Sunday, September 13, 2009

- Let’s do Brunch: Cinnamon rolls

I should have learned after the great bagel caper a couple of weeks ago that I really don’t need to bring anything to an Austin brunch, but East Coast habits die hard.  I asked Tasha if I could bring something today and she graciously permitted me to do so, but once again I needn’t have bothered. What an amazing spread she and Mike put on for us at their home in Dripping Springs:
  • Made-to-order espresso in more flavors than I can count
  • Fresh smoked Alaska Silver Salmon that Tasha caught a couple of weeks ago in Alaska
  • Bagels and cream cheese (some with the aforementioned salmon blended in)
  • Egg casseroles, one with feta and spinach, the other with peppers and sausage
  • Fresh fruit and biscotti
  • Did I mention the fresh smoked salmon? I did? It’s worth repeating … it was that amazing
We sat outside under cloudy skies, thoroughly enjoying the 80 degree temperatures, the view of Sunset Canyon and some great conversation. There were plenty of Cinnamon Knots leftover, but not much else. So, lesson learned … until next time.

Cinnamon Knots (makes 32 small rolls)

1 Tbs. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup lukewarm water (total)
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbs. wheat gluten
½ tsp kosher salt
Optional: Grated nutmeg to taste
1 Tbs. melted butter (for dough)
6 Tbs. melted butter (for coating)
1 cup cinnamon sugar

Put ¼ cup lukewarm water in a cup; add yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put flour, gluten, salt, nutmeg (optional) and melted butter in a food processor bowl.
When the yeast starts bubbling, add it to the dry ingredients along with the rest of the water.
The dough should be fairly wet as you process it … add more flour until the dough gathers and no longer sticks to the sides of the food processor.
Remove the dough, add enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands.
Knead into a flattened disk, cover the bowl with a wet towel and let it rise for one hour.
Put the melted butter and cinnamon sugar into two shallow rimmed bowls.
Divide the dough into two halves and set one half aside.
Divide the remaining dough into 16 pieces (cut in half, in half again, etc.)
Hang the resulting fingers of dough on the edge of the bowl.
 




Dip each piece of dough in butter, then in cinnamon sugar, and twist in a knot.
Put the first 16 knots on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
 



Let the rolls rise for another hour.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until dark golden brown and firm to the touch.
Place on cooling racks for ten minutes, dip in glaze (below), and cool another half hour.


Glaze
3 Tbs. melted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbs. milk

Whisk into a glaze … add milk or sugar as needed to get a “dip-able” consistency

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