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Todd Wilbur's Version of Cinnabon® Cinnamon Rolls
I made several discoveries on my CMT show Top Secret Recipe that helped me design this improved recipe to mimic the taste and appearance of the world's best cinnamon rolls. The slightest amount of baking soda plus buttermilk gives the rolls a nice golden brown color. And the Makara cinnamon is the secret ingredient for the perfect filling (find Indonesian Korintje cinnamon). The dough must rise in your refrigerator for 6 hours, and the rolling and slicing steps are designed to follow Cinnabon's specifications. I've discovered that unsalted butter works better than margarine for the frosting, and the 10-minute high-speed whipping step is important for a fluffy finished product.

Rolls
24 ounces all-purpose flour
2.5 ounces sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon rapid rise yeast
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2.5 ounces margarine

Filling (Schmear)
4 ounces (1 stick) margarine, softened
14 ounces dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Makara (Indonesian Korintje) cinnamon
1 tablespoon xantham gum or guar gum

Frosting
6 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 drops lemon extract

1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix until combined.

2. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk in water and buttermilk. Combine this wet mixture with the flour mixture, then add the margarine and beat with a paddle until all dry ingredients are moist. Use a kneading hook to knead the dough for 15 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic and place in your refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours or until dough doubles in size.

3. Remove the plastic and press dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten dough with your hands for a bit, then use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 20-inch-high by 17-inch-wide rectangle. Use your hands to stretch the dough as necessary to the proper dimensions.

4. Spread 1 stick of softened margarine over the top of the dough, but leave the bottom 1 inch of dough uncoated with margarine.

5. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and xantham gum (or guar gum) in a medium bowl. Pour the cinnamon/sugar on the margarine and use your hands to spread it to the edges, except leave the bottom 1 inch uncovered with cinnamon. Run a rolling pin over the filling to flatten it in the margarine.

6. Roll the dough tightly starting at the top. Stretch the dough a little as you roll it down, so that you have 5 ½ to 6 rotations by the time you get to the bottom. Brush a little water over the bottom 1 inch uncoated strip of dough and complete the rolling. Mark the approximate middle of the dough roll, then use a ruler to make 3 marks every 2 ½ inches to the left of the middle mark and 3 marks every 2 ½ inches to the right of the middle mark. Use a serrated knife to cut at each mark to make 6 rolls (the ends can be tossed).

7. Place rolls evenly spaced out on parchment paper in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Place the pan in your oven along with a large bowl or pan full of boiling water. Rolls should proof for about 1 hour or until nearly full size in the pan.

8. When rolls have proofed to almost full size, preheat a convection oven to 325° (350° if not convection). Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until light brown and rolls register around 170° to 175° in the middle. Spin the pan around 180° approximately halfway through the baking.

9. While dough bakes, whip butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla extract and lemon extract for 10 minutes on high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, then mix again (slowly at first, then on high speed), for 30 seconds.

10. When the rolls come out of the oven, immediately cover each with the frosting.

Makes 6 cinnamon rolls.


Recipes by Todd Wilbur taken from CMT's Top Secret Recipe have not been reviewed for accuracy or endorsed by the applicable restaurant or food service provider.
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