Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Best Amish Cinnamon Rolls Ever

The best Amish cinnamon rolls ever recipe is from Cooking from Quilt Country by Marcia Adams who did a PBS series that focused on Amish food. I didn't watch the show, but I love the photographs in the cookbook and have made many of the recipes. They are not sickening sweet like the cinnabon type of sweet rolls found in shops and so they have been a hit with my Japanese friends. The dough has never failed to work-- sometimes I add a bit too much flour and the crumb is a bit dry (err on the side of slightly sticky when making it). It has two ingredients that surprised me-- a mashed potato and oil. No matter, it is a great dough, and the resulting rolls are the best ever!

12/3/2013: A reader pointed out that there is a difference between Ceylon Cinnamon  (the original culinary cinnamon) and Cassia Cinnamon (more commonly found & higher in coumarin). I do use and bake with Ceylon Cinnamon which can be purchased in the Athens area at Bulk Food Depot. (Ceylon Cinnamon can be found via Amazaon at  Flavor of the Earth.) I encourage readers to choose wisely, bake humbly, and eat healthfully!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Best Amish Cinnamon Rolls Ever
from Cooking from Quilt Country by Marcia Adams

Makes ~ 24 rolls

Mashed Potato, 1⁄2 cup (no salt, no butter, etc.)
All purpose Flour, 1 cup
Milk Powder, 3 Tbsp 
Active Dry Yeast, 2 Tbsp
Sugar, 1⁄2 cup
Salt, 2 tsp
Warm Water, 1 1⁄2 cups
Oil, 1⁄2 cup
Egg, 1
All Purpose Flour, 2 cups
Bread Flour, ~3 cups + or - as needed

What to do
  1. Peel potato. Cut into chunks. Bring to boil about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash with fork. Set aside to cool. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together- 1 cup of flour, milk powder, yeast, sugar, & salt.
  3. Add wet ingredients, water, oil, and egg, to dry ingredients.
  4. Whisk ingredients together until smooth, one to two minutes.
  5. Stir in the mashed potato.
  6. Stir in remaining flour (all-purpose & bread) ~1 cup at a time. When the dough gets hard to mix with the spatula switch to a dough hook or do it by hand on the counter. Knead the dough about 10 minutes. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  7. Grease a bowl, place dough top down, flip dough to insure it is greased on both sides so top is up, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until double, about 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. 
  8. When the dough has doubled, divide it in half (use a bench knife, do not tear the dough). 
  9. Roll or stretch each half into a 12-inch x 8-inch (30 x 20 cm) rectangle. Spread half of the cinnamon mixture-- recipe below-- onto each half. Starting at the wider end, tightly roll and tuck the dough insuring that the ends are even. Pinch the final seam to seal the dough. Use a serated knife to cut the dough into 1-inch slices. Liberally grease bottom and sides of pan. Place rolls ~1-inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with other dough batch. Allow to raise again in a warm draft free place until double, about 30 minutes. 
  10. Bake at 350ºF (176ºC) until lightly browned, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove buns from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack. Frost with recipe below.

Cinnamon Mixture
Butter, softened, 4 Tbsp (1⁄2 stick) 
Brown Sugar, 3⁄4 cup
Ceylon Cinnamon, 1 1⁄2 Tbsp

Mix together in a glass measuring cup & microwave to warm, about 40 seconds (makes it easier to smooth onto the dough). Spread half onto each half of the rolled out dough.

Butter, 12 Tbsp (1 1⁄2 sticks)
Flour, all purpose, 3 Tbsp
Confectioners Sugar (powdered sugar), 11⁄2 cups 
Salt, a pinch
Vanilla, 1 1⁄2 tsp

In a standing mixer, mix altogether until smooth. Frost tops of cooled cinnamon rolls.

Amish Cinnamon Rolls

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