I was in LA a couple weeks ago, shooting a raw dessert segment for a healthy living show pilot. (More about that later). While there, I stayed with my good friend, Reed Randoy. Reed is an actor and filmmaker whose latest film, "Hitman" is showing at the Silver Lake Film Festival in May. Those of you located in LA have to go see this wonderful film! Reed is going to be the next big thing in Hollywood so check out his stuff and you can say you were one of the first to know about him!
Reed and me at a beautiful little pub
overlooking the ocean.
I wanted to do some cooking while I was there and needed to work on the desserts for the show, so Reed and I went to the local Whole Foods Market and grabbed a ton of beautiful and fresh ingredients. I wanted to make a treat, too, so I decided on cinnamon rolls. We bought some good organic, unbleached flour; organic powdered cane sugar; Mexican cinnamon; organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil, and we were set.
I started out by making the dough with my hands. I never use a breadmaker or a Kitchen Aid kneader because I love getting my hands into the dough and really working it. It's also a great arm workout! When the dough was finished, I put it into a bowl, coated the top with olive oil so it wouldn't dry out, and then let it rise until it was doubled in bulk. Next came the fun part: punching it down. I punched and punched until all the air was out and then put it onto the counter for rolling out. The problem was, I couldn't find a rolling pin anywhere. Weird. A bachelor not having a rolling pin? Who would have thought? I grabbed a long skinny glass and put one hand inside for pressure as I rolled with the other hand. It actually worked quite well.
Once the dough was rolled out, I coated the entire surface with melted organic butter, cinnamon and organic cane sugar. I rolled the gigantic good smelling flat of dough into a long snake and then looked for some thread to cut the rolls with. Reed hadn't woken up yet so I asked his roommate if he knew where any thread was. He didn't. Weird. A bachelor not having thread? Who would have thought? I tried using a knife but it just wasn't making the beautiful cut I can make with thread so I thought and thought. That's it! Dental floss. I was a little worried about the possibility of our cinnamon rolls having a hint of peppermint flavor, but other than that, it worked very well. I slid a length of the floss under the end of the snake and brought the two ends together at the top. I criss-crossed them and pulled, and the thread, I mean, dental floss, cut right through the dough in a straight, even pattern. When I was done cutting the rolls, I put them onto a jelly roll pan and left them there to rise again. Now it was time to turn on the oven. It would be perfect timing for the oven to be just hot enough when the rolls were risen.
Reed had told me that he'd need to turn on the oven for me because there was a glitch with it. He was awake now so I gave him the go ahead, and guess what? The oven was broken. No turning on. Weird. A bachelor not having a working oven? Who would have thought? You know something, though? Just because bachelors are missing a lot of the items needed to make cinnamon rolls, doesn't mean they aren't innovative. Reed looked at me. "What about the barbeque?" My eyes widened and I thought about it for a minute. Other than frying them on the stove or blowing them up in the microwave, we had no other choice. "Let's do it," I said. So Reed fired that beautiful barbeque up and we got the temperature up to 500 degrees. I love to cook my bread at a high temperature, so I was banking on the cinnamon rolls doing really well at 500. When the dough was risen enough, I put the pan into the barbeque and closed the lid. I stood out on the patio, laughing because it was so funny, what we were doing, but guess what? About twenty minutes later, I had the most beautiful golden brown cinnamon rolls I had ever made. We brought them in, Reed frosted them with a thick frosting I had made, and we dug in. I can honestly say that I will never have another cinnamon roll as good, unless of course it's barbequed.
Barbequed Cinnamon Rolls
*2 batches, made from scratch bread dough
*1/2 C plus 2 T. organic butter or organic cold pressed coconut oil for vegan rolls
*organic cane sugar or honey
*1 lb. organic powdered cane sugar
*Real Salt or sea salt
*soymilk, almond milk or rice milk
*1 tsp. real vanilla extract
After first rising of dough, roll out into a long, flat rectangle.
For vegetarian rolls, slather with about one stick of melted butter, for vegan rolls, slather with about a half cup melted coconut oil and lightly salt entire surface. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cane sugar or a drizzle of honey. Roll dough lengthwise, taking care to make the roll tight, until you have a long "snake" of dough. Cut using the thread technique described above. Place individual rolls next to each other on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Place into a 500 degree barbeque. Watch the rolls carefully but try not to open the lid too much, as the heat will escape and your temperature will go down. After 10-20 minutes, or when rolls are golden brown, but not too dark, take them out and frost with a mixture of one pound powdered sugar, 2 T melted butter or coconut oil, 1-2tsp. vanilla, a pinch of salt (more if using coconut oil) and enough of your chosen milk to thin to a desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much milk at once. Powdered sugar is very absorbent and will become very thin if too much milk is added. After frosting, eat those ooey, gooey things right away, before they disappear!