Yesterday I was inspired by a blogger’s grandma’s cinnamon twists. Fortunately or otherwise, there was no recipe involved. This meant I had to figure out how to make something similar, with no starting point. Several months ago I made cinnamon raisin bread. It was slightly undercooked so I never blogged about it. I figured I could take the cinnamon raisin dough, the cinnamon twists concept, butter and sweet stuff and voila! Sweet, frosted deliciousness!
I can smell the cinnamony goodness.
Alright, fair disclaimer before you go to the allrecipes.com site and get pissed at me: I pared down the recipe to 1/3 of the size. For my original cinnamon raisin bread attempt, I cut it in half and still came out with a loaf and then some of bread. So this time I wanted to be able to have one loaf’s worth of dough. Here’s my pared down ingredients list:
- 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 1/6 cup white sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/6 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup raisins (omit if you don’t like)
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
The twist coating:
- white sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar
- melted butter
First I activate my yeast using some of the warm water and sugar listed, until it’s foamy. While it’s activating I add the rest of the ingredients to my bread machine. I always stir my mix up a little by hand before turning on the machine. I do this because I’ve had issues where it’s made it through the entire dough cycle and isn’t mixed. No one likes to waste time. You can either do the stirring before or after you add the activated yeast. I generally stir after adding the yeast.
Then set your bread machine on the dough setting and let it run through the cycle. When it’s done, punch down the dough and let it rise again in the machine (I usually let it rise the second time for 40-60 minutes). Then punch it down again, and roll it out into a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter (or a knife or scissors), cut into about 8 strips. Dip the strips in butter. Then in the brown sugar/white sugar/cinnamon mixture. Twist and lay in a greased pan.
(If you don’t have a bread machine simply mix up the dough like normal, let it rise until it doubles. Punch it down, let it rise again.)
Oh, and one thing. This dough is fairly sticky. But instead of adding a ton of flour, just add enough so it doesn’t stick horribly to your counter. The wetter your dough, the more moist your finished product. It’s worth a little sticking for a chewier result!
Cover the pan with a towel and let the dough rise AGAIN. This time I let it rise for about 40 minutes. Turn on your oven with about 10-15 minutes left in rising so your oven’s ready when you are.
I cooked for about 26 minutes at 350 degrees. When they came out Karla convinced me I should drizzle melted butter over them. So I melted some additional butter, and drizzling commenced. Karla made a simple icing made out of powdered sugar and water, but I think these puppies were plenty sweet without. However, I don’t have an intense sweet tooth, so frosting may or may not be necessary. You could drizzle it over, or warm and dip.
Here’s the rolled out dough. Even though I’m a perfectionist, this is my version of a rectangle!
Here’s the dough cut into strips. I don’t know if you can tell how wide this is (length-wise), but I would actually roll my dough out more narrow next time to make handling the buttered and sugared twists easier. Otherwise they tended to stretch and get unruly. I blame my perfectly risen, stretchy dough.
My butter and sugar/brown sugar/cinnamon assembly line. Don’t ask how much I melted or put in the coating dish. I got lucky. It was almost perfect. But it’s not like you can’t melt more butter or mix more sugars. And if there’s leftover, just pour/sprinkle them on the finished product.
“This is where the magic happens. Please cover me and let me get to work.”
Um. YUM! While these were baking Karla and I (Karla had no idea what I was baking) were teleported back in time to our kitchen as kids. When Mom would make homemade cinnamon toast (recipe: homemade bread, butter, cinnamon and sugar, then broil (I think)). I used to lay by the oven while she cooked it. The oven was warm, and the sweet, delicious smells. The finished product was soft on the bottom, but crunchy and sweet on top. It’s funny because the post that inspired this said her house smelled like grandma. My house definitely smelled like Mom and my childhood. Perfection.
Attempt to show you the buttery, crunchy goodness. Pictures are NOT worth a thousand smells in this case!
This definitely doesn’t do justice. Here’s the deal: The top’s crunchy, but the underside is still soft like a cinnamon roll. And the entire thing is coated in butter and cinnamon/sugar/brown sugar, so it’s like the inside of a cinnamon roll on the bottom.
Oh for the love of all things sweet and chewy, YES!
Karla declared these, “The best thing you’ve ever made.”