Sunday, March 28, 2010

F*ck Cinnabon!

I saw this recipe on PBS a couple of weeks ago and I thought I’d give it a try. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s a lot of steps but the smell alone is worth it. And the taste? See title of post.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns courtesy of Cook’s Country

¾ Cup Whole Milk (heated to 110 degrees)
2 ¼ Teaspoons Rapid-Rise Yeast
3 Large Eggs (room temperature)
4 ¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Cornstarch
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (softened & cut into 12 pieces)

1 Medium Bowl - Greased
1 13x9 Inch Baking Pan - Lined W/Tin Foil (grease the tin foil)

1. Place oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 200 degrees & then shut it off.

2. Whisk milk & yeast together in measuring cup or small bowl until yeast dissolves.

3. Whisk in the eggs.
4. In bowl of stand mixer (trust me, you need a stand mixer…go buy one. Now.) combine flour, cornstarch, sugar & salt. Attach dough hook. Mix flour mixture on low till all ingredients are combined.
5. With mixer on low speed, pour in milk, egg & yeast mixture in a slow steady stream.

6. Mix until dough comes together.

7. Increase speed of mixer to medium & add butter, one piece at a time, until it’s incorporated (1 minute…maybe 1 ½).

8. Continue to mix, on medium speed, until dough comes away from bowl and is smooth (10 minutes…maybe 11).
9. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball.

10. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover it with plastic wrap & put it in the oven till it doubles in size (2 hours should do it).
The above will become the below. It's like magic. Only, ya' know, not.

1 ½ Cups Light Brown Sugar - Packed
1 ½ Tablespoons Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoons Salt
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter - Softened

11. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

12. Roll dough out into as close to an 18 inch square as you can. Remember, you are not a professional pastry chef, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Put the ruler away. Why make yourself crazy?

13. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon & salt.

14. Leaving a ½ inch border (or thereabouts) around the edge, spread the butter on the dough. An offset spatula is your friend.

15. Sprinkle filling mixture over buttered dough. Press it lightly into dough so that it doesn’t fall out later.
16. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam to seal it.

17. Cut the dough into 12 rounds. The original recipe says this makes 8. I don’t know about you but I don’t happen to want or need to eat a cinnamon bun as big as my head so I cut it into 12. You can do 8 if you want. Good luck with that.

18. Place buns, cut side up, on tin foil covered pan.

19. Cover with plastic wrap & leave in warm place to proof (about an hour).

BREAK: Eat a meal. Run an errand. Paint a picture. Up to you.

20. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

21. Remove plastic wrap & place buns in oven.

22. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.

4 Ounces Cream Cheese - Softened
1 Tablespoon Whole Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 ½ Cups Confectioner’s Sugar

23. Remove buns from oven & place whole tray on wire rack.

24. Whisk together glaze ingredients.

25. The original recipe calls for you to glaze buns with ½ of glaze at this point & then, after 30 minutes, apply the rest of the glaze. Well, if you want to go into a sugar coma, you go ahead. The first application of glaze was more than enough in my world. But, like I always say, it’s up to you.

26. Serve.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Perfection Is Intensely Annoying." - Hugh Laurie

I don’t blog enough. I know. . . I know. . . I know! But, you should know that when people point this out to me it only hurts you, the reader. Why? Because you know what you get now. You all know what time it is, boys and girls. Say it with me…

Stream of Consciousness Time With Fury (insert theme song of your choosing)!

I really don’t think I have the energy to do this today. Why did I start this? Dumb. That’s why. Why did I decide not to ingest caffeine anymore? Again, dumb. No. That’s not dumb. That’s not dumb at all. Especially when you consider that I drank so much coffee last Monday? Was it? Whatever. So much caffeine that I was practically levitating above my bed like Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters and my heart was beating out a conga (CONGA! [sorry, that’s only funny if you’re related to me or have ever seen “My Sister, Eileen”. You probably haven’t. You should. Unless you don’t like musicals and then not so much.]) rhythm that could have powered Brazil through all of Carnival. OK. Fine. It wasn’t that bad. Happy now? It’s called colorful language. Learn to live with it. Where was I? Fuck. I forgot. Oh. Caffeine. It’s the devil’s work. But I need it. Need. It. Sleepy & yet still can’t sleep so well. Hello, insomnia, how you doin’? I get tired at around midnight. I lay down. I continue to lay there. Staring up at the ceiling. Or the wall. Or the other wall. Or the closet door. It’s good times. How does one count sheep? I can’t picture sheep jumping over fences in my head. Maybe because I’ve never seen a sheep do that. Wander around in a big cluster of smelly, stupid confusion? Seen it. Jump things? Nope. What kind of sheep go around jumping walls? I think they must be thinking of mountain goats. Or deer. Not sheep. Or maybe sheep were a lot more energetic back whenever that expression started. Now I want to know when that was exactly. I will not look it up. I have enough useless knowledge at my disposal without looking that…mid 19th century. Damn. It. You win this round OCD. Which should really be CDO. They only do it the other way to mess with us. I know it. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me. They? Who is this “They” you speak of? Them. Oh. Them. Well, that explains everything. Have I lost you yet?

Great. Now that They’re gone and it’s just you and me, tell me, is it true what They say about you?