Monday, March 9, 2015

No Knead Cinnamon Rolls

Photo: whiskandwords(Exactly how mine looks.)
No, THE SAVVY SHOPPER hasn't become a baking blog. Food is only one of the subjects featured here. The reason I'm posting back-to-back recipes is because my cousin who lives out of town wants my recipe for cinnamon rolls.

While riding out the winter, I've been spending time indoors. Cinnamon rolls are a favorite treat, so I tried baking a batch using the new no knead method. A little more work than making bread, yes, but we have no trouble eating them! Here you are, Ms. Lizzie.  

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients for the sweet dough*:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon quick rising yeast

2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (helps dough to rise better)
1 1/3 cups of warm milk (I used powder milk added to water.)
3 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)

2 teaspoons vanilla


1) Put all the dry ingredients in a large wok (or mixing bowl if you don't own a wok). Stir together uniformly. 

2) Beat the egg in a cup and add to the dry mixture. 
3) Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix into a dough (using your hands if you wish).
4) Cover (I use the glass lid of a wok) and let it rise in a warm place (I put it inside my oven with just the pilot light) overnight -- for about 12 hours.
5) After the dough has tripled in size, flour and oil your hands and the dough, so you can work with it. Turn it out on a floured cutting board. Roll it flat into a rectangle shape.

Ingredients for the filling:

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon
Optional: nutmeg, ginger, allspice to taste.
nuts; melted butter to brush rolled dough

Directions - continued:

6) Combine the brown sugar and spices in a bowl.

7) You can either brush a little butter on the rolled out dough (or use water, if you don't want the calories. The butter will add flavor. Also, the filling will stay without moistening the dough, so you can skip this step, but a little butter on pastry will always improve the taste!).
8) Spread the filling evenly on the rolled out dough, avoiding the very edges.
9) I like to break up a few pecans (or walnuts) and scatter them as part of my filling.
10) Roll the dough and filling up like a cigar ... tight enough for it to hold together, but not too tight. If the dough sticks to the cutting board as you roll it up, simply scrape it gently with a spatula.
11) Next cut into 8 pieces with a sharp knife (or use dental floss). A trick is to cut the roll of dough in half, then cut the halves into halves until you get 8 even pieces.
12) Arrange them in an oiled cast iron skillet (or round baking pan).
13) Cover and let rise for 2 additional hours.
14) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
15) After the rolls are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool for at least 10 minutes. This is the time to make the frosting.

Ingredients for frosting:

1 cup powder sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

Directions - continued:

16) Using a fork, mix into a smooth frosting and spread on top of the rolls.

My family doesn't like super sweet pastry. We have trained our palates to like less sugar. However, if the frosting isn't enough for your taste, you can always double the recipe.

Cinnamon rolls are not as healthy as whole grain breads, but chances are, this homemade version is more wholesome than what's laying in a supermarket. At least they are not a heart attack waiting to happen since you control the ingredients. Enjoy the treat!

Extra Tips:

*In a pinch, you can use the Sullivan Street Bakery's basic bread recipe. A sweet dough is richer. Frankly, I don't find the taste between the bread dough and the richer sweet dough to be that different. I like both!

After I got the hang of making the rolls, I began using 1 cup of whole wheat flour to 2 cups of all purpose flour. The whole wheat substitution is light and flaky too. However, substituting one cup of oatmeal makes the rolls dense. To be sure, oatmeal dough rolls are editable, but heavier. Sometimes I just want the best tasting dessert even if white flour (not to mention sugar) is not as healthy. Everything in moderation.

Keep leftover cinnamon rolls fresh in your freezer to microwave (20 seconds) or warm in the oven (15 minutes) later. 

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  1. Gosh, these look good Debra. You have reminded me of the treat in Canada, Cinnabun, which I'll look forward to in May!

    1. Oh, I've never had one, Patricia. So I googled it to take a look. They look amazing! May will arrive before you know it.

  2. I will be seeking out the Cinnabun in Penn Station, New York!

    1. News to me! I didn't know Cinnabun was here in NYC. I'll have to look for one!

  3. Debra, these cinnamon rolls look so good. I haven't had them in such a long time. I wanted to get back to you about the shrimp etoufee that Nel posted about. I have that recipe, but not the spicy gumbo you mentioned. If you'd like the recipe for it, e-mail me, and I'll share it with you. :~)

    Have a lovely evening.