Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls X Three

Why do something once, when you can do it better three times? I know my favorite chef, Michael Mina, likes to do things in threes (and Butcher son got me Mina’s recent cookbook for Christmas to drool over and challenge me in the kitchen). My daughter insists on wall hangings be in threes. I have three children. So, three is good. And three types of cinnamon rolls are even better.

Wait…before you give up reading this post because you think it will be too hard and too involved, please don’t. I have found you a shortcut, so that you, too, can enjoy threes. So have a little patience and a little faith, and your reward will be three-plus dozen cinnamon rolls that will disappear within a 24-hour span!

My mother-in-law showed me this trick years ago and I almost forgot. But perusing the freezer section the other day, I noticed that frozen bread dough was on sale, and it was calling my name. Three loaves of dough nestled into a Styrofoam container, wrapped in plastic, just waiting for me to take it home and have my way with it. (What was I thinking only buying one package?)

Anyway, the homemade dough recipe that my mother-in-law gave me 25 years ago is still the family favorite, but if they have to make a choice between no cinnamon rolls or rolls with frozen bread dough, they will choose the frozen dough every time. And it works quite well and tastes just fine, so there is no shame in it.

I just thaw the dough, per the package instructions, and get to work. I made traditional cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, and chai-spiced rolls.

You will need:
3 loaves defrosted dough
3 cubes butter (no margarine!)
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
3-4 T cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each of: ground cardamom, cloves, allspice, ginger
zest of 1 orange
3 T orange juice concentrate, softened

Before beginning:
Melt butter
Combine sugars and cinnamon in one bowl, mixing well to incorporate

(1) Cinnamon Rolls
Flour your counter or pastry board and place one defrosted loaf in the middle, dusting with flour. Roll out with a rolling pin as thin as possible. Brush melted butter over the dough, using about ½ cup. Sprinkle liberally with sugar/cinnamon mixture. (If you want to add chopped walnuts or pecans, or even raisins—yuck—now is the time to do it.) Roll up gently, and cut into 1 – 1 ½-inch lengths. Place in round or square pan, but do now crowd. Press down slightly, cover with tea towel, and let rise for 30-45 minutes, until half again as big.


(2) Orange Rolls
Flour your counter or pastry board and place one defrosted loaf in the middle, dusting with flour. Roll out with a rolling pin as thin as possible. Brush softened orange concentrate on dough, topping with the melted butter, using about 1/3 cup. Sprinkle orange zest over dough, following with with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up gently, and cut into 1 – 1 ½-inch lengths. Place in round or square pan, but do now crowd. Press down slightly, cover with tea towel, and let rise for 30-45 minutes, until half again as big.



(3) Chai-spiced Rolls
Flour your counter or pastry board and place one defrosted loaf in the middle, dusting with flour. Roll out with a rolling pin as thin as possible. Brush melted butter over the dough, using about ½ cup. Add cardamom, cloves, allspice and ginger to remaining sugar mixture. Sprinkle liberally over the dough. Roll up gently, and cut into 1 – 1 ½-inch lengths. Place in round or square pan, but do now crowd. Press down slightly, cover with tea towel, and let rise for 30-45 minutes, until half again as big.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Test by pulling out center piece of dough and making sure it is cooked.

Let cool and indulge!

2 comments:

Ivonne said...

I have always wanted to eat at Mina's restaurant and I'm interested to hear what his cookbook is like. Great variation on the cinnamon rolls!

Happy 2007, Mrs B!

Mrs. B said...

I'm embarrassed to say that I have not been to his restaurant in SF, which is only 30 miles away - but have been frequently to his Nob Hill Restaurant in Vegas, as well as his Seablue in Vegas. Might try is new Vegas venture when I am there this month. Can't get enough!