Monday, June 28, 2010

Caramel Rolls

The cupboard is dwindling. But good things are still possible in the last week before we move. Good things like caramel rolls. My husband Brett claims these are one of the best things I've ever made, and I'm inclined to agree.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can make it the day before a brunch and then let the rolls rise in the fridge overnight. Since I was just adding a salad and some eggs to round out the meal, I didn't have to worry about rushing around the kitchen in the morning. A lucky thing, since I had my last big training run for New York's Boilermaker 15 K in two weeks and it pretty much took all morning by the time I managed to roll out of bed.

Caramel Rolls
Barely Adapted from Simply Recipes

1/4 cup warm water
1 pkg yeast
1/3 cup + 1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 TBSP butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
1 TBSP orange zest
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 + cups flour

1/2 cup white sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
4 TBSP (or less) butter

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 TBSP unsalted butter
3 TBSP honey
1 TBSP light corn syrup

1. First, make the dough. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Sprinkle on 1 tsp sugar. Stir. Cover and let sit for about five minutes, until foamy. Pour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, butter, milk, eggs, salt, and 3/4 of the flour. Stir. Stir in remaining flour. Knead until smooth, adding more flour if the dough gets sticky. Lift the dough up and butter the bowl, spinning the dough once to coat. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour. I like to use the oven - turn the heat on for about 30 seconds and then turn it off, and you should have a secure warm environment.

2. After an hour, punch down the dough and turn out onto a floury counter. Let sit for 20 minutes. In the mean time, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling and melt the filling butter (if you prefer, you can also just spread softened butter when the time comes). Combine the topping ingredients in a large saucepan and let sit on the stove, ready.

3. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 12 X 18 inches. Spread with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Roll up tightly into a long log. Pinch together at the ends and to create a seam across the middle, so the filling doesn't spill out. Cut into about 15 equal rolls of about 1 inch.

4. Melt the topping ingredients together over low heat until uniform. It should only take a couple of minutes. Grease a large pan (9 X 13 ideally) and pour the topping into the bottom. Place the rolls evenly in the pan, then cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (the rolls will spread and rise).

5. Take the rolls out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to bake them so they can return to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top, turning the pan halfway through for even baking.

6. When you take them out of the oven, immediately invert them onto a large tray or baking sheet, being careful not to spill any caramel on yourself. Don't wait on this step or they may be stuck to your pan for a long time!

Let cool for a little while and then SERVE WARM.

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