking the next batch even before you finish your first...
Ree's recipe makes a whopping 7 pans full of cinnamon rolls, as they are meant to be given away. Since I wanted a small batch, I have followed the quartered recipe in Happy Home Baking. But you could very surely make double of the recipe given below as the dough can be made and refrigerated for a day or two. Fresh rolls from the oven without a lot of effort, many of us won't mind a lot I guess?
The dough is made with first heating milk, oil and sugar in a saucepan, left to cool till its lukewarm, then add the yeast and flour. Let it double, add some more flour, baking powder and soda, mix in. Dump the dough in a box, leave it for an overnight slow rise in the fridge for more flavor. If you are like me, you will sleep better knowing there is dough rising in the fridge. If you are like me, when the alarm goes off at 5.30, you will first think of the dough in the fridge, run and check. Beautiful! Its risen so well, more than double - almost!. Yay! You now can't wait for hubby and kids to take off to work and school so that you can bake!!! At last, time to shape and let the dough rest for sometime and then bake.
Ingredients for dough :
Milk - 1 cup ( I used 2%)
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Vegetable Oil (or any flavorless oil) - 1/4 cup
Instant yeast - 1 teaspoon (or 1 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast)
All Purpose Flour - 260g (2 cups) plus 33g (1/4 cup) Divided use
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Baking soda (scant, i.e, a little less than, just below the rim of the spoon) - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
For the filling: Alter the quantities to suit your taste. We do not like a whole lot of cinnamon or sugar, so I have used less.
Cinnamon powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Soft Brown sugar or white sugar - 3 tablespoons
Unsalted butter, soft - 2 tablespoons
Procedure: First things first - Mise en place. Measure out all your ingredients and keep them ready.
- Mix milk, sugar and vegetable oil in a pan, preferably one big enough to mix the dough in too, less cleanup later. Scald (heat until just before boiling) the mixture. Leave to cool for 45mins to an hour. The milk mixture must be lukewarm at the end of this period. In case you leave it for longer, just warm it till its lukewarm.
- When the mixture is lukewarm, add the instant yeast. (if using active dried yeast, leave it for about 5-10 minutes till frothy and then carry on)
- Then add 260 grams of flour to the mixture. Stir with a spatula, you will get a batter that's quite sticky. Cover and let the batter sit for 1 hour or till double. Mine took an hour. It may take lesser time if its warmer.
- Mix the 33 grams (1/4 cup) flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the flour mixture in the pan. Mix till everything comes together. It will still be very sticky. You could make the rolls straightway or refrigerate the dough. I would not attempt handling the sticky mass at this point of time. Chilling makes it easier to handle. So transfer it to a large box, close the lid loosely. The box must be large enough to allow the dough to more than double and still have some space left over. You don't want a mess in your fridge when you wake up! Divide dough into half, refrigerate and use separately if you can bake only one small tray at a time.
- When ready to make the rolls, before you even take the dough out of the fridge, get these things ready. Line your baking tin with parchment and grease the sides. I used a 9'' square tin and a smaller tin as I baked simultaneously in the microwave and OTG. You could also bake two separate batches, taking out only portion of the dough at a time. Mix ground cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Have your silicon brush, soft butter, rolling pin, sharp knife or dough scraper, extra flour ready. Flour your work surface with enough flour. This being a sticky dough, it would otherwise be impossible to roll out. If you take the dough out first and then spend time on this, your dough will lose the firmness and will not be as easy to handle.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape. I rolled it out into a 17'' x 11''rectangle aprox. This will be quite thin. Dust the dough and work surface with flour when necessary.
- Brush the rolled out dough with the butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the surface. Use your fingers to spread it if needed.
- Start from the opposite end of the dough, roll the dough neatly in a line towards you. Roll as tightly as possible. I again do a clumsy job here. Dust fingers with flour if the dough feels sticky. Pinch the seams to seal.
- Using a sharp knife or bench scraper (a bench scraper works really well for this), cut into1 inch thick slices and arrange in your pan(s). Place them spaced apart.
- Cover with a greased aluminum foil (not that they will rise vertically, but if the foil touches the dough, you want to be safe), let the the rolls double in size. This again took about 50 minutes. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degree F towards the end of the rise time.
- Bake for 20 -25 minutes until golden brown or till the temperature on your instant read thermometer reads 200F. Don't forget to watch them as they really swell as they bake!! The rolls in my OTG were done in 25 minutes, whereas the ones in the microwave took about 5-8 minutes longer.
- Brush the rolls with melted butter for a softer crust. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then completely on the rack.
- The rolls from the OTG were really soft, those from the microwave a bit less softer, but both tasted delicious.
If you do not like cinnamon, try using cardamom instead. Or some grated orange zest in the dough, grated dark chocolate in the filling. Or a coconut and cardamom filling. Or just vanilla and chocolate.
The kids rued that they got over too soon, so made the rolls again this morning with orange and chocolate to go with them to school. Messaged my neighbors 'Are you up?' Alarmed reply 'Yes, what happened??'. Me in a rush to pack for kids - 'Some warm rolls fresh from the oven! Come out quick!' I am really crazy, have no doubts about that! Wanted someone to eat them when warm you see...
I shall be baking these again and post any updates.
Know Your Yeast
Basics About Yeast Breads
These rolls are off to Susan's Yeastspotting.