Happy Spring! I know spring started a few weeks ago, but I had to bring my pots in from the balcony to save them from the couple of snowy nights we’ve had since then. There are just bowls of dirt on the table now (not really any growth yet, since Jude ate anything that was green). But, I think that’s over now, so I’m okay with calling this spring weather again. But anyway. Today I want to talk to you about cinnamon rolls and this blog’s future with food and photography.
You may have noticed, I shoot food a lot. But, I’ve never shared any recipes of these dishes. Whelp, until now, I haven’t had any real interest in this whole food blogging rigamarole. Did you know that’s a real word? I just found out. But, when gigs are few and far between, I am often inspired to bake. I love it. Mixing butter and sugar together gives me a deep joy. When I use my creative skills to create other things (painting, drawing,
even especially photography), it’s not uncommon for me to feel intimidated or inadequate. These activities that I enjoy end up scaring me away before I’ve ever started. But I get this kind of puffy chest when I bake because I believe I can do it. Even if it fails this time and the next and the next (and if it’s macarons, fails seven more time in all completely different ways), I still believe I’m learning and eventually, I’ll nail it.
Even better than baking and photography, I love to share happiness. I personally think there’s nothing happier than a warm chocolate chip cookie. For my husband, it’s fresh bread. For my dad, it’s vanilla ice cream with all the bells and whistles (and flax seeds). So, when I feel close to people, I like to share my time with them, and cake and donuts.
That’s what I want to do here. Share my best desserts, and maybe a snack here and there, and definitely some of my husband’s scrumptious dinners. My favorite is when he makes tacos! I am a photographer first, so I will still be contributing content from my weddings, engagements, and I think even some travel (we’re going somewhere fun soooooon…!), but this is a project I will be putting a lot of myself into, so I absolutely need your support. I’m not going to give into those creeping thoughts of failure. I know I can do this if I keep my chin up.
So let’s start! I’ve been working on this recipes for a couple weeks now. Fluffy, soft, cinnamon rolls with the bright a fragrant addition of blood orange and an herbal touch of rosemary. Ugh, and the glaze is so happy and pretty. When you make this, the scents that the ingredients release in your kitchen are just so yummy and vibrant. I love the smell of sweet and bright. That’s spring to me!
Blood Orange and Rosemary Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp warm milk
- 3 tsp dry active yeast
- 4 eggs (one for egg wash)
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp brown sugr
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh, chopped rosemary
- Zest of 1 blood orange
- 2 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Juice from 1 blood orange
- Pinch of salt
Warm milk to lukewarm (not too hot) and add yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes. Combine sugar and eggs in the bowl of a mixer. Add the yeast and milk mixture and combine.
Attach the dough hook to mixer. Add flour and zest to the bowl and let knead for 5 minutes. This should be soft and elastic. Add soft butter and knead for 4 minutes. Once the butter is incorporated, let dough rise for 1.5 hours (covering with a tea towel and letting sit in a warm place will help).
At this point you can refrigerate dough if you’d like to continue baking the next day for fresh rolls in the morning!!
Coarsely chop fresh rosemary and mix together in a small bowl with cinnamon and sugar to prepare the filling.
Once the dough has doubled in size, roll out onto a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, about 1/4in thick. Spread softened butter all over the dough (don’t get too excited and stab the dough). Sprinkle filling evenly over buttered dough.
Starting at the short end, roll dough up to the other end so it’s a puffy log. Using unflavored dental floss (or a knife, but the floss won’t squish the rolls), slice the log in half, and then each half into half, so you have 8 slices. When using the dental floss, gently lay the log over the center of the floss strand, and then tie the floss together, getting tighter and tighter until it squeezes the dough until it cuts though. I highly recommend this method, as it’s really fun and satisfying.
Lightly grease and dust with flour a medium to large skillet, or a pie pan, and plop your now sliced rolls inside, spiral facing upwards. Use your remaining egg to create and egg wash by breaking the yolk in a small dish and mixing until the yolk and white are pretty much combined. Then, use a pastry brush (or spoon) to lightly coat the top of your buns. Let rise for 30 minutes (cover with a tea towel and let sit in a warm place).
Preheat your oven to 350F while you wait.
Rolls should be puffy and a little squished into the other rolls in the pan. This is good! Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top.
Mix your glaze together by combining sugar, juice, and salt with a spoon.
When the rolls come out, they should have filled the rest of the pan and be fragrant and golden. Let cool for 15 minutes before drizzling glaze on top.
Leave a comment on what you think about the cinnamon rolls! You guys are my recipe testers so let me know if there’s something that didn’t work out for you or didn’t make sense. I’d love to hear what you like and don’t like so I can keep adjusting.