Cinnamon Rolls were in my baking list from a long time but don’t know why they never made it to the oven. In my opinion, Cinnamon Rolls are one of the perfect treats to enjoy with coffee. These cinnamon-spiked baked treats fit in the breakfast and brunch menu so well that it is hard to miss them out while planning a festive menu. These are soft, fluffy, buttery and full of cinnamon, orange, and the hint of chocolate. I have substituted 1 cup of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour just to experiment how the texture of the cinnamon rolls turns out and it was simply gorgeous. But if you are not willing to experiment much with your cinnamon rolls than you can use 2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour.
Cinnamon rolls are one of the ideal beginner’s bread. If you are an enthusiastic baker and want to learn how to work with yeast – then start with cinnamon rolls. During winter, the dough for cinnamon rolls definitely takes the longer duration to rise and get double in volume while the same is achieved in much less time during summer. This little trick can reduce the proofing time, place a glass of water in the microwave and heat it for 5 minutes, switch off the microwave, bring out the glass of water and immediately put the dough inside and shut the door. Open the door only after the dough has doubled in volume this way humidity and the hot temperature inside the microwave let the dough rise faster.
It seems I did quite an experimentation while baking these cinnamon rolls, once with the dough then to play around with the flavor I added a dash of orange peel. Last week I baked an Orange Cake and reserved the peel of oranges, sun – dried them for 2 – 3 days and then simply powdered it in the grinder. This powdered peel makes an excellent face pack. For baking cinnamon rolls I have used one pie dish and a muffin pan. Greased the muffin pan nicely and placed remaining rolls to bake. We call it Rolls + Muffin = Roffins.
Orange and Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 12 Rolls
For the rolls
1 ¾ Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
½ Cup lukewarm water
¼ Cup milk, at room temperature
2 ½ tbsp (40g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp powdered orange peel or orange zest
1 large egg
For the filling
3 tbsp (45g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup light brown sugar
¼ Cup semisweet dark chocolate, grated or powdered
1 tsp powdered orange peel or orange zest
For the glaze
2 tbsp powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ Cup light cream
To make the dough, set aside 1/2 cup of all purpose flour. In a large bowl, sift the remaining flour.
In lukewarm water add sugar along with yeast mix nicely and set aside until yeast turns frothy.
Beat the milk, egg and butter together for 1 minute until combined well.
Make well in the center of the flour mixture and add activated yeast to the dough. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture.
Now using the reserved flour form a soft dough. I only needed 1/3 cup, but you may need the full 1/2 cup. Dough will be ready it is not sticky and has an elastic consistency.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3 – 4 minutes. Place in a lightly greased deep bowl, cover with a cling film and let it rest in warm and draught free place for about 1 hour or until the dough is double in volume.
Once the dough is double in volume transfer it to lightly floured surface and knock out the air.
Roll out the dough in a 14×8 inch rectangle with a thickness of ¼ inch.
Brush the rectangle top with melted butter and sprinkle evenly chocolate, sugar, powdered orange peel and cinnamon over the rectangle.
Roll up the dough tightly like a swiss roll. With a sharp knife cut into 12 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. Leave some gap between each roll for rolls to expand later.
Loosely cover the rolls with cling foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes.
After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until lightly browned. I covered the rolls with aluminium foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning.
To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and cream together until smooth and drizzle over rolls. Right before serving, top your cinnamon rolls with glaze.