I've been remiss as a blogger, and tonight is no exception because I do not have pictures of my cinnamon rolls for you. First, in a pregnancy-induced craze I ate three of them, and second, I brought them to and then left them at my in-laws in a desperate attempt to avoid eating more of them. So you'll just have to take my word for it that these are heavenly, easy rolls, perfect for the lazy baker who wakes up needing cinnamon buns and doesn't have the stamina to wait 2 hours for the dough to rise.
I found the basic recipe for these rolls on the web, and then modified them somewhat for a more tender crumb and less buttery interior. They bake up just as puffily as their yeasted cousins, but have more of a biscuity texture (pleasingly dense and flaky). You can still top them with a cream cheese frosting, but I like them unadorned with a cup of coffee. You can also make them a little healthier by using whole wheat flour and lowfat milk instead of whole or cream in the dough. I think you'll sacrifice some tenderness and flavor by doing so, but you may feel a lot more virtuous.
Quick Bread Cinnamon Rolls
These are best eaten warm the day they are made. You can re-heat them gently in a 300 degree F oven, covered by aluminum foil to prevent drying out.
2 C pastry flour: whole wheat or white
3 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4-6 T softened butter, cubed
3/4 -1 C milk or half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a 9X11 square pan or a 8-inch round cake pan.
In a bowl (or the food processor fitted with a pastry blade), mix together the first four ingredients.
Add the cubed butter and cut in until well-blended. You want the dough to be pretty sandy in texture--no need for the pea-sized lumps of pie or biscuit dough.
Add the milk until you have a silky, slightly sticky dough.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to the approximate dimensions of 10 inches by 5 inches (I didn't measure mine).
Leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edge of the dough, pat the dough with brown sugar and then cinnamon to taste. Use more sugar than cinnamon, and place a nice layer down. You do want the interior to be spicy-sweet and gooey.
Roll the dough length-wise, starting at the long end closest to you, pinching as you go to encase the filling. You will end up with a dough log.
Cut the log into equally sized pieces (I ended up with 8 or 9) and place each piece snugly against one another, swirly end-up, into the prepared baking dish. It's okay if you have more dish than rolls--I did. Just make sure the rolls you do have are securely snuggled together .
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, lightly golden and firm-ish to the touch. Let cool slightly, pull apart, and enjoy.
P.S. If you feel a little guilty about indulging in these rolls (though you should not! Unless, of
course, you eat three of them), make this lovely, bracing salad to go with lunch or dinner:
1-2 raw ruby-red beets, peeled and very thinly sliced and match-sticked (use a mandoline if you have one)
2 clementine oranges, peeled and sectioned
a small amount of very thinly sliced red onion
good olive oil
Mix the above ingredients together, season to taste, and get ready to feel both seasonal and virtuous. And now if you'll excuse me, it's time for "second dinner." It's for the baby, okay?