Country Cinnamon Rolls

Every year around November, an Amish community from I think Pennsylvania always come down south to the Redlands for the winter. They open up a store by Redlands Middle School, and sell everything from home-made jams to bread, to fruit, to the most amazing milkshakes I have ever had. They usually stay down here to around March, then they pack everything up and leave again. One of the foods that they're most known for down here are their cinnamon rolls. They're honestly hands down the best cinnamon rolls ever created. I'm always one to try cinnamon rolls, and no one that I've tried can come close, until I found this recipe in Williams-Sonoma: Bread. Since it was my first time ever making them, I had some trouble forming them into rolls/squares, so they ended up looking like cinnamon rectangles, but their flavor and texture were extremely similar to the ones made my the Amish. I wouldn't change a thing about them, and I'm definitely going to make these again soon. I wish I would've had the time to take a better picture to give these cinnamon rolls some justice, but this picture will just have to cut it. This recipe's side note ended up being the recipe for the streusel filling that goes into these rolls:

"STREUSEL FILLING: To make the sweet, crumbly filling for these cinnamon rolls, combine 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until needed."

Country Cinnamon Rolls
*makes 10 rolls*

4 1/2-5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot whole milk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature, plus extra for greasing and serving
3 large eggs, at room temperature
canola oil for greasing
Streusel Filling
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 tbsp whole milk

1) In a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the hot milk and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the butter, eggs, and 1/4 cup flour; beat for 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook. Beat in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl sides. Knead on low speed until soft, smooth, and springy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to an oiled deep bowl and turn once to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2-2 hours.
2) Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Roll out into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel filling, leaving a 1-inch border along the long edges. Sprinkle with the raisins and nuts; press in lightly to adhere. Beginning with a long end, roll up jelly-roll fashion; it will be bulky. Pinch the long seam to seal, but leave both ends open. Using a serrated knife, gently cut the roll crosswise into pieces 1 1/2 inches thick. Arrange, cut sides down and rolls just touching, in the prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until puffy, about 1 hour.
3) Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the tops of the rolls with some of the milk. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the milk once more. Use a spatula to remove the rolls from the pan and place them, bottom side up, on racks to cool. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Pull apart and serve with butter.

If you want to print this recipe out, go here to its link on the Williams-Sonoma site.

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