Mistakes were made in the creation of this week’s recipe, but because it all turned out to be fine in the end, I’ll parrot the great Bob Ross in saying that it was a happy little accident.
Since my sweetie was out of town for the week, I didn’t want to make any hefty meal that I’d have to eat all on my own. That’s kind of a challenge when it comes to making things in a Dutch oven.
So, I thought a safe thing to make might be bread. Sure, it’d make a lot but it’d be easier to freeze and share. Even better, I found a recipe for dinner rolls in my Cook It In Your Dutch Oven cookbook so I could make mini-sized bites.
But I didn’t need dinner rolls for light solo dinners. Breakfast rolls sounded better.
This is where things went off the rails. I started looking in another cookbook for sweet breads, decided on cinnamon rolls, saw a recipe for bacon maple bread, and then amended my plan to make bacon maple cinnamon rolls.
A quick Google search confirmed that I wasn’t the only one who’d had this idea so there was a good chance my idea wasn’t totally crazy.
I tracked down a cinnamon roll recipe I made a few years ago and then updated it to what I thought would work for my tastes. The Googled recipes also offered some hints but I wanted to do it my way.
It was a little difficult to fit in my Dutch oven, and the center did not hold as it baked, but it hardly mattered once I tasted it.
It turned out to be about the most deliciously decadent thing I’ve made. And totally inappropriate for me to eat all by myself.
Thank goodness my sweetie is back to share them tomorrow.
Here’s how I made the happy little accidents:
For the dough
- 1 c. warm milk
- 1 stick butter
- ½ c. sugar
- 2 ½ t. active dry yeast (or one package)
- 1 egg
- 2 t. salt
- 4-5 c. all-purpose flour
For the cinnamon center
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 3 t. cinnamon
- 4 T. brown sugar
- 4-5 T. maple syrup
- 10 slices bacon, cooked, cooled, and chopped
- ½ c. chopped pecans (pecan chips, if available)
For (optional) cream cheese topping
- 4 T. butter, softened
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 4 T. maple syrup
- ½ t. vanilla
- ¾ c. powdered sugar
- 1 t. ground cardamom (optional)
- ½ c. pecans, for topping (optional)
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the milk. Heat the milk to just warm but not too hot so it doesn’t destroy the yeast. Add the sugar and yeast to the butter and milk mixture. Let activate for about 15 minutes.
Add the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the remaining dough ingredients. Add flour until a dough forms, and then knead for 5 to 10 minutes until springy and smooth, adding flour as necessary.
Shape into a round, place back in bowl and cover. Let rise for about 2 hours. (I opted to do this over two week nights, so I refrigerated the dough after this rise, and then let warm back up for about an hour after getting home the next night; also possible to do once its in roll form in the Dutch oven.)
Meanwhile, mix together the cinnamon center ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Prepare the bacon and pecans, if not already ready. Prepare the Dutch oven by making a foil sling by folding in half to long sheets of aluminum foil, so you have 2 long, roughly 7 inch sheets. Place sheets perpendicular to each other, like a lowercase t, and carefully smooth down into the bowl. Spray with a little bit of oil.
When the dough is ready, roll out into about an 18 inch by 9 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread with the cinnamon mixture, and then place the bacon pieces and pecan pieces on top.
Roll the coated dough along the long end into a log. Cut into about 14 even pieces. Turn and place the pieces in the Dutch oven, starting with the outside adding about 9 to 10 pieces along the edges and then placing the remaining rolls in the center.
Cover and let rise for about an hour to an hour and a half. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Once dough has risen, uncover and place the rolls in the oven, and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until golden on top.
Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients of the cream cheese topping, if using. Let rolls cool for at least 5 minutes but while still warm, add the frosting, and then cool a little longer before enjoying!