Friday, December 22, 2006

Cinnamon Stimulus

I am really not getting into the holiday mood this year. We haven't done the usual day or two of baking and we decided to hold back on the big time gift giving. Madam did decorate and we have a tree and such around. Without children and a lot of family around it is not too much fun this time of year. I saw this in the paper this morning and thought to myself that maybe a little baking would be just the ticket to get me a little ho-ho-hoier as it were.

Following is a recipe from the AJC this morning for the cinnamon rolls that you used to be able to get at Herren's in Atlanta years ago. You can get them now at the Theatrical Outfit which took over the old restaurant space. These are real simple and don't involve a lot of glaze and nuts and stuff and the key is to roll out the dough thin and then continue to work the roll of dough out so that they will be about the diameter of a half-dollar. This time of year the smell of cinnamon cooking combined with the yeasty smell of homemade bread will get you in the spirit.


The recipe for Herren's cinnamon rolls has run in the AJC several times over the years — once incorrectly. Many years ago, before anyone now responsible for recipes was even thinking of working here, the newspaper specified 1 1/4 cups of warm water, not 1/4 cup, and readers called complaining that their dough was running off the counter. Consider this a much-belated correction, from Ed Negri's 2005 memoir, "Herren's: An Atlanta Landmark." If you don't want to make dough, he says it's OK to substitute frozen dough.

— Jim Auchmutey

Herren's Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 60-80 rolls
Prep time: 40 minutes, plus 2-plus hours resting
Baking time: 18-20 minutes

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter (cut into slices)

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 packages yeast

1/4 cup warm water

4 cups flour, sifted

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cinnamon

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Boil milk in a heavy saucepan. Add sliced butter, sugar and salt and set aside to cool. Transfer to electric mixer fit with dough hook. Add yeast to water and stir into milk mixture. Add flour, about half at a time, and beat well (dough can also be mixed by hand). Let rest for 15 minutes. Knead until smooth. Place dough in a buttered bowl, cover with cloth and let rise until double in size, about an hour.

In a bowl, combine the 2 cups sugar and cinnamon. Lightly butter two 13-by-9-inch baking pans and sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured board to about 1/4 inch thick and about 8 inches square. Lightly brush surface with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture generously over entire surface. Starting at one side of the square, roll up dough into tube. Continue rolling back and forth until it's about 12 inches long. Cut into wheels about 1/2 inch wide and place flat in the pans, so that there's just a little space between them. Do not overcrowd pan. Brush the tops with butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to rise.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool 1 minute, then promptly remove rolls to prevent sticking.


No comments: