Monday, April 30, 2012

Coffee Maple No-Knead Cinnamon rolls and Mise en place

If you asked me what the most important thing was that I learned at Pastry School and from working at a bakery, I would have to say "Mise en place."  Now when you say this French phrase be sure to add some southern twang to it, trust me it sounds so much cooler and people will think you are smart.

What is this "Mise en place" I speak of?  Well quite literally it translates into "everything in place."  Basically it is setting out/weighing your ingredients, and setting out all the equipment needed to make a dish.  This was very essential when it came to making large batches of cookies, as it helped guarantee you didn't forget small but important ingredients like baking soda.

I have to confess I am quite terrible at the whole "mise en place" concept.  I can't tell you how many times I set out to make a dish and come to find out half way into it I am missing an essential ingredient, like sugar.  Part of the reason I am really horrible at this is because really most of the things in my kitchen can't be in place because they never had a place to begin with.  I live at home with the parents, and I cook out of their kitchen.  So on top of it being a very busy family kitchen it also doubles as my experiment lab and part time bakery.  I honestly don't know why my parents haven't banned me from their space yet, because not only to I invade it, but I dominate it!

"Mise en place" is a great idea in theory, and also a great practice you should implement into all your cooking ventures.  It will help you stay on point, stay on track, and follow a recipe more exactly.  I guess my creative and scattered brained mind just can't be confined by the rules of "mise en place", and that is why I often find myself making chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips.

Now most people are intimidated by yeast bread recipes, but if you mise en place your way through it you will be fine.  Trust me, I made these cinnamon rolls with one hand...honest I did. Another way to implement "mise en place" is by "mise en placing" your mind.  Read through the recipe entirely so you know what to expect as the recipe progresses.

I have had this recipe bookmarked for some time now, and have been waiting for an occasion to arise that merited fresh cinnamon rolls, but then I decided that every day fits that bill.  I check the Pioneer Woman blog every so often to see what she is up to.  I have tried many of her recipes with mixed results.  I have conflicted opinions about her recipes because sometimes she uses taboo ingredients that a snob like me never cake mix or God forbid bottled salad dressing.  Shock of all shocks * gasp!

Four things made me try this recipe:

1)  The never ending laundry list of rave reviews from her readers
2)  The fact that the dough is "no knead", which is always what I need...too far, yeah I thought so : )
3)  The frosting being made with coffee and maple unique and divine sounding
4)  The addition of baking soda and baking powder to a yeast dough intrigued me and I had to see for myself if it did  :)

Thanks Pioneer Woman for a great keeper recipe!

Look I made you a video!  A little long I know, and many editing issues, but I promise to get better at editing : )

Coffee Maple No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted slightly from The Pioneer Woman blog


    2 cups Whole Milk
    1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
    1/2 cup Sugar
    1 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
    4 cups All-purpose Flour
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
    1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons (heaping) Salt
    1 1/2 sticks softened Butter
    1 cups Brown Sugar...or white sugar
    Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
Coffee Maple Frosting:
    1 pound Powdered Sugar
    2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
    1/4 cup Milk
     2 TBS Melted Butter
    1/8 cup strong Brewed Coffee
    pinch of Salt
    Preparation Instructions:
Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. This will take about 40-60 minutes to cool.*  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, spread 1 /12 sticks of softened butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of the brown sugar spreading evenly.  Then sprinkle with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly away from you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slice the log into about 30 pieces.  Pour a tablespoon of melted butter into the bottom of 3 cake pans, or 2 TBS into 1 13x9 pans, and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each round cake pan will hold 9-10 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the counter top for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, maple syrup, and salt.  Whisk until very smooth. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top, spread around with a spatula.  As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time.

* The first time I made these I wasn't paying attention and didn't let the milk/sugar/oil mixture cool...which resulted in me killing the yeast and the rolls not rising...what was I thinking!!!


  1. The movie is banned in this country?....=(....I thought you were making cinnamon rolls?

  2. Ok I HAVE to try these - my kids would love me forever -- they look incredible!!!!
    Mary x

  3. Kirsten, really it works on all the computers here...did you try the link too? Not too sure if anyone else has had a problem playing it too. Thanks for letting me know!

  4. Mary, Let me know if you do try them! They are super yummy!