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Tis the season of Trdelník. Central Prague smells of cinnamon and every square, big or small, has at least two booths rolling and roasting them as you walk by. 

Then again, if you don't feel like queueing, elbowing tourists and fighting for a roll all to yourself, hear me out. This is a far more superior cinnamon roll. Forget the barely-there cinnamon sugar coverage and the hollow middle. This one's all about the caramelised cinnamon overload in the softest, spongiest, melt-in-your-mouth bun.




(For the softest dough I suggest using whole milk. We're going to sin by simply looking at these, so why don't we take the recipe seriously while we're at it?)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

120ml whole milk
100g granulated sugar
60g butter (melted)
Half a cup of warm water
4 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast
2 large (or 3 smaller) eggs, beaten
550g all purpose flour (start with a little less, see how it goes along the way)

(If you're the I-want-the-rolls-now type, you could always go for pre-made yeast dough and skip this part.)

For the filling:

Half a stick of very warm, almost melting butter (the easier to spread the better)
1 cup of mixed dark brown sugar and golden sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

For the icing (if you dare):

225g butter, room temperature (not melted!)
1tsp vanilla extract
Approximately 3-4 cups of sifted icing sugar (start with three, see where it takes the consistency)
Only add a splash of cold water if you accidentally get it too thick.


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 200C. 

In a saucepan, heat the milk until almost simmering, then remove from heat immediately and stir in the butter. Incorporate the sugar then let the mixture cool until it's no longer hot. 

In your mixer bowl, mix together the yeast and warm water, stir well until it's entirely dissolved. Gradually add the milk mixture you let cool previously, add beaten eggs and half the amount of the flour. Beat with a hook attachment until smooth. Add the remaining flour, bit by bit, until the dough no longer feels sticky and looks soft and spongy (NOT dry!). Let the attachment do it's thing for a couple of minutes. In the mean time, grease a large enough bowl and transfer the dough right in, covering it and allowing it to rest until it's doubled in size (approx an hour). 

I baked them in two cake tins, and so I divided the dough into two and rolled out two rectangular sheets. 




Butter them generously, all over, before coating them evenly with the sugar and cinnamon mix (as per the ingredient list). Roll gently but firmly and, using a sharp large knife, cut them up. The size is up to you, I ended up with 16. (8 per tin)


Butter up the tins slightly (you'll thank me later when the  runaway sugar and the butter creates a magnificent caramel bottoms for your rolls) and transfer the rolls, leaving some space in between them. Cover and let them sit for another hour until they puff up a bit again. (this is not required if you're using premade dough!)

Bake at 200C for 15-20mins (depending on your oven), until they're beautifully golden brown on top. Let them cool almost entirely before icing (if you're going there). My mum should have told me this! I made the mistake of icing almost immediately - it's delicious but not very pretty!

For the icing:

Beat the butter until creamy and soft in your food processor with a whisk attachment. Gradually beat in the icing sugar. Continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy. Towards the end add the vanilla extract.






Now excuse me while I go and stuff my face (again). The whole house smells of cinnamon!
Thanks for reading!

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