For my birthday my two amazing friends/coworkers got me two classes to this adorable little cooking school in Santa Monica called The Gourmandise School. It is run by these two young and passionate woman who teach classes in things such as Cupcakes, Rustic French Desserts, and Vegetarian cooking. With such a wide variety of classes, I wanted to try something that I have never done before so I found this class in Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns.For me, Cinnamon Rolls always sounded intimidating because I’ve never worked with dough that has active yeast that required proofing.
Their classes are small, about 20 or so people, and for this class we buddied up and worked together at a mixer to make a basic dough. After we mixed the dough together, we let them rise and then split the dough in half so we both could make our own variations of the cinnamon rolls. I made two different types: traditional cinnamon rolls (with some chocolate chips in it) with a cream cheese frosting and sticky buns, which has the same dough as cinnamon rolls, except the filling is a brown sugar/spice mixture which are then baked with a maple pecan syrup on top.
All of those little sushi looking rolls cut into pieces are actually my first roll of Cinnamon Rolls that I made. Key to cinnamon rolls is not loading them up too much on filling, and rolling them up just tight enough so that the layers can breathe. After you roll them up, turn them on their butts and stick them in a pan smaller than the one you will be seeing below. When you bake them closer together they become more like a pull apart sticky buns instead of flopping over ones…like mine kind of turned out.
If you decide that you want to take on the challenge of making Cinnamon Rolls or Sticky Buns for your friends/family for breakfast one fine weekend, I give you this tip. Do all of the prep and dough making for this ahead of time, even multiple days/week ahead of time if you want.
When I say that these are a “challenge” to make, the challenge is really the waiting. Since there is yeast in the dough you have to wait for it to rise, and then you have to proof it once you’ve put the cinnamon rolls together. What was suggested is that you do all of the steps, right up until you would proof the cinnamon rolls before baking. At this point, you put them into the freezer where the proofing process is put on hold because of the cold temperature. Then, when Sunday morning comes around, all you have to do is get up about 2 hours before you want to make them, set them out on the counter and let them proof for about an hour and a half, then pop them in the oven!
Other than that, Cinnamon Rolls/Sticky Buns really are not that difficult to make at all, and can lead to a lot of different creative variations. I encourage you to give it a try and impress your friends. Cinnabon is amazing and all, but not quite as awesome as making your own sans the 500 different types of preservatives and partially hydrogenated what-nots.
If you live in the LA area and are looking for a little kitchen inspiration, I highly recommend signing up for a class here. It’s a fun and friendly atmosphere that caters to the kitchen novice that doesn’t know how to turn a mixer on, but also to someone like me who has been around kitchen appliance for a while. You meet some nice people and eat some great food, that you made!
Basic Yeast Dough:
3 eggs ¾ cup buttermilk
2 tbsps heavy cream ¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt 1 pouch yeast
4 cups flour 6 tbsps (3/4 stick) butter, melted
1) Place the eggs and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until the eggs come together (when the yolks and whites are unified). Whisk in buttermilk.
2) Switch to the paddle attachment and add heavy cream, butter, sugar, salt and yeast and mix with paddle until combined.
3) Add 2 cups of flour and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour and mix for 5 minutes. Take the dough out and kneed it a few times by hand to make sure it is nicely combined.
4) Spread a thin coat (a few drops) of oil in a large bowl and place the dough inside.
5) Wrap the bowl in plastic and place in a warm area. Let the dough double in size, about 2 hours.
6) Coat your rolling surface with a thin coat of flour. Roll out the dough in a 18×14” rectangle.
7) Spread desired filling on the dough, leaving a little less than an inch up top to seal.
8) Roll up the dough from bottom to top and seal on top by pinching the seam.
9) Cut rolls in desired thickness with a sharp knife or scissors and place at least 1” apart in baking pan.
(If you are making this ahead of time, this is the part where you would stop and put it in the freezer. Then continue these instructions when you take them out of the freezer.)
10) Wrap baking pan in plastic and let rise for another 1 ½ hours.
11) Bake at 350 until puffy and golden around the edges.
12) Top with desired glaze 10 minutes after removing buns from the oven.
Glaze for Sticky Buns:
1 ½ sticks butter 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla ¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup chopped pecans
1) Place all ingredients in a saucepot. Cook over medium heat until very warm, but do not boil.
2) Pour 2/3 of the glaze on the bottom of the pan and on top of sticky buns. Place the pecans on top of sticky buns. Reserve the remainder of the glaze to pour over the buns once they are baked.
Filling for Sticky Buns:
¾ cup brown sugar 1 tbsps melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
1) Melt the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a fork.
2) Spread the filling over the dough and roll up as directed.
Source: The Gourmandise School. Santa Monica, CA
Just check it out 🙂
Located in the Santa Monica Place Mall
Level 3 : The Market