Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maple & Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Um, Shanah Tova?  You know I don't keep kosher.  This post just has unfortunate timing.

I bought a new jar of yeast for this one.  And I cut out the recipe from the L.A. Times.  Recipes like this are one of the reasons I still get a printed paper.  I would have missed this one entirely if I only subscribed online, mainly because their site design is better suited to a phone app than my laptop.  It took me a day to figure out the navigation.  It's also a matter of archiving.  Sure, I have this blog as a recipe index, but I can't look up any of these recipes if my ISP goes down.  Recipe cards are always there, generations later.

If you check out the link, you'll see the nutritional information.  A quick comparison will also show that I have trimmed nearly half the fat out of my version, most of it in butter.  And yes, I did reduce the amount of bacon for the same reason, but the flavor comes through.  I also cut back because you're more likely to buy a one-pound package than ask the meat counter for 1-1/2.  I just could not, in good conscience, bake a 500-plus-calorie cinnamon roll.  So this is probably 400-plus.  I tried.  Also remember that it's your whole meal, with hopefully a piece of fruit on the side.

Maple syrup is really expensive.  I've always used the flavored corn syrup that passes itself off as maple, so I didn't know.  It also goes bad if you don't use it in a reasonable amount of time and requires refrigeration once opened.  Now I need to come up with other uses for it.  Lots of pancakes and waffles in my future.  The kicker is that there's so much brown sugar, you can't even taste the pure mapleness.  Save yourself ten bucks and use a good-quality, corn syrup-based pancake syrup instead.

Oh, and the original recipe had 14 steps.  I followed them, but realized halfway through how pointless some of them were and am simplifying things a lot.  I'm also dividing the ingredients list, instead of making you try to figure out if you've used all the listed tablespoons of something.

I cheated on the icing and added maple and bacon fat to the cream cheese icing we have at work.  This is only because I baked them off with my first bake of the day and didn't have time to make the icing during my shift.  The recipe is a valid one, and I feel confident endorsing it by the ingredients list.

1 package (2-1/2 tsp) yeast
1/4 C sugar
4 Tb (1/4 C, half a stick) unsalted butter
*1 C milk
3-4 C flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
oil for bowl

1.  Microwave milk, butter, and sugar for 45 seconds, until about 100º F.  Butter does not need to melt. Stir in yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2.  In stand mixer with paddle, stir together salt and 1 C flour.  Add milk mixture and beat into a batter, about 2 minutes.  Add egg and another cup of flour and beat again.  If dough still looks too soft to knead, add another half cup of flour.

3.  Pour out dough onto liberally floured board and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.  The egg in the dough will make it sticky even when it has absorbed enough flour, so try to add as little as possible. You shouldn't hit the 4 cup allowance.  Form dough into a ball and turn over in a lightly oiled bowl to coat all sides.  Place in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

1 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
3/4 C light brown sugar
*2 Tb cinnamon
1 Tb butter, melted
1 Tb maple syrup

1.  While dough is rising, prepare filling.  Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy, about 15 minutes, and drain on a paper towel.  Reserve 1 Tb of the rendered bacon fat for later stages of the recipe.

2.  Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, combine melted butter and syrup.

3.  Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.  Roll out on a large, lightly floured board into a 12" by 18" rectangle.  With a brush, coat entire surface with butter/syrup mixture.  Sprinkle all but a 1" strip of the long side with cinnamon sugar, then sprinkle bacon on top of the sugar.
4.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Starting on the long side with sugar (bottom in the photo), roll up dough into a log.  Cut log into 12 pieces with a very sharp knife, roughly 1-1/2" apiece.  Those bacon pieces are tough.  Place cut-side down on baking sheet, about half an inch apart.  At this point, you can cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight, or go directly to the next section.

1 egg, beaten with 1 Tb syrup
1/4 C cream cheese
1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tb bacon grease
2 Tb syrup
milk as needed

1.  Place baking sheet in a warm place until rolls have proofed to the point where they just barely touch each other, about 30 to 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375º.

2.  Brush egg-and-syrup wash over rolls.  This will give them the dark golden color and add some of that maple flavor.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden.

3.  While rolls are baking, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Melt bacon grease until fluid but not boiling.  Add grease and 2 Tb syrup to glaze and beat until smooth.  If too thick to drizzle off a spoon, add some milk a bit at a time.

4.  Remove rolls from oven when done.  Slide parchment with rolls still on it onto a cooling rack.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes before drizzling with glaze, then let the glaze harden a few more minutes before serving.

Makes 12 (and yes, I'm aware there are 14 in the photo.  I was watching TV at the time and lost count of my cuts.)

Difficulty rating  :-0

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