April 27, 2010

ruefully ridiculous standards*

When I requested your go-to recipes for cinnamon rolls, many of you urged me to try the now completely famous version from the now completely famous (and deservedly so) Pioneer Woman.



Since I want nothing more than to please my belly readers, I did as you recommended and made myself a batch.

Frankly, I don't even know where to begin in describing this phenomenal product. The rolls resulting from Ree's recipe (gadzooks, I love alliteration*) were as close to perfection-in-edible-form as I've certainly ever come. They were fluffy and tender enough to dissolve straightaway, and topped exquisitely with a maple glaze that I'm now tempted to add to anything and everything I bake.



Another bonus about this recipe is its convenience to prepare. You can take care of a bit of the leg-work early and then let the dough sit around until you're ready to proceed. I like that.



I've been told once or twice or 79 times that my standards are too high in general, and I'm beginning to become unable to deny that. You see, although these rolls are sensational and delicious and utterly amazing, I want to do even better. I simply can't stop here, although I really can't pinpoint any one thing that I'd change. In fact, as I write this, I can't remember what it was about these that I didn't find completely perfect. Sigh--I guess I'll have to make them again to try to figure it out...

Practically Perfect Cinnamon Rolls*
(adapted from the one and only Pioneer Woman)

Dough:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 cups + 1/2 cup flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder

Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
pinch of salt

Make ahead: Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, until just before boiling. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about an hour or until lukewarm (between 105° – 115°F; use a thermometer to check). Sprinkle the yeast into the warm milk mixture and allow to sit for a few minutes. Add 4 cups of flour and stir together until a sticky dough forms. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise somewhere warm for about an hour. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to dough and combine thoroughly to form an elastic dough. Spray the inside of a large bowl with cooking spray. Put dough in the bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator overnight, or up to a day.

Assembly: Spray 3 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Generously flour a clean, dry surface. Place half the dough on the floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out into a large rectangle. Gently spread 1/2 cup of softened butter over the dough with a butter knife. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar over the buttered dough.

Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll dough in a tight spiral toward the other end and pinch the seam shut. Slide a strand of dental floss under the rolled dough 1-1½ inches from the end. Cross the ends of the floss over the top of the roll and pull in opposite directions, slicing off a section of dough. Repeat with the rest of the dough, placing buns in the prepared pan. You will have space between the buns.

Repeat with the second half of the dough. (If you only want to make one batch of buns, you can tightly wrap and freeze the other half at this point. In that case, use half the amount of the ingredients for the glaze.)

Set aside to rise for 30-45 minutes. Bake in 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Make glaze: Mix together all ingredients and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.


*Told ya.

88 comments:

Lisa-Marie said...

Grace, if everyone gave up when they found something almost perfect, we'd never have new recipes.

I applaud your high standards and quest for perfection!


AN these are very, very nice cinnamon rolls!

hannah! said...

i tried them once but something went wrong so it was a flop. :( i suppose there's always next time... yours look amazing, though :D

Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) said...

Cinnamon rolls are by far one of the best things in life. These looks absolutely wonderful. i'll have to give the recipe a try!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Haha thankyou for thinking of us and your belly! Hey the belly has to be taken care of you know! :P

Pam said...

You probably need to make them 2 or 3 more times just to make sure.

maybelle's mom said...

79--the girl who works for me tells me my standards are too high at least 80 times.

Barbara said...

You are beginning to sound like Mary Poppins, the biggest alliterator (is that a word?) ever.

I've made Ree's cinnamon rolls and agree, they are practically perfect. I can't make them often because I will eat them all myself, no sharing!
Definitely drool-worthy photos, Grace!

Peter M said...

Cinnamon buns baking in the morning are irresistable. I use another tried & tested recipe but I wouldn't refuse this beauty.

Albany Jane said...

I think the hardest part of baking is realizing that there's *something* missing, but you don't know what. It's not like cooking, where you can just add a dash of this after it's all said and done.

Personally, I'd toss in some butter, but that's just me.

Lucie said...

I've just had loads of fresh homemade brioche, but this makes me hungry all over again. You know, I never have the feeling anything I bake tastes "perfect"--and that's what always makes me bake some more!

shaz said...

Must.have.maple.glaze. They look awesome Grace but if you want to try a few more batches, of course we'd love to hear about it. One can never have enough cinnamon rolls :)

Bunny said...

We count on you for perfection Grace! These are pretty darn close to that, they look divine!

Chanel11 said...

I know what you mean, the more you eat the pickier you get, sometimes I'm too much of a food-snob for my own good. I have never made a cinnamon scroll, but I think I shall start with this one - unless you find an even better recipe....

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

I have made these, as well, and I agree - the best!

Kate said...

I may just have to jump on this train and make them!! They look so delicious and I can feel the call....

lisa said...

The coffee and maple in the glaze is very, very tempting. I'm now thinking it's been far too long since I've made cinnamon rolls.

