Monday, 9 April 2012

Raspberry cinnamon rolls

Maybe I should have used another baking dish...
I have come to learn that the most unfortunate, yet very common mentality a cook can have is the ‘Oh, that’ll do’ complex. Pan ungreased but you’re ready to bake on it? ‘Oh, that’ll do’ means things stick to the bottom and clean-up is a nightmare. Can’t be bothered to drain meat after it’s been cooked? ‘Oh, that’ll do’ means extra fat in the dish plus perhaps even a sauce that’s not as thick as it’s supposed to be. Cookies not cool before stacking up? ‘Oh, that’ll do’ means they’re stuck in that stack. You get the idea.

Yesterday’s ‘Oh, that’ll do’ moment for me came when I made a batch of cinnamon rolls. I added raspberries in with the filling which made them roll up more loosely than usual, meaning there’s more room to expand during rising, yet I used one baking pan for them anyway. Bad idea. Sure, they taste good, but they’re not exactly photogenic. Instead of rows of neatly-formed swirls, I’ve got strange asymmetric blobs that can only be stored next to their oddly-shaped counterparts. I can see Martha Stewart’s disappointment now.

Anyway, I’d definitely do the filling again, though next time with a little more care to the roll itself.

Filling ingredients:
About ¾lb (350g) fresh rasberries (I bought a pack of frozen and defrosted them, draining any excess liquid)
cup (75g) butter, partly melted
¼ cup (55g) brown sugar
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Using a bread machine or by hand, make a basic sweet bread dough from your favourite recipe. Let it rise once until double.

2. Punch down the dough. On a floured surface, roll it into a rectangle. Spread the butter evenly, then sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Add more, if desired, to get an even layer. Then, sift the cinnamon on top of the brown sugar.

3. Neatly dot the raspberries around the dough, making sure to reach close to the edge so each cinnamon roll on the end has some raspberries in it.

4. Roll the dough starting from one of the shorter ends. Keep it loose enough that you don’t squeeze the raspberries out, and pinch the ends lightly to make sure nothing falls out.

5. Use a serrated knife to cut the roll of dough into ¼in (.5cm) circles. Place the circles into a greased baking dish so the ends of each do not touch each other. Use a second dish if necessary.

6. Let the dough rise again in a warm place until nearly double. Bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.

7. Let the rolls cool in the pan before removing. Serve warm, topped with a powdered sugar glaze if desired (powdered sugar, small amount of milk and a dash of vanilla extract).

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