(Mini) cinnamon rolls
1 package yeast (1/4 oz)
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup scalded milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature, not melted
~1/4 cup milk on hand (will not use all of it)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinches of salt
Making the Dough
Dissolve yeast in bowl of warm water and set aside.
mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, and egg.
add 2 cups of flour and mix in until smooth.
Pour in yeast, and mix in remaining flour until the mixture turns into something dough-like.
knead on lightly floured surface.
place in bowl and let rise until doubled. this usually takes 1-2 hours.
Rolling and cutting
When the dough has full risen, punch it down and then roll out on a floured surface. aim for a thickness between 1/4 and 1/8 inches.
Pour and spread butter evenly on the rolled out dough.
create a cinnamon sugar mixture. I recommend mixing to taste (and color), though 1/2 cup sugar to 2-3 tablespoons cinnamon ought to work out fine.
scatter cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter. be sure to have an even coating.
pick and end of the dough, and tightly roll up. be mindful that the ends are being rolled tightly. the middle parts can fend for themselves.
cut the roll up into cylinders. I usually aim to have them about an 3/4 inch tall.
Place on a greased cookie sheet or inside a muffin tin. Let the rolls rise once more for about 45 minutes or so before going into the oven. A trick I learned somewhere once was to sprinkle a little bit of cream or half-and-half on each roll. I don't do this anymore because it was quite tedious with the smaller scale, and the differences (if any) are negligible.
Know your oven. This might require some trial and error, depending on your setup.
The conventional wisdom here is: bake at 350F for about 15-20 minutes.
With my tiny quarter-size convection oven, I get things cooked in about 7 minutes at 325F.
Cooking for less time and heat will make things come out to be more gooey.
325F is probably the lowest you'll want to go. Otherwise, the sugar won't melt properly.
This is less a recipe, more a few general guidelines.
Start by adding in butter in a blender. tablespoons milk and blend. Gradually add in confectioner's sugar until it reaches a decent consistency. Add in vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Getting the icing right is a matter of tasting and tuning. Salt counteracts the sweetness and brings out the vanilla. Add more sugar if it is too salty. If the icing is too liquidy, add more sugar. If it is too crumbly, add more milk.
Steaming Cinnamon Rolls
One of the best ways to prepare cooked cinnamon rolls is to steam them. This allows rolls to last for quite a few days. The steaming rehydrates what would otherwise be dry and stale rolls. It also adds a nice amount of gooeyness to it.
I recommend keeping the icing/frosting separate from the rolls until the day they are consumed. Frost before putting them on the steamer; the steam should melt the frosting to be nice and smooth. If too much frosting melts, add a little more.
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