Friday, March 26, 2010

CINNAMON ROLLS - Bread Baker's Apprentice #5

If it's Friday in the Caribbean, it must be my day to post my bread baking adventures for the week. I promised myself on New Year's Eve that I would be trying to learn more as a bread baker, and if possible to cook through the"The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" book. I brought three cookbooks with me to my island adventure. The "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" book was one. It is now week five of my island adventure, and here is week five of my bread baking experiences.

But more than the rolls, aren't you just a little jealous that you don't get to eat off the really groovy Marcia Brady appetizer plates?  They came with my condo, and I get to relive the 60's every night... I think they are groovy in a far out way!

My spareribs, Paul Prudhomme's blackened cheese stuffed pork chops and now these... What do they have in common???  They are my three favorite things to eat in the whole world.  And who knew they were so easy to make.  This is another single day recipe, no over night ferments.  They are easy to freeze so you can make ahead.  And best of all, they are just as good as the kind you get at the airport, without having to go through the effort of flying.

Here's what I did...

First a note about what I am learning... Room temperature.  Eggs, butter and milk should be removed from the fridge a couple hours before you start.  The bread will rise better (yeast loves room temps, and sleeps when it gets too cold (or too hot)).  You should always read the entire recipe prior to starting.  But when baking with yeast, it is assumed that you will be working with room temperature items.

OK... after removing the buttermilk, egg and butter from the fridge earlier in the day...

6 1/2 TBS Sugar
1 tsp Salt
6 TBS Butter (room temperature)

Cream the sugar, salt and butter together

Then add ...

1 Egg
1 tsp Lemon Extract (I used Coconut Rum)

Mix again...
 Then add...

3 1/2 cups of Flour
2 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk (room temperature)

And mix.  No kitchenaid... not even a hand mixer... so get out the wooden spoon and mix mix mix.  I put on my Annette Funicello playlist on my iPod, which has some excellent bread kneading rhythms.  It is best to plan for Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy towards the end...

Go ahead, hit play, you know you want to...

but I am digressing from the recipe...

I mixed and kneaded the dough for 15 minutes.  It was silky and subtle and not sticky.  I did have to add quite a bit of extra flour to get the right feel.  But, eventually, between the extra flour and Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy, I got a nice ball of dough.

Oil the bottom of a mixing bowl, and roll the ball around to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment at room temperature (no drafts, in the warmest area of your house) for 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter, and roll it out to a rectangle, 9 inches by 18 inches.  For larger rolls, leave thicker, and only roll out 9X12.  In a desperate attempt at calorie control (HAHAHAHAHA), I made them smaller (they were plenty big, and since they were small, I could justify eating two).

OK, time for the stuffing... I mixed together 7 TBS of Sugar and 2 TBS of cinnamon and sprinkled this over the entire surface.  With the wide part of the rectangle of dough facing me, I started rolling till I had a tube 18 inches long.  At this stage, I allowed a final rise of 90 minutes.

After the final rise, I cut the dough into 6 inch sections.  Each section makes 4 rolls.  I froze 3 of the sections.  If I want rolls in the morning, I leave a section out overnight.

One of the sections, I cut into 4 - 1 1/2 inch sections,put into a small baking dish (sprayed with oil) and baked in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  My, did the kitchen smell good!

While the rolls were baking, I made the glaze...

And yes, I used just a smidgen of CRUZAN Coconut rum.  First, why not, but equally as important, have you ever used vanilla in a recipe?  well guess what, vanilla is more than 50% (actually, better vanilla is more than 75%) Alcohol.  You can light it, you can run a car with it and you can indeed get drunk very quickly with vanilla (would be expensive, but would work).  My point is, flavored rums make a nice addition (in moderation) to a sauce.  I had a hint of  Coconut (the book called for lemon) in the dough, and now a hint of coconut in the glaze.  It works just fine.


1 cup of Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp Coconut Rum
1 tsp Buttermilk

I mixed the sugar and rum together, and then slowly added bits of buttermilk into the mix till I got the correct texture for the glaze... a little thick, but something you can drizzle.

OMG... heaven in the mornings!

