Monday, March 1, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls (Cooking with Kids)

Every now and then I like to cook with Charlotte.  I thought it would be fun to add these recipes to the blog.  Some may be more kid friendly food and others may just be meals I created with her.  I got this recipe from my Family Fun magazine.  It was presented as a cooking with kids project.  I really should have paid attention to the age of the child in the photographs.  She's not two.  Charlotte is.
I, of course, did not read all of the directions before beginning. (I really need to work on that.) We began just fine, and then we got to instructions like, "put aside for 45min and let rise".  Oops.  Didn't plan for that.  Good thing two year olds are easily distracted.  The unfortunate part is that I started this project in the evening and since I unexpectedly had to build in 2 hours of "rise time", the finished rolls didn't come out of the oven until Charlotte was already in bed.
 Charlotte loves to help!  I wish I could just convince her the flour does not taste good.  She spent most of our cooking process eating flour and it was quite difficult to keep away from her with kneading and rolling the dough out on a floured board.  She did help me knead the dough and she chose to try and eat the cinnamon filling over helping me spread it out.  All in all, it was a fun adventure in the kitchen.
The rolls were quite dense.  I think that was due to the whole wheat flour used and I also chose to use whole wheat bread flour instead of regular.  They were pretty good, but they didn't have the airiness of classic cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll
Adapted from Family Fun
Printable Recipe
Dough:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups flour (equal parts whole wheat and all-purpose, all whole wheat, or a blend somewhere in between)
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast
1 large egg, beaten

Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk, plus extra for thinning if needed
1. Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in a glass bowl. Microwave mixture for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool until it's just warm.
 
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and yeast. 
 
3. Stir the egg into the milk mixture. Then, stir the milk mixture into the flours. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a soft dough.
 
4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Fold the dough in half and knead util the dough is smooth, not sticky, it should bounce back when poked. (About 10 minutes.)
 
5. Oil a clean bowl, add the dough, and turn it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise until it has doubled in bulk. About 45 minutes to an hour.
 
6. Filling: combine the softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork until well blended.
 
7. Roll dough out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Roll into a 12- by 16-inch rectangle.
 
8. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch strip uncovered at one of the short ends. Roll up the dough to make a cylinder. Pinch the ends and the seam closed. Cut the cylinder into 12 rolls. (Tip: To make even rolls, first mark the dough in three equal sections. Divide each of those sections in two, then divide those in two and slice along the marks.) Place each roll in a greased pan. Cover the pan with a damp towel, and let the rolls rise for 45 minutes.
 
9. Heat the oven to 375°. Bake the rolls until light brown, about 18 to 20 minutes.
 
10. Icing: whisk together the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl. Drizzle the topping in a zigzag pattern over rolls.

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