Thursday, April 15, 2010

From One Batch of Dough: Sandwich Bread and Raspberry Cinnamon Rolls

As I was making my usual loaf of sandwich bread the other day, it occurred to me that the recipe I was using could be working a lot harder for me. I'm a devotee of Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible. Her White Mountain bread is my go-to loaf for delicious, everyday sandwich bread. It's a moist, springy loaf enriched with honey, butter, and milk.

And I believed it could damn well be a fantastic cinnamon roll dough.

The recipe makes two loaves, meaning that instead of having a loaf leftover a day or two later (which, while still terrific, will inevitably begin drying out and losing its glamour), I could be using that extra dough as dessert, cutting my day's efforts in half. Win.

I prepared everything as usual, keeping the ingredients the same as always, letting the dough go through its first rise. However, when it came time to cut the dough in twain, while dough #1 was prepared as usual and put in a loaf pan to rise, dough #2 was rolled out and dolled up as one typically dandies up a cinnamon roll.

I make my dough slightly different than the book calls for, so the recipe you're seeing is a slightly modified one.

White Sandwich Bread and Raspberry Cinnamon Rolls from One Batch of Dough
(Makes one loaf of bread and 12 cinnamon rolls)

For the doughs:
3/4 c warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp butter (melted)
1 c milk (warmed to about 110 degrees)
6-6/12 c all purpose flour* (divided)

For the cinnamon roll filling:
3/4 c packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 c butter (softened)
2 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

For the cinnamon roll icing:
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese (softened)
3/4 c raspberry preserves
1/3 c confectioner's sugar

I typically use bread flour for this dough, but either can be used so I opted for all purpose here as I feel it's the better flour for cinnamon rolls.

Make the master dough:
Put yeast and sugar in the warm water, swirl gently with your finger, and let proof for 10 minutes (it should get nice and foamy in that time). While that's proofing...

Mix together the honey, salt, butter, milk. Add 1 cup of the flout and mix until it's smooth and creamy. Add the yeast mixture and stir well.

Add the remaining flour until it's all incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (this takes me about 10-12 minutes, but I'm exceptionally weak of body. If you're anyone stronger than a 3 year-old girl, you'll probably only need 5-7 minutes).

Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray (canola has no flavor, which is what I use), place your dough in it, give the top of the dough a light spray, then loosely cover it with plastic wrap (you don't want air to get in and dry it out, but you also want air to be able to escape). Allow it to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours (dough rises slower in cold temperatures).

Test your dough to see if it's ready: gently poke your finger into the dough. If the indentation stays put, it's ready. If it springs back quickly, it needs more time to rise.

Once your dough has risen, turn it out onto your work surface and cut it 60/40 (so one piece is slightly larger than the other). Put the smaller piece aside. We're going to work the loaf first.

Gently pat the dough out until it a rectangle roughly 16" by 6". Be very careful, you don't want to tear it or pop the air bubbles in it. You'll have a brick of bread otherwise. Bring both the left and right ends into the center (the long way), then roll it up tightly jelly roll style. Pinch the seam and ends together to close, then place the dough in a greased 9"x5" loaf pan. Again, loosely cover with plastic wrap.

Now we'll work the cinnamon rolls.

Take the half of the dough you set aside and roll it out to a roughly 16" by 10" rectangle. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together well. Coat the dough with the softened butter, leaving an inch along one long side clean (to seal), and then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. Roll it up jelly roll style, cut it in half, then cut each half in half, and then each piece in thirds (you can make fewer cuts to get bigger rolls). Make sure you use a sharp serrated knife, as you don't want to have to use a lot of pressure, which will make the filling ooze out. Put the rolls in a lightly greased 9" square or round baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Wait 20-30 minutes, then preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Let both the bread loaf and the rolls sit until almost doubled. Put the loaf and the rolls in the oven.

The rolls will cook 15-25 minutes, until golden brown.
The bread will cook for 45 minutes.

Tip: If the crust of your loaf or rolls starts getting too brown and it's not yet close to being done, tent it with foil (loosely place a sheet of foil over the top).

Tip: If you experience an issue with the filling oozing out of your rolls, when they're finished cooking allow them to cool for 5 minutes, then flip the pan over onto a piece of foil laid on your counter or table. The filling with drip back into them.

Take the rolls out and set them (pan and all) on a wire cooling rack (so the air can circulate all around it, otherwise the bottom will stay very hot, possibly causing them to overcook). When the bread is done, turn it out of the loaf pan and lay it on it's side on a wire cooling rack right away. Resist the urge to cut into the loaf until it's completely cooled (cutting into it before then can toughen the crumb).

While the rolls are cooling, make the icing: Beat together all of the ingredients, then slather over the rolls while they're still warm, but not hot.

Serve the rolls warm, and if they last keep them in the fridge and reheat in a warm oven as needed.

Store the bread in either a cloth or plastic bread bag. It will keep for 3-7 days, depending on the humidity level of your home. You can also freeze the cooked loaves.

1 comment:

  1. Bread frustrates the hell outta me! I can bake and cook everything but a decent loaf of bread. Those raspberry cinnamon rolls looks fantastic!! ::drools:: I believe that I'm one step closer to becoming a diabetic just by reading this blog... ;P



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