Post Number 2 of my Bread-buary! series on one of my all-time favorite breads.
I have made Cinnamon Rolls in the past, but for reasons I couldn’t figure out, the filling always turns out dry, and the bread swirls too thick. Fortunately, our instructor at the bread-making class I took last January covered this wonderful treat. The trick is in the raisins. *I am waggling my eyebrows knowingly at this point*
Re-hydrated raisins, which this recipe calls for, provides the moisture, turning the cinnamon sugar into a sticky syrup. The syrup literally oozes out from these rolls, tempting me every time to lick it off the bottom of my pan just to get to all that goodness.
- 1 batch of Lean Bread Dough (done with the First Rise)
- 1/2 cup softened butter/margarine (spreading consistency)
- 1-1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup chopped cashews/peanuts
Before making the dough, in a medium bowl, soak the raisins with the 1/2 cup of water. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in the fridge. Let the raisins re-hydrate for 3 hours up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Some recommend adding a bit of rum with the soaking water for a bit of kick. The re-hydrated raisins will provide a ton of moisture as the bread bakes, to give that gooey stickiness that I love.
In another bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon powder.
Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
On a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12″ x 24″. The dough will be fairly thin at this point, but if you kneaded it enough and it passed the windowpane test, it should hold without tearing.
Using a pastry brush, spread the softened butter or margarine over the rolled dough to the edges, but leave a 1-inch wide band at the top without. Cover the butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon mix. Completely drain the soaked raisins and toss over the sugar, along with the chopped nuts.
Roll the dough from the bottom up. Just before completing the roll, brush water on the 1-inch band so that the roll can be sealed securely. Cut the resulting log using a scraper or sharp knife (non-serrated) to three-fingers wide sections (use the middle three fingers of one hand). You should end up with about 15 rolls.
Place the rolls cut-side up on a lightly greased 9-inch rectangular pan. Allow the rolls to rest for 30 minutes (or until doubled in size) in a warm, draft-free place.
Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the rolls to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and serve warm with a cream cheese or condensed milk glaze. Or without.
These rolls turn out really sticky and sweet. The plump raisins are also wonderful. The only problem you’ll have is how to keep yourself from licking your fingers afterwards.