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

I tried to make this a few years ago and I failed. Your cinnamon rolls look great. I might give this recipe a go to impress the boy.

kat said...

Oh those do look so perfect but I know its hard to resist adding changes

dawn said...

standards s/b high! i mean if you're going to comsume all those calories it better taste good, right? right.

Natalie @ Perrys' Plate said...

Aren't these amazing?!? I made them earlier this year, but they were all gone in one day (I gave them away... although I probably ate at least 6. I couldn't stop) so I didn't get an pics to post. Soon....soon....

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm glad you made these, I've been eyeing them for awhile. Are they real flaky and light? Because I'd do my cream cheese icing--I'm just looking for a doughy, flaky, Cinnabon like dough...

Bob said...

Isn't it tragic when you have to make something this good over and over for research? Heh.

They look wicked good, I've been meaning to make them myself.

Lori said...

Oh man! You had to go and make such a great recommendation- now I have to make them. Oh yes, I gotta make em!

cookies and cups said...

alright, alright..i'll make them...geez!

The Teacher Cooks said...

So many people have raved about these rolls and now you! I guess I will have to break down and make them, too. Your photos sure look perfect!

Jacqueline said...

That actually sound do-able. I thought they would be way out of my league. They look gorgeous.I would love to bite into one right now.

Melanie said...

These rolls definitely have a following and I've heard the maple glaze is phenomenal. I hope you find what you are looking for in a cinnamon roll!

Livin Local said...

Making me feel sooooo guilty for making those cinnamon rolls from a can for my kids this morning. Would you like to adopt a few teens so you can treat them right?

oneordinaryday said...

These look fabulous, Grace, but you know what I like even better than those gorgeous photos? You said "gadzooks!" : )

Leslie said...

These look evil...just plain evil!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those rools look devilishly good and tempting!

Cheers,

Rosa

msmeanie said...

These rolls do look might amazing. I have been wanting to try them for so long. I admire your high standards and I hope you try these again and give us your version!

Bridgett said...

I will have to give this version a try even though I have a tried and true recipe in my family. I am always up for a little more culinary research. They look delicious, Grace.

Marjie said...

Cinnamonnnnnn......

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Faith said...

Oooh, these look incredible! I wish I had one (or a plateful ;) ) right now. If you make them again, let us know of any changes! (That's the sort of thing that really excites me, lol!)

Danielle said...

oooh...so not fair! I need some for my afternoon pick me up! See? Thats the thing about most cinnamon roll recipes that i've eaten...they don't melt in your mouth the way the look like they should. Ok, I'm making these...I don't care what my pants are saying...they'll just have to deal with it!

amanda @ fake ginger said...

I was just thinking about trying these the other day. I'm on that quest for the perfect cinnamon roll too. I will definitely have to try them after seeing your pictures!

Robin Sue said...

My friend made these for me for Christmas one year and what a great gift! They were so good!

♥peachkins♥ said...

love the photo of your cinnamon rolls..

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

They do look gorgeous! Pat yourself on the back, though, because good cinnamon rolls are all about the execution. :)

The Sugar Queen said...

I have one word for you ... YUM!

Hungry Dog said...

OMG. Are you kidding me?! These look awesome. It's dinnertime here and I want one. Is that wrong?

eep said...

Grace, these look amazing! I can't wait to try them.

red ticking said...

wow... i just passed this onto my boyfriend who is the cinnamon roll king... i need to try these... very soon!
yummmmie... xx

Barefoot Belle said...

Is it bad that I have a single, lonely orange roll sitting in my refrigerator, and now I want to go try my hand at these? Ugh. This is doing nothing for bathing suit preparation.

Pam said...

YOU ARE KILLING ME!!! Maple icing? A.m.a.z.i.n.g. I sure wish you were my neighbor because I would be at your door begging for one of these beauties right now. I must make them soon.

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

have seen pioneer woman's and it made me hungry.
then i saw it on bakerella and i started to drool.
AND NOW I SEE IT ON YOUR BLOG OMG.
damn need to make some now.
this is depressing. haha.

Julie said...

Here's to research! Never give up. Awesome pics :)

tasteofbeirut said...

I do like these once in a while and especially if someone else has done all that baking! Yours look fabulous, how fast did they go?

Xiao Yen Recipes said...

Love, just love cinnamon buns. The first I tried making them, I baked for a wee too long. Got distracted doing some other stuff...need to be more careful next time.

Mimi said...

I'll volunteer my services as your offical taste tester.
Mimi

lisa said...

These are LOVELY cinnamon rolls. And maple icing? That just brings these babies over the top! Insanely good.

sweetlife said...

you are too kind to offer to make these again--for research purposes, haha..I'm glad you like them--I've heard so many poeple rave about these..they do look sinfully delish

sweetlife

Chef Jeena said...

This is one gorgeous cinnamon roll Grace. :)

TKW said...

