Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Irish Cream Cinnamon Rolls

It's Mira's birthday today and she chose cinnamon rolls. I was going to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls since I know she loves pumpkin, but I discovered I was out of pumpkin shortly after I started the sponge for the pumpkin brioche. I didn't really have time to go to the store, so I decided to make regular brioche using the Peter Reinhart Middle Class recipe and using that as a base I would make a pan of Dorie Greenspan's Pecan Sticky Rolls, as well as a pan of regular cinnamon rolls with an Irish Cream Glaze.

The plan worked out quite well I think. The Pecan Sticky Rolls are always a favorite with my crowd. Sticky, sweet, crunchy and chewy -- hard to go wrong. Although I have to admit, for some reason I haven't been as thrilled with them the last couple of times I have made them. I made sure to check them after 20 minutes this time, since I almost burned them the last time I made them, and that seemed to help. But the caramel still almost tastes burned to me... I wonder if I'm over boiling it? Hmmmm....

It ended up that only 12 sticky rolls fit into the 9 x 13 pan I used, so I just cut the rest of the roll of dough into pieces and put them on a pan. I did the same with the remainders of the regular cinnamon rolls which left me with several odd pieces. I baked them with the rest -- they odd pieces came out after 20 minutes -- and I liberally treated them with the Irish Cream glaze, and while they may not be as pretty as the regular ones, and some of them are a bit short on filling -- it's still brioche doused in Irish Cream glaze which = yummy.

For the glaze I didn't even measure anything. I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter, threw in some powdered sugar, doused it with a little Irish Cream, and finished it off with milk until I got the consistency I wanted. When I realized I didn't quite have enough to finish off my rolls, I threw in more powdered sugar, milk and Irish Cream. Simple and delicious.


1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
2 tsps instant yeast
1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm

5 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups unbleached bread flour
2 tbsps granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsps salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp

To make the sponge: stir together the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer.) Stir in the milk until all the flour is hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 20 minutes, or until the sponge rises and then falls when you tap the bowl.

To make the dough: add the eggs to the sponge and whisk (or beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment) until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir (or continue to mix with the paddle on low speed for about 2 minutes) until all the ingredients are hydrated and evenly distributed. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes so that the gluten can begin to develop. Then, while mixing with a large spoon (or on medium speed with the paddle), gradually work in the butter, about one-quarter at a time, waiting until each addition of butter assimilates before adding more. This will take a few minutes. You will have to scrape down the bowl from time to time as the dough will cling to it. The dough will be very smooth and soft.

Mist a clean bowl with spray oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, spray the top with more oil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Day Two
Pecan Sticky Rolls:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

For the Filling
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp

For the Buns:
half a recipe of brioche dough, chilled

Generously butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

To make the glaze; In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.

To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To shape the buns: On a flour dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting at the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder (the dough is a bit sticky so this can be kind of tricky), keeping the roll as tight as you can.

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. Fit the buns into the pan, cut side down, leaving some space between them.

Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in size, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Then buns are properly risen when they are puffy, sort, doubled, and in all likelihood, touching one another.

When the buns have almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375. (Disclosure: since I used the Reinhart recipe for the brioche dough, I used the Reinhart temp for the cinnamon rolls -- 350 instead of 375.)

Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden. Pull the pan from the oven.

The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet line with a silicone mat. Be careful, the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

For the Irish Cream Cinnamon Rolls:

For the Filling
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup chopped pecans

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tsps (or more) Irish Cream
2 tsps (or more) milk

1/2 recipe brioche dough, chilled

On a lightly floured surface, roll the brioche dough into 16-inch square. Spread softened butter on the dough, then sprinkle on cinnamon sugar filling, and chopped pecans. Starting at the end nearest you, tightly roll the dough into a cylinder.

Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces, and place in a well-buttered 9 x 13 pan. Cover lightly with parchment paper, and let rise for at 1 hour 45 minutes, until puffy and doubled in size.

Remove the wax paper, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

While the buns are baking, make the glaze. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir. Add more Irish Cream or milk as necessary to get the consistency you want.

When the buns are done baking, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then glaze them to taste.


Anonymous said...

your crowd appreciates the sticky buns--always, always, always! the i liked the cinnamon rolls--they're hard not to like, and the glze is about a billion times better than reinhart's glaze. yuuuuummmmiiiieeee!

balsamic jettisoned salamander said...

ditto -- the abovementioned was smart enough to dangle one in front of my very eyes, as a way of torturing me enough so that i agreed to everything he wanted just to escape from his office and enjoy my delicious roll....

Mira said...

thank you sooooooo much!!! :D