Good Morning, New Year 2010! I’ve got Cinnamon Rolls :)

2 Jan

I am not sure how familiar you are with the Filipino tradition – is it really Filipino? I’m not too sure – in which you have to wear anything round and circles on New Year’s Eve, but my mom and I actually follow it. According to the wives’ tale, if you wear circles and surround yourself with your money and anything round especially grapes and eat noodles, then you’ll have luck and wealth the following year. So, us being the slightly superstitious people – not believers of witchcraft or the such, but rather humorous believers – we decided to wear crazy clothes with circles and polka dots, put random money bills in our pockets, ate Taiwanese noodles, and put out a big bowl of grapes on our dinning table.  We were such a sight.

Anyway, I decided last night (New Years Day) to spend sometime with my newest best friends: my beautiful, brand new red KitchenAid Pro 600 and Peter Reinhart’s book Artisan Breads Every Day. (I’ll be writing about the KitchenAid mixer and Peter Reinhart in my next post). Together with my oven being all clean and spic-n-span, I was able to prepare the dough and shape it into cinnamon rolls. Beautiful, ROUND, cinnamon-y, cinnamon rolls! I decided to half the recipe in Reinhart’s book because 24 rolls for my mom and I would have been too much; as it is 12 was too much.

So this morning I baked the cinnamon rolls, and boy did the house smell good. Long gone was the awful cleaning smell from the oven. Nope, what wafted in tickling our noses were the twelve round cinnamon beauties.

They turned out fluffy and perfect tasting, not too much cinnamon with slight (oh, so slight) zing of lemon. I have to admit that I found the lemon extract ingredient to be strange, but it actually made the cinnamon rolls taste better and smell zingier.

Here’s the recipe because I know you’ll want to try it especially for your luck in 2010. :)

Peter Reinhart’s Cinnamon Rolls

Reinhart’s recipe is perfect for people working at home because it calls that you prep the dough the night before, then shape it the next morning, let it rise again, and then bake it. However, I decided to make the dough, let it rise 1 hr in a warm oven, shape it into rolls, and then place them in the fridge to rise again. The next morning I just baked them.

Makes 24 cinnamon rolls




  • 6 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (tsp) salt, or 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (tbl) sugar
  • 5 tbl instant yeast, or 6 1/4 tbl active dry yeast
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbl lukewarm milk, whole or low-fat (about 95 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter
  • zest of 1 lemon, or 1 tbl lemon extract, or 1/2 tsp lemon oil (optional, but highly suggested)

Cinnamon Sugar Inside

  • 3 tbl ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • melted butter or vegetable oil for brushing on dough
  • 1 cup raisins to taste (optional)
  • 1cup chopped walnuts or pecans to taste (optional)

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar. sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp lemon or orange extract, or 1 tbl lemon juice or orange juice
  • pinch of salt

White Fondant Glaze

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbl light corn syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla, lemon, or orange extract, or 1 tbl orange juice concentrate (optional)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk or water


Dough (Make the night before)

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Whisk the yeast into the milk until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Then pour yeast and milk mixture into the dry ingredients along with the oil and lemon zest. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on lowest speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for about 1 minute. The dough should form a soft, coarse ball.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for  minutes, adding flour or milk as needed to create a smooth, soft, slightly sticky ball or dough. (Sticky dough is dough that sticks to a dry finger).
  3. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more or continue stirring for about 2 minutes more, until the dough is very soft, supple, and tacky but no longer sticky. (Taacky dough is dough that clings to a dry finger but will not stick to the finger when the finger is pulled away from the dough).
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute, then form it into a ball.
  5. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl large enough to hold the dough hen it doubles in size. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days.

On Baking Day

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerate about 3 hours before you plan to bake. Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a ball. Cover each ball with a bowl or plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll each ball of dough into a 12 by 15-inch rectangle, rolling from the center to the corners and then rolling out to the sides. If the dough starts to resis or shrink back, let it rest for 1 minute, then continue rolling. The dough should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Make cinnamon sugar by whisking the cinnamon into the sugar. Brush the surface of the dough with melted butter, ten sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle the raisins or chopped nuts over the surface if you like, to taste. Roll up the dough like a rug, rolling from the bottom to the top, to form a tight log.
  4. Cut the log into 1-inch-thick slices and place them on a sheet pan or two round cake pans lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, placing the rolls about 1 1/2 inches apart; they should touch each other once they rise. Mist the tops with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap, then let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until the dough swells noticeably and the buns begin to expand into each other.
  5. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until the buns are a rich golden brown. Meanwhile, make whichever topping you prefer.
  7. Once the buns are glazed, enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Combine the cream cheese, butter, and sugar in a mizing bowl. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed fr 2 minutes. If mixing by hand, stir vigorously for 2 – 4 minutes. The ingredients should be evenly incorporated and smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla, lemon extract, and salt and mix on medium speed, or continue mixing by hand, for about 1 minute, until the ingredients form a smooth paste. Increase the speed to medium-high speed or stir more vigorously for about 20 seconds to fluff up the glaze. Once the buns have cooled for 5 minutes, use an offset spatula or table knige to spread on however much glaze you’d like. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; any unused glaze will keep for up to 2 weeks.

