Friday, October 2, 2009

Yum Yum...Cinnamon Buns...err...Rolls?

I have always wondered what the difference between a cinnamon bun and a cinnamon roll is because, to me, they always seemed to be used interchangeably. Upon investigation I found that although they are pretty much one and the same, the main difference seems to be that one has icing and the other does not. Icing, or not, they are delicious and they are the perfect treat for your family, or yourself, on the weekend.
Freshly glazed homemade cinnamon rolls
Also, the plus side to my cinnamon rolls is they are a slight deviation from the usual butter and whole milk laden ones, but equally delicious. It kind of justifies having more than one, right?


(Makes 18 to 20 rolls)

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  1. Combine milk and oil in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds.

  2. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.

  3. Add 21/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.

  4. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky. If you are using a mixer, just trade your paddle attachment for a dough hook. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes. Form into ball.

  5. Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.

  2. Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide). You could make them bigger, but remember to choose the pan to bake them in accordingly, they will rise quite a bit.

  3. Spray either 9-inch square glass baking dishes, or a 8 x 11 baking pan with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there should be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

  4. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes.

The process of cinnamon roll making
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tbsp rum (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine powdered sugar, milk, rum (if using), and vanilla in a bowl. Using a whisk or fork, beat until smooth.
  2. Drizzle glaze on rolls. You could use this glaze sparingly, or make a double batch and really coat them. Serve the cinnamon rolls warm or at room temperature.