Cinnamon Rolls with Walnut Praline

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It might take a while to make these cinnamon rolls (or pull-apart buns as they are sometimes called) – some four hours – but, by crikey, they’re worth it! The bread is soft and flaky and the filling – a candied walnut praline combined with cinnamon – is crunchy and sweet, but not overly so. I sourced this recipe from New Zealand’s Mindfood magazine and adapted the filling.


CINNAMON ROLLS WITH CANDIED WALNUTS

Serves 6

Ingredients (Click here for unit converter)

Rolls:

  • 7g dry yeast
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for brushing
  • 1/3 cup milk, warmed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Candied Walnut Praline & Cinnamon Mixture:

  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon (to taste)

Glaze:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp single (or light) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Place yeast, 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar and warm water into a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. Place flour and remaining caster sugar into the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a dough hook and mix until combined. Add yeast mixture, butter and warm milk; mix to combine. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until dough doubles in size.
  4. In the meantime, make the walnut/cinnamon mix, beginning with the candied walnut praline. Roughly chop the walnuts and spread them out over a baking sheet on an oven tray.
  5. Combine caster sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil, without stirring, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the caramel turns a deep amber. Remove immediately from heat and pour over the walnuts. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled and hardened, break up the walnut caramel into large pieces and put into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is like rubble (you want it coarse enough that you can still see bits of walnut). Combine this with the cinnamon and put aside.
  7. Back to the bread. Take the dough and gently press the mixture with your fingers to release the air. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 2 minutes. Cover with a damp tea-towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (355 degrees F).
  9. Roll out dough to 30cm x 50cm. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon/walnut rubble. Roll up dough from the long edge, then cut into rounds. Arrange rounds into a greased baking or casserole pan. Cover with a damp tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  10. Once the rolls have proved, brush them with a little cream over top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the bread when lightly tapped sounds hollow, and a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean. If the rolls are browning too quickly, cover them lightly with foil during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
  11. Brush lightly once again with single cream and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  12. Now onto the glaze. Combine the icing sugar, vanilla extract and cream, adding more cream as needed until the mixture is pourable.
  13. Gently pull apart the rolls, using a knife to cut them apart if necessary. Using a spoon or spatula, drizzle over the glaze and serve warm.

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting

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