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Let them bake!

Finally! My baking mojo is back!

I haven’t baked since Christmas, not because I don’t want to but because my baking mojo has nowhere to be found. I just didn’t feel like baking and I’m getting tired of baking the same things – brownies, blondies, cookies. Plus, it’s a bit tedious (a lot of bowls are needed!) to do cupcakes and muffins.

Then last week, after browsing through my favorite baking/food blogs, the baking mojo in me started to fire up and I saw the perfect Cinnamon Swirl recipe!

It’s my first time dealing with yeast! I was a bit hesitant on doing this recipe since it would deal with something I haven’t handled before (I have no formal training on baking, just a few classes here and there). But the smell of making the dough was soooo good!! Just by the smell of it made me oh so giddy…like when I see my crush/es! 😉

The whole waiting for the dough to rise was exciting! Seeing it double in size made me realize that I could handle yeast! I was afraid that it wouldn’t rise that it would just stay flat. Yeah, I was that praning (sorry, what’s praning in english?).

After all the wait (2 hours to be exact), I rolled it out and made the cinnamon filling. I think I may have over-rolled the dough since as I was rolling the dough, it felt thin and after cutting the log, it felt as if the whole thing would collapse. At least the next time I’ll bake these babies, I’ll have some notes to refer to 😉

1st time = success

The smell of cinnamon filled our house and it was sweet! It is, by far, the best baking smell that have ever filled our house 😉 After they all browned out, I made the glaze and it’s just perfect! I was thinking of skipping the glaze, good thing I didn’t skip on it as I would’ve missed out on the additional yumminess 😉

Cinnamon Roll Sampler with a generous helping of Cream Cheese Galze

So, how did it taste? It was beyond good! I surprised myself with this one as I thought that this would be a failure. The rolls were just right – soft and moist! One of these babies would be the perfect ending to a perfect dinner…if I could make them in larger numbers 😉 Will definitely make more of these soon 😀

Cinnamon Swirls
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 16-18 buns.

1 cup lactose-free milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 cup Muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough: Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (You may also use a KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process.) Form into ball.

Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.

Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven (I baked the “trimmings” in separate cups) cut remaining dough crosswise with thin sharp knife  into 16-18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

Spray two 8-inch square metal pan with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes. Don’t skimp on the double-rising time.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

For glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.