Cinnamon braid in skillet
If you have been lucky enough to get to try - not to mention prepare - that wonderful invention called cinnamon rolls (or cinnamon rolls) , you will easily intuit that what comes next will create an urgent need to run to check the pantry and get into flour as soon as possible. Or am I wrong?
It's hard not to fall in love with that almost inexplicable tenderness and that cinnamon and butter fragrance that will remain not only in the braid, but will hang indefinitely in the air throughout your house. Although it is true that, although I have urged you not to waste a second, we will have to apply a necessary dose of patience (minimum) and a lot of care (maximum) if we want our cinnamon roll braid to be a success and deserve the It's worth the wait and the time invested (which I already told you is not too long). You can either start in the morning to have it ready for snack time or let it cool down in the fridge overnight and finish in time for breakfast the next morning (in the latter case, the texture and flavor of the dough will be incredibly rewarded).
Although you can use many models of molds or baking dishes when preparing this recipe, I think it is especially appropriate to use the iron skillet from Le Creuset *; Cast iron distributes the heat evenly throughout the dough, helping it to be perfectly cooked inside (preserving its tenderness) as well as on the base. In addition, due to its impeccable design, you can serve it from the oven directly to the table without having to unmold.
Ingredients (for 8-10 people)
All ingredients should be at room temperature, unless otherwise noted.
For the mass:
- 60g unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 55g white sugar
- 50 g of mascarpone cheese
- 1 egg (M)
- 200 ml of warm milk (43-45ºC), never hot (+ extra milk for brushing)
- 15 g fresh baker's yeast
- 450-475 g all-purpose wheat flour (+ extra flour for kneading)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 90 g unsalted butter, pomade
- 100g white sugar
- 6g (3 tsp) ground cinnamon (I use the Ceylan or Sri Lankan variety, which is softer and has a sweet spot)
From the dough:
- In the bowl of our electric mixer (or in a large bowl if we are going to work by hand), we combine the melted butter (already warm), the sugar, the mascarpone cheese and the egg with the help of the rods until we get a homogeneous mixture and no lumps.
- In a separate medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.
- Next, we add approximately half of the flour to the initial mixture, as well as the milk with the yeast and mix with the spatula accessory (or a silicone spatula or wooden spoon if we are not going to use a mixer) until everything is left. more or less linked.
- Next, we add almost all the remaining flour (we will reserve about 30-40 g of flour in case we need it later) and the salt and continue mixing just enough to integrate everything.
- We now attach the dough hook accessory (or transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface to knead by hand) and begin to knead at medium-low speed until our dough detaches easily from the bowl or work surface (about 8 -10 minutes with the mixer; a little more if we knead by hand) and it has acquired a very soft and elastic texture. Although this dough is somewhat greasy, at the end of the kneading it should not stick to our hands. If we see that it sticks excessively, we can add little by little part of the flour (or all) that we had reserved.
- We shape the dough into a ball, then place it in a large bowl, previously greased with a thin film of soft oil, cover with transparent film and, if we are going to continue with the recipe, let it rise in a warm place ( about 20-23ºC) and away from air currents until it doubles its volume (between 1 – 1 ½ hours). If, on the other hand, we are going to let it rise cold, we put the bowl with our dough in the fridge overnight; in the morning, we remove it and let the dough acclimate to room temperature before continuing with the next point.
From the filling:
- Once our dough is ready, we degas it by plunging our knuckles into it a couple of times, cover it again with transparent film and let it rest for 10 more minutes.
- Once relaxed, we transfer the dough to a wide and lightly floured work surface, and with the help of a rolling pin, also floured, we roll it out (always working from the center outwards) giving it a rectangle shape of about 45 x 25 cm.
- Then we spread the butter with a small spatula over the surface of the rectangle, leaving a margin of 1 cm without spreading on one of the longest sides.
- Next, sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the butter.
- Next, we begin to roll the dough on itself, starting with the long side that we have covered with the filling. When we are going to reach the edge without filling, we brush it with a little water so that it is well sealed and we finish rolling.
Assembly and baking:
- We then place the roll of dough on a flat surface so that it does not deform, we cover it with transparent film and we put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to be able to handle it better.
- Meanwhile, we grease the inside of our 23 cm Ø* iron skillet with non-stick release spray and set aside.
- Remove the roll of dough from the freezer, place it seam side down on the counter, and divide it in two lengthwise with a large, sharp knife.
- We place both faces cut up (so that the cut of the layers is visible), we clamp one of the ends and we begin to braid them, making sure that the cut of both parts is always up.
- When we reached the other end, we also clamped and placed our braid in the skillet that we had prepared, forming a spiral.
- Cover once more with cling film loosely and let rise for another 30-45 minutes in a warm, draft-free place until our cinnamon roll braid has visibly grown and is fluffy (no need to double in size). .
- Preheat the oven (electric and airless) to 180ºC with heat up and down for about 15 minutes and place the oven rack at medium height.
- We put the skillet in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes (if we see that after half an hour the surface is browning excessively, we cover it with aluminum foil, making sure it is loose).
- As soon as we check that our braid is well cooked (if we insert a skewer in the center, it should come out dry and clean of crumbs), we remove the skillet from the oven, being very careful not to burn ourselves and let it rest inside the skillet on a cooling rack a minimum of 20 minutes. After this time, we can unmold it if we are going to serve it in a different source, but I usually leave it in the skillet and serve it directly in it; It seems to me simply perfect to take it just like that to the table.
- Sometimes, just like I do with cinnamon rolls , I finish it with a whipped cream cheese frosting with a little milk on top or just sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon if I don't want to complicate it. A good scoop of ice cream is usually a perfect accompaniment, especially when it is still a bit warm; the contrast is spectacular.
It is preferable to consume these types of recipes with leavened dough the first day, freshly made, which is when they retain all their tenderness. Even so, once cold, it must be kept at room temperature and well protected from air. If you were to see another sunrise and it had dried out a bit, a few seconds in the microwave at medium power will restore much of that lost tenderness, although I recommend consuming it as soon as possible.
- *As I told you above, we can also bake this recipe in another type of mold or dish (as long as it maintains the same dimensions as the skillet in the recipe and is suitable for the oven). However, when using a container made of another type of material (ceramic, aluminum, etc.) or of another color, the baking times will vary (increase) slightly and the exterior texture may also; Cast iron and the black color of the skillet used in this recipe retain heat much more than other materials or colors, which still influences the final result in some way.
- Baker's dry yeast is also a perfectly valid option instead of fresh; It should never be confused with Royal-type chemical yeast (usually used for biscuit-type preparations). One part of dry yeast is equal to three parts of fresh yeast. Thus, in this particular recipe, the 15 g of fresh yeast could be replaced by 5 g of dry baker's yeast.
- Sometimes, instead of mascarpone cheese, I use sour cream (sour cream) – the first thing I find in the supermarket. The result is an incredibly fluffy crumb.
- 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 1 teaspoon = 5 ml