Monday 21 October 2013

Orange Cinnamon Buns

It has finally happened: the last day of the school holidays is here!!!

This has been a low budget week for us (goodbye, maternity pay, you were fun while you lasted) but we've managed to survive without too many casualties.  

However, not all is well...
Now, I don't want to worry anyone TOO much, but I think things are going a bit rough with Will and Kate right now.  How do I know?  This:

Yes, a crack has appeared in my one of my 50p charity shop Will and Kate wedding mugs.  It's cause for concern, folks.  The new baby has obviously upset things a bit; it's not easy becoming parents, particularly when you are in the public eye.   You know what she needs right now?  Cinnamon buns.

Shut up, it's true.

My guess is she won't eat them, though, so we should have some for her.  It's the right thing to do.

Now let's gather up some ingredients.

I've not tried this recipe before, so anything could have happened.  ANYTHING.

I pinned it off of the Williams Sonoma page, and then my friend pinned it and then she did something crazy.  She MADE the recipe!  Within a day!  So of course I had to as well.

First, I warmed some milk and added some yeast.

Then I added eggs, sugar, salt...

and flour.  It had said to wait until the yeast was bubbling, but WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?

So I ignored them and stirred it all together.

Then in went the magic ingredient: butter.

Now here the recipe had I line that I HATE seeing in recipes: "Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed".  Not everyone has a stand mixer with a dough hook!  I do have a vintage stand mixer, but no dough hook, and I'm afraid to use the mixer at all right now as it gives off a funny metallic smell, so I knead things by hand.  With a recipe like this, it is a pain, as the dough is quite sticky and hard to work.  I added a significant amount of flour, but hopefully the 4 eggs and butter balanced that out.

I worked the dough till I got bored, and used my new fancy dough scraper for the first time.  I got it from my sister in law when I was going through her kitchen stuff and said "ooh, look, a dough scraper!" and she said "what's a dough scraper?"  She obviously didn't have any use for it, so she gave it to me.  Score!

I put the dough away to rise (yes, I snuck some wholegrain bread flour in there.  I don't know why, either) and got to work on the filling.

Oh, guess I don't have too many pecans.  Oh well.

Brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest.  Looks good to me.

An hour and a bit later, the dough looked like this.

So I rolled it out.  I kind of ignored the dimensions the recipe said as it said to roll out 2 rectangles and instead I just made one big rectangle.

I used my fingers to smear butter all over it.

It was actually thinner in places than I should have made it, but oh well.  Then I added the filling and threw some chopped apple on just for fun.  Oh, and a bit of flour to help stop it all from spilling out.

Then rolled it up.  Usually I like to use the rolling pin to press the filling into the butter and dough before rolling it up, but I forgot.  Oops.

I tried at first to cut it with floss, but ended up just using a sharp knife.  And at this point all three kids were making noise so I was kind of rushing...

So they ended up looking like this.  Oops.  Maybe rising will fix it.


Well, good icing fixes everything, right?  I put some butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a bowl, whipped them up, then added icing sugar.

 When I make cream cheese icing in the UK it always ends up runnier than when I do it in the USA.  Why is that?  Still tastes good.

Time to check on the buns.  Whoa, mama.

Let's hide those beasts with some icing, eh?

Whoops, some must have disappeared somehow.

So yes, they were tasty, but not as good as this recipe (so long as you use butter instead of margarine):
I don't think the orange zest added much, and they weren't as gooey as I'd hoped they'd be.  The wholegrain flour messed up the smooth texture you should really have, and the apples didn't really cook through enough.  I think dried apple would work better, or just raisins instead.  I will not be tempted by another cinnamon roll recipe again...

Well not until someone else pins one, anyway.

Here is the original recipe anyway if you think you'd like it.

Orange Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed (110°F)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks

For the filling:
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water

For the cream cheese frosting:
1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To make the dough, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, eggs, the 4 1/2 cups flour and the salt. Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed, adding a little more flour if needed, until the ingredients come together. Toss in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and springy, about 7 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, put it in the oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half.

Roll out 1 dough half into a rectangle about 9 by 14 inches. Spread with half of the butter, then sprinkle evenly with half of the brown sugar, half of the cinnamon and half of the orange zest. Starting at the long side closest to you, roll the rectangle away from you, forming a log. Cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices. Arrange the slices, cut side down, in half of the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling ingredients, and arrange the slices in the other half of the pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, draft-free spot until puffy, about 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before baking.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until thoroughly combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the consistency is too soft, refrigerate the frosting until it is spreadable, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the pan with the rolls to a wire rack and let cool slightly, then spread the rolls with the frosting while they are still warm. Pull the rolls apart and serve warm. Makes 16 rolls.

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