We are having our first batch of guests here next week (sadly, the girls (and Chris) from Our Krazy Kitchen have not agreed to that tax deductible summit meeting in ST Thomas, a couple of Jackie's cousins and her favorite aunt are coming), so one morning, I pop these out of the freezer and listen to the oooohs and ahhhhhs!  And yes, there indeed is just a tiny hint of coconut (but with just 1 tsp cooked in the dough and 1/4 tsp in the glaze, no rum taste!  Just an accent taste.

I did it.  And it is the best recipe i have made from the book!  I will be making these again and again!  I am only about 10% into the book, but i already feel myself growing as a cook.  More than just a collection of recipes, it is indeed a primer on learning to be a baker.  I am so loving this book, and incredible collection and certainly belongs on every cook's shelf.

The book is LARGE, lots of photos, and information.  Filled with dozens of recipes and easy to follow step by step directions.  And now Amazon is selling this for nearly half price (less than half if you want a used copy.  Folow the link  above and order TODAY!


  1. I am impressed. I have yet to embark on trying my hand at bread making-I stink at regular baking (it has something to do with my inability to follow directions).

    As far as I am concerned when you are ready to make cinnamon rolls and they look that good-you hve arrived. Awesome.

  2. Looks fabulous! I love the addition of coconut in the rolls. I am going to have to try that next time I make cinnamon rolls or orange rolls. Have fun with your visitors. I am sure they will give you your well deserved oohs and aahs!!

  3. Yummmmmmm! I am going to have to give these a try.

  4. OK, I must order the book now! These look very impressive. PS-I have to ask you though, what are the other two cookbooks you managed to fit in your suitcases?

  5. Now you are really showing us up! These look terrific!

  6. You are getting better and better with bread. These rolls look "to die for" - a real treat.

  7. The rolls look delicious and I have to admit to drooling over Annette a little in my youth.

  8. Wow these cinnamon rolls look incredible Dave! I've been meaning to make cinnamon rolls, so I think I will give these a try!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. They look perfect! I've wanted to make them, but never have..

  10. Ah, there's the rum! Heh. Looks great, I bet that glaze was killer.

  11. I LOVE Cinnamon Rolls! Homemade are the BEST!

    Wedding is May 1st. . . 36 Days!

  12. Every day that you cook through this book makes me increasingly happy. Now I know what I'll be getting myself into once I start! These look amazing! I'm drooling on my keyboard at the moment. Please excuse me while I go clean it off.

  13. Love Annette! That seems like good walking music too. Thanks for coming by! HAve a great weekend.

  14. This cinnamon roll recipe is the best I've ever made also. It's one of the few recipes in the book that I've actually made more than once because I loved them so much. Good job!

  15. You're becoming quite an accomplished baker. These look awesome. One of my favorite Christmas time thing to make is homemade cinnamon rolls by hand - literally - I put on gloves and do ALL my kneading by hand. No spoons here!

  16. I'm really impressed, Dave! Bread baking is something I've always been a little bit scared of doing. I'm glad you said that the book had easy step-by-step instructions because it looks like a serious bread book from the cover! Thanks for the tip...

    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  17. I was actually going to make cinnamon rolls over the weekend for my German exchange student - turns out she's used to having sweets for breakfast!

    I'll give these a whirl - thanks Dave!

  18. Wow! The apprentice needs a promotion!! These are incredible!

  19. Forget the cape and hat; I think it's robe and crown time.

  20. Your cinnamon rolls look easy to prepare and yummy! Have a great weekend!

  21. Those look spectacular! Alexis made some fresh ones and I can't eat them any other way now.

  22. These cinnamon rolls are killer, cher! I am drooling and want some for breakfast! Brilliant how you snuck the rum in!

  23. LOL! I don't remember Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy, but i used to watch Annette a lot!
    These rolls are amazing Dave, I think you've arrived.I think I'm going to have to buy this cookbook.

  24. Your photo makes my mouth water. Who doesn't love great cinnamon rolls? I'm going to have to check that book out based on your recommendation!

  25. You are going to be single-handedly responsible for throwing the Pillsbury Dough Boy into a deep depression! There is nothing better than a warm home made cinnamon roll and these look wonderful. I'll have to dig out my mom's cinnamon roll recipe and compare it. Gotta make em.

  26. Mmmm, these look wonderful! I love cinnamon rolls, definitely a favorite. Of course I'm bookmarking yours to try soon :-)

  27. These cinnamon rolls look great! They are perfect cooking in the oven first thing on a Sunday morning! Homemade is the best!