Friday, January 29, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

I love sweets! I love them at any time of the day, especially at breakfast. When I first received The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook in December, I knew I wanted to try these cinnamon rolls first. I first made them for a play date brunch at my house I had for friends to celebrate Christmas.That's when I realized her original recipe makes 7 tins of cinnamon rolls! I have halved the recipe here, and put PW's original recipe amounts in parentheses and italics. I also made these for my family on Christmas morning and for my neighbors as Christmas gifts. If you think these look too involved, they are worth the trouble. And in actuality, they weren't that much trouble at all. It does get messy, but once you're eating these delicious rolls, you'll have forgotten all about the mess you had to clean up! At the end, I have added a tip about freezing these cinnamon rolls so you can enjoy them weeks after your initial hard work.

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 cups whole milk (4 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (1 cup)
1/2 cup sugar (1 cup)
1 package active dry yeast (2 packages)
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (9 cups)
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder (1 tsp)
1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda (1 tsp)
1/2 tablespoon salt (1 tsp)

1 1/2 sticks melted butter, plus more as needed (2 cups)
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for sprinkling, plus more as needed (1/4 cup)
1 cup sugar, plus more as needed (2 cups)

Maple Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar (4 cups)
1/4 cup whole milk (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons butter, melted (6 TBSP)
3 tablespoons strongly brewed coffee (1/4 cup)
dash of salt
1/2 tablespoon maple flavoring or maple extract (1 TBSP)

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.

Once lukewarm, sprinkle yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 4 (8 cups) cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup (1 cup) flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.

To assemble the rolls, remove dough from the bowl. (If you're making the full recipe, you will only pull out half of the dough and use half of the filling ingredients for each section of dough.) On a floured baking surface (I used my counter top), roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30x10 inches.

To make the filling, pour melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.

Generously sprinkle the ground cinnamon and sugar over the butter.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. This is the tough part. Butter and sugar start oozing out of the sides, but keep rolling.

When you reach the end, pinch the seam together. When you're finished, you will have a long dough "log."

Transfer to a cutting board and with a sharp knife, make 1 1/2 inch slices. One log will produce 20 to 25 rolls.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter into the desired pie pans or baking dishes and swirl to coat.
Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. Halving the recipe will probably produce 4-5 pans of cinnamon rolls.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the counter top for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Don't allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing.
In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be thick, but still pourable.

While the rolls are still warm, generously drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top.

As they sit, the rolls with absorb some of the icing's moisture and flavor.

*Freezing Tip- I originally froze these rolls before baking. I have had a hard time getting them to rise as they did when I baked them fresh. I suggest baking the rolls, icing them, letting them cool, wrapping them tightly with foil, and then freezing. PW suggests that once ready to eat them, pull them out of the freezer and warm them in a preheated 250 degree oven for 15 minutes.

After scalding the milk, oil, and sugar, set aside until lukewarm.

sprinkle yeast on top and let sit 1 minute.

Add 4 cups of flour (8 cups for full recipe), cover with towel and let sit for 1 hour. After 1 hour, dough will have risen and look like this.

Punch it down, and add remaining flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Stir thoroughly until combined.

turn dough out onto floured surface and pour melted butter on top. Spread it evenly with fingers.

sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Roll the dough towards you, and then cut into 1 1/2 rolls.

Place in baking dish or pie dish/pan. Below are my first attempt at the rolls, they didn't turn out looking so great, so I made a cinnamon roll casserole. It was delicious! Cover with a towel for 20 minutes to rise.


Make icing. Whisk together all icing ingredients.

Pour on top of warm rolls. Serve warm.

This is a look at my second attempt at making the rolls. They still aren't perfect, but they at least look like rolls this time!

I forgot to take a picture of my finished product, here is Pioneer Woman's finished product. Yum!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Thanks so much for halving this recipe! I also have PW's cookbook and I'm about to make these bad boys for my friends moving to the city and a friend visiting this week. I don't have enough room in my freezer for 7 pie plates full of cinnamon buns, but this looks do-able now. Thanks for posting all the pictures too, that definitely helps! Ree would be so proud.


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