Sunday, January 20, 2013

Brioche Dough Cinnamon Rolls

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Alright, so, I know I said I’d be posting a bunch of savory, meat-related dishes that I learned in class – and I still intend to post the rest of them. But first, let’s take a break – a sweet, delicious break. Since I’m in the baking and pastry class now, I figured why not have a sugary interlude before diving back into the entrees? It doesn’t get much better than a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls.

One of the best kinds of dough I learned to make recently was brioche. The richness of it makes for the perfect cinnamon roll, and it’s relatively simple to make. Another thing to keep in mind is that for baking recipes, I’ll often be measuring out a lot of things in ounces now instead of teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups. Baking is like a precise science, especially when it comes to leavening agents like yeast, baking powder, and baking soda, so it is ultimately beneficial to measure things out this way instead. You can find a perfectly good scale for less then $30 at Target if you don’t have one – this is the one I’ve got, and it works like a charm.

Difficulty: Relatively Easy
Active Prep Time: About 1 hour
Total Prep Time: 1 day
Special Equipment: Stand mixer, kitchen scale
Makes: 15 – 20 cinnamon rolls

Icing Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Dough Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. milk
  • 7 oz. butter, cubed, room temp
  • 1 lb. bread flour
  • 1 oz. fresh yeast (If you don't have fresh, use ½ oz. of dry active yeast, or 1/3 oz. of instant yeast)
  • 2¼ oz. granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ oz. salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt


(Start by making the dough 1 day in advance of when you intend to use it)

1. Pour the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast completely.

2. Next add the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt – in that order. Do NOT put the salt first, or it will kill the yeast.

3. Using the stand mixer’s dough hook attachment, knead the dough for about 5 minutes at medium speed until the dough is very stretchy. If the dough is too sticky, add some more flour as needed.

4. Begin adding the butter a few pieces at a time. The dough should begin to get creamier and very sticky, though it will still be fairly stretchy.

5. Spray a large plastic bag with non-stick cooking spray, then transfer the dough to the bag. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

(The next day…)

6. Cover a surface with a layer of bread flour and turn the dough out of the bag onto the floured surface.

7. Sprinkle some bread flour on top of the dough and coat a rolling pin with it as well. Roll the dough out until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Let it rise for about 10 minutes.

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8. While the dough rises, place the stick of butter in a small sauce pot and melt it down completely over medium heat. Keep it on the heat until it begins to brown. Once brown, spread evenly over the dough.

9. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together, then coat the buttered dough evenly. Roll the dough into a log.

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10. Cut the dough into even pieces and arrange in a buttered pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise for another half hour.

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11. Bake at 400ºF for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

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(While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing)

12. Add the powdered sugar to a mixing bowl, then add maple flavoring, milk, melted butter, coffee, and salt. Whisk until the mixture becomes thick, but still pourable.

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13. Generously spread the icing over the rolls, then cut and serve while warm.

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