*wiping drool off of my laptop* Boy, those look like serious cinnamon rolls!

Lynda said...

Just from the photos, these appear to be the ultimate cinnamon rolls- soft textured with lots of cinnamon filling and gooey glaze.I must give them a try while waiting for your next research project Grace!

Abby said...

I'm going to have to break down and try those darn things, aren't I?

foodhoe said...

me too, gadzooks those resultant rolls look and sound madly delicious... cinnamon and maple and melt in your mouth all have me thinking of actually baking!

Erica said...

They look fantastic! We love cinnamon rolls!!! I would love to make them at home.

Sook said...

Oh I love these cinnamon rolls. I made these last year and it was such a hit and everyone always asks me to make them on special occasions. Such a great recipe!

Carolyn Jung said...

Hooray for cinnamon rolls you can make/proof in the fridge the night before. After all, who wants to wake up all bleary-eyed, only to have to wait hours for a treat like that to finally bake up in the oven?

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

oh good lord... these look gooey, warm, and delicious. What a great recipe!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Of course you'd be worthy of a slice of pudding. After all Grace is a royal name ;-P!

Cheers,

Rosa

Chef Fresco said...

How could you get ANY better than this?? These are about the best looking cinnamon rolls I've ever seen! YUM!

LilSis said...

These look like they would literally melt in your mouth! I should overcome my fear of yeast! :-)

Lisa said...

These are deliciously beautiful!

laura said...

Bun perfection! Cinnamon buns are one of my all time favorite treats - I won't complain about new recipes and variations.

Paula said...

I think I actually whimpered when my eyes feasted on your photos. Good lord, woman, those look AMAZING. PW's stuff is always a good bet, and it looks like this one is a winner. In addition to being in awe of your baking, I give homage to your uber awesome alliteration skills. :-)

Me, Myself and Pie said...

I. Must. Try. These. Those photos rocked my taste buds!

stephen said...

I don't care what anyone says, cinnamon buns are the best breakfast pastry ever invented! :) well.. at least in America

Cheri said...

Dang it Woman! Now I'm craving cinnamon rolls and it's 9:00 at night! They looks so ooey gooey and delicious! When it comes to cinnamon rolls I'm pretty picky and still haven't found the perfect recipe. This is the next on my list to try!

pierre said...

i love cinammon rolls but here Iam the onlu one in the family too bad !! cheers de Paris Pierre

Haddock said...

Perfect

Kerstin said...

Your pictures are causing me to drool again - yum!! I still haven't tried this recipe, but maybe next weekend for Mother's Day :)

Donna-FFW said...

HI Grace.. Ive made these also and have loved them, give them as gifts, etc. some prefer a different glaze.. but I like the maple:) Looking fabulous!

Silver Strands said...

hehehe Grace ... your blog made me laugh and my mouth salivate all at once!

Thanks for coming to my blog and for your sweet comments :)
Denalee

Deborah said...

Ok, I'm going to HAVE to make these now!

Lindsey @ pickyeatings said...

These have been on my radar for quite some time, and I think the only reason I have not yet made them is because you get 2,000 rolls when you do...not like that would REALLY be a bad thing, but it might be a bad thing for my thighs...

Grumpy and HoneyB said...

These look oh so sinfully delicious! Cinnamon rolls are one of my biggest downfalls!

proofofthepudding said...

First of all, the photo of that cinnamon bun almost made me pass out. Now that I am fully conscious, I can say that I've been dying to try that recipe too but haven't yet. I wonder what it was missing? If you manage to improve it, you'll have to let me know.

Heather said...

I have been meaning to try PW Cinnamon Roll recipe and now that you have given it your nod of approval I may just have to make them. After all you are a lover of cinnamon too so you I trust your opinion.

sweetlytart said...

These have been on my to make list forever. I'm very traditional about dessert (even breakfast-y desserts) so I was wondering about the maple topping. Did you make the whole recipe? It's huge.

Ingrid said...

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you trying to figure it out! :)
~ingrid

kimberleyblue said...

These look just heavenly - perfectly formed and risen...I'm always on the lookout for a great cinnamon roll recipe, and I love topping them with a maple glaze!

russell @ Chasing Delicious said...

Well these look just delicious. My mom loves cinnamon rolls so I am going to try out this recipe for mother's day!

Elana said...

Ok, my mother has made these her entire life, and I have never seen a batch as good as hers looked. These are even better. I make some in my KitchenAid stand mixer that I got from KaTom, a restaurant equipment store, and I don't think I will ever get any this gorgeous. I am jealous, but thanks for the recipe so that i can try to imitate you

Ranae said...

Grace,
I love this recipe!! As with everything, I add this and that to tweak it just right. I added 1/4 tsp of vanilla and a smidge of cinnamon to the milk/sugar mixture and that seems to have done it. Also, this can be made sugar-free if you use Splenda--just double the baking powder. It turns out great. As with everything homeade, I just say that the love involved reduces the calorie count!