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Old 12-16-2006, 11:27 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
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Cinnamon Rolls: The series - pan selection

I use some fairly shallow metal pans to bake my CRs. Other than the obvious shape differences, does the choice of pan dimensions and mateials make a difference in this type of recipe? For example, the second rise for my CRs is in the baking pans (in the refrigerator overnight). As a result, the dough rises above the height of the pan (not a problem). A deeper pan, I assume would change the shape of the rolls at the edge of the pan at the top.

But will this make a difference in, for example, how they bake? One issue I have with this recipe is that the rolls in the center of the pan bake differently than those around the edges. My wife says that the center ones "are not as done as the one around the edges". What she means is that the dough seems a bit lighter for the outside rolls than the inside ones.

One thing that could be making a difference is that the dough rises 3/4-inch above the top of the pan exposing the dough directly to the heat of the over around the edges of the outside rolls.

Another question about pans is: does the material the pans are made of make a difference? I use non-stick aluminum. Would glass or corning ware or another substance effect the results?

I've made this recipe so long and so often that I'm going to treat myself to a holiday gift of new pans specifically for this purpose.

So, anything about pans or anything about why the center rolls might bake differently is the theme.

As always, I very much appreciate any time taken to help with my education.


EDIT: I've been thinking more about pan dimensions and the effect on the outcome. The pans I use are 10 1/2-inches by 6 3/4-inches (average since the sides of the pan are not straight up and down) and are 1 3/8-inches deep. After the rolls have set overnight they rise about 1/2-inch above the top of the pan and while they bake they rise up another 1/2-inch or so, particularly the rolls around the edge of the pan.

If I hold the horizontal dimension fixed, but raise the height of the pans to 2 1/2-inches I'm assuming that I'll get a consistently taller roll without exposing the edges of the dough at the top to convection currents.

Will this make a difference in consistency of baking in a pan (i.e. will the rolls at the center and the rols at the edge of the pan bake more evenly)?

EDIT: I went ahead and bought new, high-quality pans and have just finished baking the first batch with them. I've answered some of the questions I had.

I went from 2 7-inch by 11-inch by 1 3/8-inch pans (12 cups capacity) to 2 9-inch by 13-inch by 2 1/4-inch pans (36 cups capacity). I increased the volume of the recipe by 50%. Generally the result was the same amount of horizontal spacing between rolls but all of the rise is now within the pan. This meant that during baking the top parts of the rolls around the edges didn't brown to quickly.

The other result was that rolls could be placed in a 3 x 4 pattern in each pan (vs 2, 1, 2, 1, 2) which meant a more consistent shape for each roll.

I was told that the pans I bought conducted heat better and more evenly than the ones I had (grocery store specials). The results seem to bear that out but I'm not sure that was worth the price difference.

The only thing left regarding the CRs (even in these pans) is that the rolls in the middle (not touching the sides of the pans) seem to drop slightly when unpanned. That was an issue when using the old pans too.

How do you get a consistent baking across the entire pan?

I've attached the modified recipe.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Cinnamon Rolls Original.pdf (57.7 KB, 340 views)

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Old 12-18-2006, 05:41 PM   #2
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An example: Roll dough into rectangle, 15x9 inches on lightly floured surface. spread with margarine. Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over rectangle. Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Stretch roll to make even. Cut into nine 1-1/2 inch slices. Place slightly apart in greased square pan 9 x 9 x 2 inches, or in greased medium muffin cups 2-1/2 x 1-1/4 inches. Let rise until double, about 40 minutes. Heat oven to 375. Bake until golden brown 25 to 30 minutes. You will have 3 rolls in each row and 3 rows. Does this help? Quesstions?

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Old 12-19-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for the post and for the excellent description of the process of shaping and placing the rolls in the pan.

It turns out I changed from 7x11x1 1/2 inch pans to 9x13x2 1/4 inch pans which, when you consider that my CRs rose above the edge of the older pans, meant that I had about 50% more volume than before. I increased the recipe by 50% to accomodate.

The results with the new pans are wonderful! Because, as you suggest, I can do a 3 x 4 layout (instead of 2, 1, 2, 1, 2) I get more consistently sized and shaped rolls. And, because all the rise is now inside the pan height, none of the sides of the dough get exposed directly to oven heat.

I ended up increasing cooking time by 10% or so to get good consistent results.

I think I have the pan part of my learning taken care of.

One thing I did notice in your post was that you bake them at 375. I have been using 350. Other than cooking time, are there other differences the oven temp can make on these rolls?

Thanks again

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