Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese

A couple years ago for my birthday, this time of year, I received a lovely book from Billy. It was called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Go figure that he was hinting at something rather strongly. I finally had been getting used to the kitchen production of cooking meals, and to me, this was a nice addition to my culinary repertoire: the process of making breads.

His co-worker had been bringing in breads that she had made from recipes from this book, so he knew the outcome couldn't miss. And it didn't. I successfully started creating beautiful loaves and enriched breads, one after the other. I didn't realize until a bit later that traditional bread making is actually quite laborious and time consuming. I was really lucky to have this be my first bread making experience, it's so easy, and so delicious.

As you can probably tell, I love making bread. Along with making bread comes the joy of making enriched breads, such as Challah or Brioche. The reason the bread is referred to as "enriched" is because of the addition of eggs, butter, and honey. The dough is wetter than normal bread doughs, and when baked is light in texture and rich in sweet flavors. It's absolutely perfect for Cinnamon Rolls. Do you have a favorite recipe book for making bread?

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese
Yield: Aprx. 8 lg rolls Time: 2 hrs rise time, 30 min active, 45 min bake
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.
Kitchen Tested

Brioche Dough Ingredients:
3/4 cups warm water
3/4 tbsp yeast
3/4 tbsp kosher salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour)

Caramel Ingredients:
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

Filling Ingredients:
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground pepper

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

How To:
Brioche Dough: 
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and lay a towel over entire bowl.

Set aside at room temperature to let the dough rise, for about 2 - 3 hours. The dough will be loose and wetter than normal dough. You may place the bowl in the fridge for up to 4 days before use, or you may use it immediately after the rise.

Cinnamon Rolls: 
1) In a small bowl, mix together all caramel ingredients, until perfectly smooth.

2) Spread the caramel mixture evenly over a 9"x 13" glass baking dish. Set aside.

3) In the same bowl, mix together the filling ingredients, until smooth. Set aside.

4) On a floured surface, lightly knead the portion of fresh Brioche dough, just until a consistent surface is formed.  Make sure there is enough flour so that the dough doesn't stick to the board, once you begin to roll it out. Flatten dough initially with hands, and then with a rolling pin, roll into an elongated rectangle, aprx. 1/4 inch thick.

5) Spread the filling mixture evenly over the rectangle, using a spatula.

6)  Roll the dough from the bottom up to form a large jelly roll style log. Using a serrated knife, slice downward one roll at a time. Place each roll in the cake pan, making sure the swirls face up.

7) Heat oven to 350ºF. While oven is heating, allow formed rolls to rise a bit. Once oven is heated, place baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until tops start to lightly brown.

8) Mix together the cream cheese and the powdered sugar until well mixed. Spread over the tops of the cinnamon rolls if serving all at once. If eating one at a time, you can prepare the frosting ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for whenever you serve a cinnamon roll.

Happy Baking! 

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