I've subscribed to Cook's Illustrated for nearly twenty years. It is the Consumer Reports of cooking magazines; when its staff wants to make the very best roasted turkey, for example, it'll roast 20-30 of them in different ways until it finds success. The results are almost always spectacular.
It was actually CI's spin-off show "America's Test Kitchen" that inspired my method for the Great Cinnamon Roll Project. Therefore, even when CI's cinnamon roll recipe looked a little spartan, I went forward in full trust. CI has never let me down before.
But apparently there is a first time for everything. Perhaps it is because CI originates in Vermont, where the yankee-est yankees live. Perhaps those stern, frugal Vermonters frown upon rich, gooey indulgences like my ideal cinnamon roll. I'm not sure, but I have my suspicions.
The recipe heading stated that its creators had compromised between "a rich brioche dough" and "a lean sandwich bread." (Based on past GCRP experiences, I'm pretty sure I would have erred on the side of brioche.) In addition, the filling was made with a couple of tablespoons of milk in lieu of the usual butter. I hoped that these substitutions would not detract from the taste and texture I was going for, but my hope was in vain. The result was a faintly spicy piece of bread with a dash of anemic icing on top. Boo. My taste testers all vehemently agreed.
The next recipe on my list was from the King Arthur Flour company, another bastion of my kitchen, and another very successful company based in Vermont. I love KAF's flour, its website, and its recipes--usually. But when I saw that KAF's recipe was nearly identical to CI's, I didn't bother. Next, we'll move right on to Bon Appetit's Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls.