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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!" is a Cajun saying meaning, "Let the good times roll!" So, to celebrate Mardi Gras today (really, could it be any funnier that the great election "Super Tuesday" also falls on Fat Tuesday this year. Hmmm, appropriate much with all this talk about the rich getting richer...? - sorry, I digress) I have been letting the good times roll around our house for the past week. Cinnamon Rolls that is.

I made some cinnamon rolls with a potato dough a few days ago and also yesterday with a white bread dough. All this also comes to you courtesy of National Sticky Bun Day coming up on February 21st. I have a couple more recipes I want to test this month on the subject, and yes, I will openly admit that I am now grasping at any excuse at this point to justify to myself and my husband the number of breakfast breads that are coming out of the kitchen that are without a doubt NOT helping me eat healthier.

To quote another french inspired saying, "C’est la vie". At this point, it isn't going to make or break me, so I will just enjoy having something ready to eat for breakfast that, while not the best choice perhaps, comforts me in this time of hibernation.

Anyway, I have to say, that while these cinnamon rolls were wonderful (and I used the same glaze as for the potato rolls) that I actually preferred the potato roll dough. It stayed more tender and had a nice flavor without drying out over time as much.

However, this recipe below is actually for white bread and is a very large recipe (3 loaves). Well, since loaves don't go that quickly around our house, I played around with the dough. So, what you see here is one regular loaf for sandwiches, a loaf where I kneaded in 1/3 cup of cinnamon chips (like chocolate chips but cinnamon flavored) that I had around the house, and made cinnamon rolls with the final amount.

The other thing I did do this time around was to slice and freeze a portion of the cinnamon rolls individually so that I could thaw and bake them at my leisure over the next few weeks. (Yes, I have an impish grin on my face at this point and that was a "mwa-ha-ha!" you heard resonating from my kitchen).

So... sorry about that little detour again... the point is, that though I think I like the potato dough better for making a large amount of cinnamon rolls at once, I also like this dough for its easy "freeze-ability."

You can see the potato rolls and find the glaze recipe here. For the bread and rolls show on this post, see below.

Expect more rolls to come...


½ C butter
½ Tbsp salt
½ C sugar + ½ tsp
1 C milk
2 C cold water
1 ½ Tbsp active dry yeast
½ C warm water (105° to 115° F)
11 C all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten slightly

In a large saucepan, heat butter, salt, sugar and milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter melts. Remove from heat; stir in 2 cups cold water.

In a small bowl, combine yeast and ½ cup warm water with ½ tsp sugar. Let set 1 minute. Then stir to dissolve. Let rest 5 minutes or until frothy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter mixture and 3 cups of the flour; add yeast mixture and eggs, mixing well. Add 6 more cups flour, two cups at a time. After each addition, mix for 1 minute until the flour is incorporated. Add the remaining 2 cups flour by hand (unless your stand-mixer can take the full volume – which mine can’t). To add the remaining flour by hand, place the final 2 cups onto a clean surface and knead the remaining flour gently in till it is all incorporated.

Cover the dough with a piece of pastry cloth and let it rest 5 minutes. Remove the cloth and with lightly floured hands knead the dough until smooth, elastic and small bubbles appear, about 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a large buttered bowl, turning dough over to grease top. Cover with kitchen towel and let rise in warm place about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.

Punch down dough; let rest 15 minutes till soft and pliable again. Divide into 3 pieces and form loaves. (I like to gently press the dough down with my knuckles and fold it in to three pieces like a letter, then press into a loaf shape, sealing the seam and tucking the ends underneath on the seam side. Then just use the sides of your hands along each long side of the loaf tucking and tightening the dough until you have a nice loaf shape that is even and as long as your pan.) Place the loaves into 3 (9x5x3-inch) loaf pans. Cover and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled again.

Heat oven to 375° F. Bake 45 minutes or until loaves are golden brown. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks away from drafts.

Makes 3 loaves.


Because this is such a large recipe, I like to experiment with the dough. Here I made two loaves (slightly smaller than full size) and 18 cinnamon rolls.

When dividing the dough, I divided it into three pieces, but slightly uneven, leaving a little extra dough for the cinnamon rolls. You could simply divide it evenly into three pieces and make a pan of rolls with one of the loaf pieces. Just follow all the steps above through the 15 minute resting period (and I like to form the rolls last so they get a little longer rest since that portion of dough will be worked the most). Roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about ½ inch thick.

1 C light brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ C butter, melted
¼ C honey

Place in microwave safe bowl and whisk all ingredients together. Heat in the microwave until it is all soft and mixed together. Spread this onto the dough rectangle in as even a layer as possible, leaving a 1-inch strip at the top clean to seal a seam. Roll the dough, starting at the bottom jelly-roll style. Cut the dough into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place in a buttered baking dish and cover with buttered plastic wrap. Allow to rise till doubled in size (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 375° F. Remove from oven and allow to cool before glazing with frosting.


Deborah said...

Both the potato and the white cinnamon rolls sound wonderful. I didn't know about National Sticky Bun Day - I might have to use it as an excuse to make my favorite cinnamon rolls!!

Deborah said...

I've tagged you!! Check out my blog for details!

Brilynn said...

You can never have too many cinnamon rolls... and if you do, send some my way!

Jaime said...

everything looks mouth watering delicious!

i just joined the DB this month too, just checking out everyone else's blogs, wanted to say hello :)

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