Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but one of my favourite fall flavours is pumpkin, tied with apple caramel and then maple syrup. I've been looking forward to being able to bake with pumpkin all year, and was so excited to try using it with cinnamon rolls! This was in large part due to the fact that I have never made cinnamon rolls before, and have been waiting for a good time to make them, as I can't very well make 12 rolls for just Sean and I! (Although I've come up with a plan, to be discussed shortly)

These rolls were fantastic, and perfect for brunch! They were light and fluffy, and definitely had me going back for seconds. I didn't find that I could taste the pumpkin flavour that much, and so because I really enjoy that flavour I'll use just a tad more pumpkin pie spices in the mix to enhance it. And this is the type of breakfast that you don't need to feel [too] guilty over- it's almost half whole wheat and has over a cup of pumpkin puree in it. I mean, it's practically healthy!

It was really fun making these. I've made several bread doughs before, but never experienced what it was like to roll out dough and really work with it. It's quite the unique experience for those who haven't tried it! I'm not sure how to describe it, but there's something really special about getting your hands on a warm fluffy mound of dough and then smashing the air out, followed by rolling it out with a pin. I can't wait to try it again!

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
scant 1 cup pumpkin puree (if using store-bought, make sure to buy the plain puree and not the pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups while flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (for those of you whole can't find pumpkin pie spice, or when you do realize it's stinkin' expensive, it's very simple to make. You can find a recipe through Annie's Eats)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2-1 cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
pinch of salt

Combine butter and milk in a sauce pan and heat on low until butter has melted. Once butter has melted, add sugar and stir well to combine, until sugar is melted. Remove from heat to let cool.

Add yeast to 2 tablespoons warm water (make sure it's not too hot, just warm to the touch). Let the yeast dissolve into the water.
Once butter, milk and sugar has cooled down to warm (not hot), combine it with the yeast and water mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add in pumpkin puree, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir to combine; you may need to work the ingredients together with your hands to fully incorporate flour.

Once combined, set bowl, covered with a towel, in a warm draft free spot for 1-2 hours to rise. I find the most effective way to do this is to heat your oven for 1-2 minutes until it has just warmed up. Then, place a small bowl of boiled water directly underneath the bowl with the dough in it (in the oven). Heat and moisture creates the best environment for dough to proof.

After dough has risen (it should double in size), punch it down and prepare to roll it out. Cover your work surface in flour and set dough on surface. Knead dough six to seven times. Roll out with a rolling pin into a large rectangle. If dough is sticky, add a bit of flour to it, as well as your rolling pin.

Once dough is rolled out, brush softened butter over dough. Sprinkle on cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice followed by brown sugar.

Tightly roll dough up, starting from edge furthest from you. (Roll tighter than mine if you can!)

Continue to roll until you've reached the end. Slice cinnamon rolls into 12 even pieces.

Set cinnamon rolls in a greased 9x13 pan. At this point you can bake your rolls, cover and refridgerate for 24 hours, or place in the freezer to be used later. The latter is what I did. I individually wrapped each piece in saran wrap, and then put it into a freezer bag. If using from frozen, remove from the freezer and let thaw for at least an hour and a half to two hours. You want them to be at room temperature and starting to rise a little bit again, so it may take over an hour. If using from the fridge, take them out about 30-45 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and centers look firm. Remove from oven and let cool for approx. 5 minutes.

While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, mix up glaze by combining milk, powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla and maple extracts, and salt in a bowl and mix well. The glaze should be pourable. If it's too think, add a little bit of milk at a time.

Pour the glaze over cinnamon rolls. Serve immediately or allow to sit. Store covered.

Source: slightly adapted from Love From The Oven

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