(Photo courtesy of Rue) This is only moments before the first one was snatched away.
I have wanted to make these cinnamon rolls for so long. I think the March 2008 issue of Bon Appetit was the first one I found in my mailbox. I am still not sure who gifted the subscription to me, but thanks to Mr./Ms. Anonymous, I got the inspiration to revisit yeast (which I had avoided for a long time) and make these gorgeous cinnamon rolls. I am all up in chemical leavening's face, but really feared yeasted doughs - laminated doughs, brioche, and breads, and I told you all I would be fearless!
Why wait so long for something as simple as cinnamon rolls? Well, they are made from a plain white bread dough that needs to rise for 2 hours before punching down and rolling out. Then the dough rectangle is spread with cinnamon sugar and butter, rolled up, cut into pieces, and the rolls rise in the baking dishes for 45 minutes....before baking another 20. A breakfast item that requires 3 hours lead time? Do I need to tell you this is not happening on a weekday? Plus, after you have gone through all that trouble, you should probably eat them fresh out of the oven in all their splendor, so the best solution is a house full of people...unless you want a serious mal au ventre.
Thanks to a weekend renting a riverfront house in celebration of friends tying the knot, I finally had the excuse to share them with a gaggle of friends. When I snuck out of bed and started working on them at 6:48am, I was hoping they would be worth it.
Were they worth lugging the KitchenAid mixer on vacation?
Worth the wait?
Oh yes. Light, steamy and soft on the inside, cognac brown and slightly crunchy on the outside. Good without the cream cheese icing, decadent with it. They didn't last very long. But do not take my word for it. Make them yourself. Like the other 103+ reviewers on epicurious, you will be glad you did.