Last week’s BBA Challenge bread was a definite waist expander. I had promised myself that I was giving most of them away, but let’s just say – never happened. I have three left in the freezer, and no one to blame but myself (and maybe Peter Reinhart) for all the extra walking/jogging I need to do. We voted, and my son prefers the other cinnamon rolls I make, since his young palate was offended by the lemon extract in these. My spouse liked both versions, although they are very different. I, well, I like all homemade cinnamon rolls, it seems.
This recipe is easy. The ample cinnamon-sugar mixture gets sprinkled on the bare dough, which makes for a bit of a mess. The mixture wants to spill out from the edges while rolling and cutting. One BBA baker used egg whites brushed on the dough to keep it there, a tip she learned from Rose Levy Beranbaum, and I thought that would have helped me tremendously. (My other go-to recipe uses softened butter smeared on the dough. That’s awesome, and adds richness, but we’re already having tooso much richness around here these days.)
Another major difference in the recipes is the glaze. Peter Reinhart’s glaze is a simple fondant made of powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. I usually frost the rolls with a cream cheese frosting that compliments the spice and adds complexity to the layering of flavors. But again, right now, who needs the extra calories? Especially given how many rolls I managed to eat in a week.
I baked the rolls off in two batches, and the batch that sat in the refrigerator for 2 days had a much richer flavor overall. I was pleasantly surprised at the difference. The lemon extract had mellowed, and the actual bread molecules seemed to melt in the mouth in a way the first rolls hadn’t. This also allowed me to claim I needed to eat a couple rolls from the second batch, for research purposes only, of course!
In the fall, I’ll likely try a hybrid recipe from the two. I’ll make the Peter Reinhart dough, without lemon extract (though I used only half called for this time, I’d like my son to love them!), and let it sit in the refrigerator a day or two. I’ll try that egg white trick to keep the sugar mixture in place. Then, I’ll frost with the cream cheese frosting, and promise that I’ll give most of them away. We’ll see how that goes.