Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Only Thing That Can Lure Me Out of My Warm Bed

It’s a cold, crisp winter morning. You wake up, snug and warm in the embrace of a comfy blanket, and realize you’ve nowhere to go and nothing you must do today. Only one thing can lure you out of bed on a morning like this.

Pecan Rolls. Warm, gooey, sweet, soul-nourishing concoctions of cinnamon, butter, and crunchy nuts. Cinnamon rolls are well and good, but I always feel that they’re empty without nuts. This recipe is amongst the best I’ve found. It’s really not as much work as one might imagine would be required for such a heavenly reward. (This recipe first appeared in Bon Appetit magazine in October 1999.)

Note: One of the best tricks I know is to cut the rolls using dental floss! It cuts so cleanly and prevents the dough from being squished with a knife!

Pecan Rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water (105F to 115F)
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 envelopes dry yeast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (about) all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup pecan halves

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups warm water and 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over and let stand until foamy, about 6 minutes. Mix in vegetable oil and salt. Add enough flour, 1 cup at a time, to form soft dough. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 10 minutes.

2. Lightly oil another large bowl. Place dough in bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then cover with kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Beat butter, cinnamon and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar in medium bowl to blend.

3. Turn dough out onto floured work surface (do not punch down). Roll out or press dough gently to 16x10-inch rectangle. Using spatula, spread 1 cup butter mixture evenly over dough. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough jelly-roll style, forming log. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut log crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Spread remaining butter mixture over bottom of 15x10x2-inch metal baking pan. Sprinkle 1 cup pecan halves evenly over butter mixture in pan. Arrange rolls, cut side down, in prepared pan, spacing evenly. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Let rolls rise in warm draft-free area until light and puffed, about 30 minutes.

4. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325F. Bake cinnamon rolls uncovered until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes.

5. Remove pan from oven. Using sharp knife, cut around sides of pan. Place large baking sheet over pan. Using oven mitts as aid, hold baking sheet and pan together and turn over, releasing cinnamon rolls onto sheet. Serve cinnamon rolls warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!