Hiiiiii happy weekend friends! Did you have a good week? Mine started off with a trip to Target, a big-ass spud at McAlister's deli, and decorating the away-from-home apartment with holiday fun like a flag banner, stockings, and a mini Christmas tree. Then it was a couple of days of plain things like studying and working. Then on Thursday I had the nicest postal experience of my life (Muncie has some v kind souls), turned the wrong way on a one way (Asian woman driver?), and ate the largest plate of curry at this cute Middle Eastern restaurant. And then yesterday I got to leave work after the morning shift and drive down to meet Graham Elliot! I think the excitement of shaking his hand and being back in Indy was too much for me because then I went and got pizza and wine with a couple of dudes and now I'm sitting here mildly hungover and typing this post. Note to self: don't let the lady serving you convince you that you need another glass of wine. You don't.
But yeah it's those little things that are totally making me grin these days. I've been noticing that the days I turn a little sour and a lot dramatic are the days where I wish I was doing something awesome and grand every day. But I should remember that 1) that's just plain unrealistic and 2) these periods of chill make the future fun experiences even more special. Like SF AND LA IN JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS!? I think my little heart's going to burst with all the feels there.
In the meantime, here's a cinnamon roll loaf for the holiday season, inspired from the extremely talented Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes. She may be up there on the list of people like Graham who would make me overly excited if I ever met her IRL. So that's how legit she is. It's a wonderfully sweet dough flavored with orange and cinnamon and extra warmth from the small kick of cardamom in the filling and the icing. I just absolutely love the swirlyness of the whole thing as the dough rises and afterwards when you slice into it and see little pockets of all that filling goodness. I made this for the 'rents quite some time ago, and my dad, the lover of all warm breads, gave this one an extra special shout out when I was home for Thanksgiving. Not a fan of cardamom? You can leave it out if you absolutely hate it, or you can check out Ashlae's pumpkin cinnamon swirl loaf (the main inspired for this one!), Melissa's orange clove rolls, or Cynthia's sticky date cinnamon rolls. Whatever it is, I hope it's got lots of pretty swirls to make your holidays extra sweet.
Orange cardamom cinnamon roll loaf, inspired by and adapted from Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes
For the dough:
- 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar + 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- Zest of 1 orange
- 4 1/2 cup all purpose flour (plus maybe 1/2 cup more depending on humidity)
For the filling:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
For the icing:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Pinch of cardamom
- Splash of orange juice
- In a large bowl, whisk the yeast, lukewarm milk, and 1 tsp sugar until the yeast is wet. Set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy/bubbly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, salt, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, orange juice, cardamom, and orange zest until well combined.
- Add 1 cup of the flour to the yeast mixture and whisk until combined. Then, add the egg and butter mixture from the medium sized bowl to the yeast mixture until well combined. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until the dough comes together. Take the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and set aside to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl mix the ingredients for the filling until well combined. Set aside. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Once the dough has risen, take out onto a floured surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 22x16 inches. Add the filling so that it covers the surface and then, starting from the edge closest to you, roll up the dough to form a log. Flatten out the log with a rolling pin so that it is about 4 inches tall, and then cut the log into 8 segments. Line them up into the loaf pan, swirl side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Once the roll has risen in the loaf pan, place into the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until well browned on top. Remove from the oven, and then let it cool for 20 minutes before removing it from the loaf pan and onto a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp milk, a pinch of cardamom, and a splash of orange juice so that an icing forms. Add more milk if it seems too thick, or more powdered sugar if it seems too watery. Once the loaf is cool, pour the icing over the loaf and enjoy a slice or four.