Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cinnamon Swirls

The first time that I ever had Cinnabon I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted. The second time I had it I realised that it is just amazingly sweet and over the top. But that is not to say that they are not on to a good thing, they just took it a step too far. The general idea of a cinnamon rolled bun is a good one, practically a Chelsea bun only minus the mixed peel, which I for one have never been a fan of. Last weekend I was tired and hungover and tossing up whether to make impromptu brownies or try something new. The thing about brownies is while they always were a good cheer-you-up on a rainy tired Sunday food, it was me alone in the house so not only would I be breaking the bake once a week rule but I would probably eat far too much of it myself. So finally I decided to try a recipe I found for cinnamon swirls - I came across it by chance as I was flicking through a cook book one evening because what better book to read than a cook book? Plus bread isn't included in the no baking rule, even sweet bread. Unfortunately in my tired state my getting off the couch was restricted to the ad-breaks. The recipe said bake 20-30 minutes but it turns out 30 minutes was a bit too long and they were not perfect. So I will try them again today!

The dough for this bread is really nice, it is so soft that I could just keep on kneading it. The recipe calls for pouring a maple syrup glaze over the finished buns but I decided to go for a different option. Last week I tried syrup (golden syrup though as maple syrup is not common here) but they were so sticky. So this week I went for a thin vanilla icing swirled over the top. Although now it is really a little removed from bread, I think adding the icing is really pushing the bake once a week rule. I will just have to invite friends over to devour them in order to prevent my self from that delicious cinnamon-bready fate.

Cinnamon Swirls

10 grams fresh yeast (or 1 teaspoon dried yeast)
2 tablespoons butter
125 mL milk
1 egg
225 grams strong bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons cinnamon
50 grams brown sugar
50 grams sultanas or currants

On the stove or in the microwave melt the butter, add the milk and heat very shortly until it is just warm (if it is hot let it cool before continuing). Whisk in the egg and then add the yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Weigh the flour and mix it in to the liquid gradually, leaving aside about half a cup. After mixing briskly let it sit for about quarter of an hour or so, before kneading. I'm not sure how neccessary it is, it is not included in the recipe but my other successful bread recipes suggest letting the dough rest like this, something about the stirring and resting helps make the gluten elasticy or something. So anyway, whether you leave it to rest or not the next step is to add the salt to the rest of the flour and mix that into the dough (you add the salt last to keep it as far from the yeast as possible).

Sprinkle flour over your clean work surface and your hands and roll the dough out of the bowl. Knead it gently for about 5 minutes or so, it should be nice and soft and just a little sticky - if it is sticking to your hands just put a little flour on them. It should stay very soft and not dry out or get crumbly.

Sprinkle flour in the bottom of your bowl (so the dough doesn't stick to it) and place your kneaded dough back in, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes or however long it takes to double in size, I guess it will depend on how warm it is.

While you wait for the dough to rise prepare the cinnamon filling by creaming together the second measure of butter, the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Also at this point you should grease a baking tray or square tin.

When the dough has risen, turn it out onto your floured work surface and give it a very quick knead (like for about 1 minute) and then pat it down into a rectangle, about 30 cm by 20 cm. Spread the dough with the cinnamon mixture and then sprinkle with the sultanas. Roll the dough length-ways and cut into 12 slices. Arrange the slices in your tin and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes or so. At this point you should turn the oven on to preheat to 190 degrees celsius. I actually let them rise for about an hour and a half today because I went off for a cup of tea in town with a friend, but they still turned out ok!

Finally Place your tin in the oven and bake for 20 minutes! When they come out you can brush them with maple syrup or golden syrup or make a sugar syrup, or you can ice them as I did with the following recipe:

Vanilla Cinnamon Glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon butter
A pinch of cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons boiling water

Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir quickly until smooth. Spoon over the hot buns. Today's cinnamon swirls were rated as very good, better than the last time, really really great, so I guess the extra rising time was not a bad thing and the vanilla glaze seemed to go down a treat.

1 comment:

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