KANSAS CITY, Mo. --If you've ever wanted to know the secret to making great cinnamon rolls, Megan Garrelts, Rye Proprietor and Executive Pastry Chef, has a recipe you'll want to follow.
Fried Cinnamon Rolls
(Makes 24 mini rolls or 12 large rolls)
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs, room temperature
Canola oil, for frying
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the rolls, grease a large bowl and set it aside; have a clean dry towel handy. Place the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to combine the dry ingredients, about 1 minute. Place the milk and the butter in a small microwaveable bowl and heat in the microwave on low for about 1 minute to warm the milk and melt the butter. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the warmed milk and melted butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the dough becomes soft and sticky and pulls from the sides of the bowl, about 4 minutes.
Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with a dough hook. Continue to mix the dough on low speed for two minutes. Stop the mixer and use a firm spatula to give the bowl one final scrape. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Continue to mix for 4 minutes on medium speed until the sticky mass becomes smooth and springs back at the touch. If needed, dust the dough again with flour while mixing to prevent sticking. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with the dry towel. Put the bowl in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the cinnamon smear. Place the butter, brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the ingredients together, scraping the bowl to fully incorporate, about 3 minutes. Set the smear aside at room temperature until ready to use.
Lightly flour a work surface. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and transfer to the floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle, approximately 24 by 6 inches. Spread the smear evenly over the rolled dough. Starting from one long side of the rectangle, roll the dough to form a tight cylinder. Slice the dough into 24 mini rolls or 12 large rolls and transfer to a nonstick baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in a warm place until the rolls have doubled again in size, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the icing. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cream, butter, and vanilla. Set aside until ready to use.
Once the rolls have doubled in size, insert two toothpicks horizontally through each mini roll to secure the ends before frying. Fill a large sauté pan halfway with the canola oil and heat over medium heat. A home fryer may also be used to fry the cinnamon rolls, using canola oil to fill the oil chamber to the manufacturer’s recommended fill line and heating the fryer to 350°F.
Using a pair of tongs, carefully drop the cinnamon rolls into the hot oil about 3 at a time. Fry the cinnamon rolls for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer the rolls to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat the process with the remaining rolls.
Alternatively, the cinnamon rolls can be baked rather than fried. After the sliced rolls go through the second rising, transfer the rolls to a 12 by 8-inch greased baking pan or rimmed baking sheet (no need to skewer them with toothpicks) and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Once they are all fried or baked, transfer the warm rolls to a serving platter and drizzle with icing. Serve immediately.
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