Morning, Sunshine!

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther, American journalist and author

I love breakfast:  Sitting at the kitchen counter; big fancy brunches; en route to work; sitting at my desk.  There is something great about the first meal of the day, enjoyed while sipping hot, fresh coffee.  I especially love breakfast treats.  Like apple fritters, cake, tiramisu,  and Christmas cookies (I have a weakness).  And cinnamon rolls.  Homemade cinnamon rolls.

On occasion, I do to pop open a tube of the pre-made cinnamon rolls while bleary eyed on a Sunday morning.  Although, I have an irrational fear of losing an eye when the seam gives way and it actually “pops” open.  I flinch every time.  But I was excited to try something more authentic.

I found this recipe from Alton Brown and planned on getting up early to make the dough and then going back to bed for a couple more hours while the dough was rising.  Plus, the flyover pup does a daily 6am wake up call complete with pouncing, so getting up early would be easy.

Dough Hook

Whisk Attachment

So 6:15am, I’m in the kitchen, looking like Sebastian Bach circa 1988, starting to make the dough.

You start by whisking your eggs, buttermilk, sugar, and butter, then adding some of the flour and yeast in a mixer.  Now the fun part: switch out your whisk attachment for your dough hook.  Pop the champagne: this was the maiden voyage of my dough hook!  And its an awesome attachment.  It does all the work and you just slide the dough off the hook when its pulled away from the sides of the bowl.  Genius.

Now, put the dough into a bowl with a little non-stick spray, cover, and let it rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Feel free to go back to bed at this point.

Dough: Step 1

After rising, the dough will have doubled in size.  It’s soft and stretchy and full of air.  By now everyone at our house was awake.  One of our house guests wanted to touch the dough saying, “it just looks so soft”.  I love that…the appreciation of the process of real cooking.

Dough: Step 2, doubled in size and very "touchable"

Turn the dough out, knead out the air, and roll it into a big rectangle, with the long side nearest you.  “Long side” is the mathematical term.

Now sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and a little salt all over the rectangle.  Now you can start rolling slowly from the bottom to the top, keeping it tightly sealed.  This will make a big log of dough rolled with cinnamon.  Like this:

A log of cinnamon delicious-ness

As you can tell from the big chef’s knife laying menacingly on the counter, the next step is to cut your rolls and place in a buttered baking dish.   I put them into the oven after letting them sit on top while it was preheating to rise a little more.    The recipe says to store them overnight in the fridge before baking, which I skipped.  But, it is handy to know you can make these the night before and not just when you’re sporting 80’s metal band bed head.

They go in at 350° for 30 minutes.  As they were baking, I made a quick icing using cream cheese, powered sugar, and milk.  Simple and delicious.

Some quick icing post-oven and we had these lovelies:

AM Perfection.

The dough was softer than most cinnamon rolls and the icing wasn’t too sweet.   Perfect with a cup of coffee, or orange juice, or a Bloody Mary, depending on the type of morning one is having.

UNFORESEEN BONUS: The dough was easier than I thought.  I’m really inexperienced with yeast, kneading, rising and other such bread related skills, but this dough was springy and easy to handle.

The house smelled like a bakery, I got to use a dough hook, and I had a treat to go with a Bloody Mary.  Because it was that type of morning.

xoxo Flyover Foodie

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