Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cinnamon date rolls

I don't know if it's just me, but whenever I go travelling I become overcome by the desire to buy everything that I might vaguely want, in the misguided fear that I might never get to opportunity to do so again. I learnt early on that this results in a lot of clutter back home, not to mention the amount of money wasted due to the difficulty of getting to grips with foreign currency. These days I try to limit myself, except in the case of food of course. So it should not come as a surprise that in a recent trip to Iran I bought, among other things, 5 boxes of dates (I justified them as gifts, although I ended up gifting the majority to myself), and had so much trouble closing my suitcase that I was worried I would have to wear all my clothes to reduce luggage.

I also bought other sweets, dried fruits and saffron, which I have brought back from so many countries I might start a global saffron collection. I was told everything was much cheaper, although it's difficult to gauge the value currency when you are haggling so who knows whether it was really worth it.

All I know is that I have to consume all of these things somehow. So the first thing I did was make cinnamon date rolls. They were delicious, especially when warm. You can also serve them with icing, but they are sweet enough to just eat as is.

For the dough:
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (7 grams) package instant yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg

For the filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
20-25 dates, sliced into chunks

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it boils. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Let cool to room temperature.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
3. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, dates and softened butter.
4. Roll out dough until it is 1cm thick. Spread dough with butter/sugar/cinnamon/date mixture. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 1 inch thick rolls and place on baking tray couple of inches apart to allow for additional space for them to rise. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Serve warm!

original recipe:

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