For a while now I have been thinking about the cinnamon rolls that I had growing up. The only way that I could describe them was biscuit vs bread style. My searching both online and recipe books was not yielding any satisfactory results. Then Jess found this.
It was a cold afternoon so I decided to give them a go.
The Recipe - Direct from Mary Jane MacDonald
Ingredients for dough:
- 4 cups flour
- 6 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 heaping tbsp. white sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening or butter
- 2 cups of milk
Ingredients for filling:
- butter or becel
- brown sugar
- Mix the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder, salt and white sugar -- with your hands.
- Add ½ cup shortening (or butter – your choice – and make sure it’s at room temperature) and blend it into the flour with your hands until crumbly (mealy).
- Make a well in centre and add 2 cups of milk.
- With a fork – scrape all the flour into the milk and combine until all the flour is absorbed and you have the dough nicely combined.
- Sprinkle a little flour onto your counter and form the dough into a ball and place on the floured surface.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough and on your rolling pin and roll out until about ½ inch thickness.
- You can use butter (or I use Becel because it’s nice and soft) and spread some all over the surface of the rolled out dough – just like you were spreading peanut butter on the surface of a slice of bread.
- Now add some brown sugar – sprinkle enough on – probably more than a cup, maybe a cup and a half - until all spread out all over the surface and right to the edges.
- Now, sprinkle cinnamon over the complete surface – don’t be shy.
- Roll up the dough like a jelly roll.
- With a serrated bread knife, cut off both ends of the roll (these pieces you can cook on your second pan) but for now – cut your slices about ¾ inch thick and place on the cookie sheet. (I use a stoneware 9x13” pan as I find they scorch easily in a metal pan – or perhaps you might want to try a lower temperature if you are using a metal pan.)
- Bake for 18 minutes on middle rack (18 minutes in my oven – yours might be done at 14 minutes - check often).
- 3 tablespoons of soft butter or Becel
- 2 tsp vanilla
- About 2 cups of icing sugar
- A little bit of milk (I used 2 tbsp)
They are very, very close to what I'm looking for. I'm really not a fan of the frosting both too sweet and too much vanilla.
As they are right now, I give them a 2/5, but with a lot of promise if I took a bit more care throughout the process. The texture was perfect, but they weren't quite rolled tightly enough, that would have improved it a lot. Also I think I needed a bit more sugar for the filling.
Just those two things would up it a pip to 3/5 and finally if I didn't put on the frosting (or just used a bit less vanilla) that would have probably made them a 4/5.
I will be tweaking as I go and be sure to give updates. I'm pretty sure that Mary Jane would have produced 4/5 with this exact recipe, but that's the thing with baking, a lot of it is feel, and she has a lot more experience with this recipe.