Thursday, March 13, 2008

La cucina di Nicola: Cooking 201 with DeeAnn

Welcome back to "La Cucina di Nicola" with our guest cook DeeAnn!!! As I have mentioned before, my good friend Dee taught Nicolas how to make cinnamon rolls while she was here with us. Nicolas was very motivated by her visit because he loves Dee's cooking, he was ready to learn ALL of her cooking secrets.
This is something that I have never made myself (you know the story, Colombians are not bakers for the most part,) but I do love a good cinnamon roll! I was more than happy to learn the recipe myself, so I took note of the ingredients and the process, for me and for you. I am giving you all ingredients the Italian way (grams and milliliters instead of cups.) If you want to convert the quantities, there is a handy chart here.


The basic recipe for the rolls is based on Paula Deen's recipe as a consequence of DeeAnn not having her own recipe at hand. She says it is basically the same. The frosting is all DeeAnn's.

For the rolls:

1 Package Yeast
120 ml warm water
120 ml warm milk
55 gr. sugar
75 gr. butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
380 to 440 gr. of flour

For the filling:

115 gr. butter, melted
170 gr. sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside. In another bowl mix melted butter, egg, milk, sugar, and salt. Add half of the flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour a little at a time until dough can be handled easily. knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover and let it rise for 1.1/2 hours. It should double its size.

Punch down and roll out onto floured surface. Roll into a rectangle of about 38 x 22 cm (15 x 9 in.) Now for the filling: spread melted butter over the dough, leaving a clean border all around of about 1.1/2 cm (1/2 in.) Mix sugar and cinnamon and spread evenly on top, (you could also add raisins or nuts at this point.) Roll the dough from the longer side, seal edges. Cut into slices (about 15.)

Grease a bakin pan or dish with butter. Place the rolls close together. Grease the top side of the rolls and cover again. Let them rise until double, about 45 minutes. Dee placed a container with water in the microwave and heated it, then she placed the covered dough/rolls inside the microwave along with the steaming water. DO NOT microwave them, the purpose is to keep the dough in an enclosed, humid, and warm environment. It works!

Bake for 30 minutes at 175 C (350 F) until golden.

For the frosting:

80 gr. cream-cheese
80 gr. butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 gr. powdered sugar

Mix cream-cheese and butter. Add the salt, vanilla extract, and sugar, mix well. If the consistency of the frosting is to hard add 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time until you get the consistency of your liking. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Buon appetito!

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