Cinnamon Rolls

Remember the Cooking Light cookbook I wrote about before? The following is is a mostly-followed version of that. I am somewhat surprised, with how this week has gone, that I settled on a somewhat involved recipe, but it turned out well and I was proud of them. As my boss described, this is one of those weeks where if you owned a hospital, no one would get sick; pretty much nothing has gone as planned, and we’ve been going from one hectic situation to another. It’s been a while since I had one of those weeks, and boy do I not miss it.

Add to that the cloudy-rainy that has been going on, and and you get a sad kitty. Don’t get me wrong – California most definitely needs all the rain it can get and I most definitely do not begrudge it, but it seems to be harder for me to handle when the shit hitteth the fan and I need my vitamin D on my days off. But it looks for the most part like the weather is returning to NorCal norms, for good or ill, and for that I am rather grateful.

Back to the food.

Quite a while ago I shared a recipe for no-knead cinnamon rolls, but I saw this recipe in the Cooking Light book and thought it might be nice to try something a little healthier. Unfortunately, I had to make a couple of ingredient substitutions that knocked the healthiness down a bit. I’ll share the original recipe below with only a couple of small alterations and notes on what I did.

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

from Cooking Light

1 1/2 packages (3 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
3/4 cup warm fat free milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 large egg white
11.25 oz all-purpose flour, divided (about 2 1/2 cups)
7 oz whole-wheat flour (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins

3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp fat-free milk

To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm milk and 1/4 cups arm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Add butter and next 5 ingredients (through egg white); stir well. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 9 oz.  all-purpose flour (about 2 cups) and whole-wheat flour to yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 2.25 oz all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup), 1 tbsp at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentations remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; roll into a 16×12-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Coat surface of dough with cooking spray. (I don’t do cooking spray, so I used butter wherever it said to use spray.)

To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle raisins over dough and press gently into the dough. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam to seal. Cut dough into ~16 rolls. Place rolls, cut sides up, in a 13×9-inch pan or in individual muffin tin cavities. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Uncover rolls. Bake at 375°F for 22 minutes if in pan, 15 minutes in muffin tin, or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare glaze, place powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Add 5 tsp milk, 1 tsp at a time, stirring to form a thick glaze. Drizzle glaze evenly over rolls.

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