State Fair style Cinnamon Rolls


For the Starter

5 tablespoons water

5 tablespoons whole milk

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Unbleached Bread Flour

For the Dough

all of the starter (above)

4 cups + 2 tablespoons Unbleached Bread Flour

3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

4 teaspoons cinnamon

For the Icing

2 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk or cream, enough to make a thick but spreadable frosting

For the Starter

Combine starter ingredients in a saucepan, then whisk until no lumps remain.

Cook on medium for one minute, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the pan, then remove from heat and set aside.

For the Dough

Weigh your flour, or measure it by spooning it into a cup, then sweep off excess.

Mix starter with remaining dough ingredients until everything comes together.

Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes to give the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead.

After 20 minutes, knead dough, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, make a smooth, elastic, slightly sticky dough.

Shape dough into a ball, then let rest in a lightly greased, covered bowl for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not doubled in size.

For the Filling

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until cinnamon is completely distributed.

Gently deflate the risen dough, divide it in half and shape each piece into a rough rectangle.

Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into an 18" x 8" rectangle.

Sprinkle half the filling onto the rolled-out dough.

Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a log.

With the seam underneath, cut the log into 12 slices, 1 1/2" each.

Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining filling.

Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, then place the rolls in the pan.

Cover pan and let rolls rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they're crowding one another and are puffy.

While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350 with a rack in the bottom third.

Uncover the rolls, then bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until they feel set.

They might be just barely browned and that's OK.

It's better to under-bake the rolls than bake them too long.

Their interior temperature at the center should be about 188.

For the Icing

While the rolls are baking, stir together icing ingredients, adding some milk to make a thick spreadable icing.

The icing should be stiff, like softened cream cheese.

Remove rolls from oven, then put them onto a rack.

Spread rolls with icing; it will melt some into the rolls.

Serve the rolls warm, or store completely cool rolls for a couple of days at room temperature. Enjoy!
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