White Fondant Glaze

  1. Stir the sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla together. Gradually whisk in the mill, adding just enough to make a thick but creamy glaze about the same thickness as pancake batter, adjusting with more liquid or sugar as needed. The thickness of the glaze is really up to you: the stiffer it is, the better it will hold its design; the thinner it is, the more easily it will spread. Ideally, you hould be able to drizzle a slow steady stream off the end of a spoon or other utensil to create designs that will firm up when the buns cool. Glaze the buns after they’ve cooled for about 5 minutes.


Me? I just like it with a bit of dusted sugar, strawberries, and butter. :) Enjoy!



6 Responses to “Good Morning, New Year 2010! I’ve got Cinnamon Rolls :)”

  1. Erika Peterson January 6, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    HI! I just stumbled across your blog and I really enjoyed reading through the first few posts! There are two recipes of yours that I am dying to try. The turkey, Gruyere, Green Beans Gallette and the apple tartlets. Thanks for the recipes! Great pics too. Once I cook these I’ll blog about them on my page [ ]. Keep on keepin on!

    • Nell January 6, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by! :)

      I actually got galette recipe from the Sur La Table cookbook and then adapted it with my own toppings (green beans and turkey). The traditional recipe called for slices potatoes and gruyere cheese. The recipe is so versatile! It’s almost like a fancy pizza with endless possibilities!

      Nice blog too, by the way. I love how you post with different colors. It’s got some good cooking recipes too.

  2. Jolly January 21, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Hello Nell:

    I just saw your pictures of Reinhart’s cinnamon Rolls. I’m on my third batch, it’s the best cinnamon rolls recipe. Yes, they baked up light and airy and are absolutely delicious.

    1) I decided to make the cinnamon rolls more healthy. First I revised the recipe using Reinhart’s Mother starter recipe and added about 140 grams Mother starter made from a Sweet Italian starter, it added even more flavor to the dough. Making the rolls even lighter.

    2) Then I added 1/4 cup nine grain cereal to the recipe, added enough water to cover the cereal. Brought the cereal to boil and then simmered until all the liquid was absorbed. Then set aside to cool and mixed into the dough.

    Adding nine grain cereal to the rolls did not make them heavy in fact they came out light and airy and added tons more flavor. I added the nine grain cereal for added fiber against weight gain. I can eat one cinnamon roll without added weight gain 6 days out of the week and not worry about my weight.

    It’s a plus adding a Mother Italian Starter to make the cinnamon rolls for you will digest and break down the rolls much easier. Another plus for no weight gain.

    When I bake up Reinhart’s recipe using an Sweet Italian Mother starter the rolls bake up gigantic. I’m using a 17 x 12 baking tray and using half the recipe. When the rolls are through proofing the tray is completely filled with no room to spare and then comes the oven spring. These rolls are awesome.

    In Reinhart’s book he makes mention of developing his recipes into Signature recipes. After baking up his cinnamon roll recipe once I decided to adapt and develop it into a more healthful recipe. I’m glad you’re enjoying his recipe as I am.

    Italian Starter—I won the starter from Teresa’s Northwest Sourdough. The starter is wonderful to use in baking cakes, cookies, pancakes, waffles, tortillas and biscuits. It’s and awesome starter. The Italian starter is naturally sweet and it’s absolutely wonderful for cinnamon rolls. Try making a batch of rolls with this starter.


    • Nell January 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

      Hi Jolly!

      It’s nice to see another Reinhart fan. :) I have to admit that I love baking from his books. They are basically fool proof!

      Still, I’m always interested in making things healthier once I’ve tried making them at least once. I’ve never heard of using an Italian Starter for cinnamon rolls, but I’m going to trust you on this and follow through with your suggestions. I’ll post my results as soon as I can. I suggest that you follow my blog through a Google reader or my email subscription so you can stay up to date! Otherwise, a good old bookmark does well too.

      Thanks for the comment! Bake on!


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