Special Cinnamon Rolls

There is no better way to treat yourself on a chilly Sunday afternoon than a fresh tray of soft chewy cinnamon buns with ooey-gooey filling right out of the oven. The only challenge is to let them cool just long enough so you don’t burn your mouth!

This is my adaptation from a recipe I found on 101cookbooks.com. You can visit the page for some helpful photographs in the making of the rolls. I decided to replace some of the flour with mochiko (glutinous rice flour, used in making mochi) , as an experiment to see if I could get even softer, chewier rolls. I didn’t have enough all-purpose flour to make a control batch so unfortunately I have no means to compare. I also decided to add some sliced almonds for added crunch. Of course this is completely optional and you may add whatever other fillings you like. Raisins are a popular choice. Lastly, instead of an egg-wash glaze, I spread the remaining filling over the rolls because really, what’s better than that cinnamon sugar caramelizing over piping hot rolls?

Dough:
3 2/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 c warmed milk
3/4 c light brown sugar
1 tbs ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 large beaten egg
1/2 c softened unsalted butter

Filling:
1/2 c light brown sugar
2 tbs cinnamon
1/2 c softened butter
1/2 c sliced almonds

Process:

In a large bowl stir in a bit of the brown sugar into the warm milk and pour in active dry yeast. Stir gently then let sit for a few minutes until foams. Make sure milk is not too hot that it may kill the yeast.

Once yeast has activated, mix in beaten egg, cardamom and softened butter until smooth.

Stir flours and salt then add gradually into previous bowl and mix until it comes together into a homogenous dough. You may need more or less flour.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed until smooth. This may take 8-10 minutes.

Shape smooth dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, brush oil on top of dough and cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about an hour.

While dough is rising, prepare filling. Mix the sugar, softened butter and cinnamon until smooth and homogenous.

When dough is done rising, punch down and roll out onto surface. Cut dough in half and leave one half covered while you work on the other so it does not dry out.

Take a half and roll it out into about a 12-inch long rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Spread cinnamon filling and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Roll filled dough lengthwise and set aside with the seam facing down. This will prevent any unraveling.

Do the same with other half of dough.

Carefully cut each dough log into 12ths and place cut-side up into a well greased oven-safe pan. You may need more than one pan. Do not mind gaps, the rolls will expand.

When finished placing in pans, brush any leftover filling on top and sprinkle with almond slices.

Cover and let sit until rolls double again. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake rolls on top-third shelf until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

Take out and let cool and set for about 10 minutes.

-shoko

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