Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve now been through all the stations, and today was in a "swing" role, which is assigned to fill in where needed. One of the bakers was absent, so I went to the bakery. The primary task I wound up with was to make cinnamon rolls from soft-roll dough started yesterday. This soft-roll dough is fairly versatile and therefore has been ubiquitous in class; it’s been used for a number of different purposes. However, it is still a roll dough, not a sweet dough or one containing any flavoring or spices.

I do not like bakery products that are what I have historically and casually referred to as "dry, bready things". Sweet or savory products especially should be enticing, make you want more. I didn’t want to make dry, bready, boring cinnamon rolls. So I mixed up some cinnamon sugar with a hefty dose of cinnamon, much more than usual for cinnamon sugars I’ve seen in class, then added some mace for complexity. Rolled out the dough as thinly as I could, wet it, spread a good amount of the cinnamon sugar on it, rolled it up, cut into individual rolls, and arranged them on a parchmented sheet tray. While they proofed and baked, I mixed up the icing. This was a simple flat icing (powdered sugar, water, and corn syrup in about 10:2:1 proportions) with a bit of maple flavoring added. It came out quite nicely, a stiff liquid that ribboned well with a smooth gloss to it. When the rolls came out of the oven, I drizzled the icing on them– well, half of them actually: I hadn’t made enough icing and ran out. Fortunately this is a quick, easy icing to make, so I whipped up another batch and finished.

My first impression, when they cooled enough to try one, was that they were a bit too superficially sweet with the icing, but the "zip" level was good; they were nice and spicy. And over the course of the night, about five people came by to say they were good. One guy even detected the mace (as nutmeg, but close enough), which I thought was pretty impressive given all the sugar, maple, and cinnamon. My cinnamon rolls may not have been perfectly balanced, but they weren’t boring and people liked them– I’m happy!