My beloved bakery makes the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had. That's not an exaggeration, folks, and I'm not the only one with that opinion.
They're made using a laminated dough, which simply means that the dough itself is separated by layers of butter. It's incredible, obviously; we also use it to make croissants. The filling consists of granulated sugar, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon and our icing is a simple powdered sugar glaze. As I reread this paragraph, I realize that I'm not making these cinnamon rolls sound very impressive, but believe me, all these components combine to make magic.
Rather than give you the recipes fine-tuned by my boss and risk losing my head (and job!), I thought I'd just settle for a little technique tutorial. This is how I roll:
I cut off a hunk of dough about 5x18" and begin to roll it out on my heavily-floured bench. I work it as much as I can, until it's about 1/4" thick and about a 30x40" rectangle*:
*I happen to be a horrible judge of measurements like this, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.
After the dough is rolled out, I apply a generous coating of melted butter to every single millimeter:
Next, the filling gets dumped on and spread over every millimeter except for about an inch up at the top. (This is to help the roll seal.)
Now, I begin to roll. This is something I can do very quickly now, but it takes practice to be able to accomplish it with finesse when you're working with so much dough. You have to pull and roll, traveling from one side to the other and back again:
Pull and roll, pull and roll. When you get about halfway up, you can stop pulling and just roll. Incidentally, I find this part of the process to be particularly cathartic:
Once the log is formed, be sure to pinch the seal well so the rolls won't unfurl (great word!) while proofing or baking. I give it a good back-and-forth roll right on the seam too, just to close it well:
I cut the log (using a bench scraper, FYI) into 5-ounce rolls, about 1.5" each:
The rolls go on a parchment-covered sheet pan, about 1" apart:
Since we prep our rolls the day before, the pan gets covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. In the morning, the pan is proofed in a warm oven for about 30 minutes, or until the rolls grow enough to touch each other:
The pan gets baked in our convection oven at 350F for 30-40 minutes, depending on how close to the 5-ounce mark I actually got:
The glaze is liberally applied:
These suckers get sold for $2.50 apiece, which is a deal you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere! As you can tell, I'm proud of these beauts and am glad to have the recipe and technique in my repertoire.
How do you eat your cinnamon roll? I start at the end and unroll it, eating the doughy center last, and I love a lot of glaze.