I’m making my neighbors fat – and they love it.
This recipe make a dozen of the most decadent cinnamon rolls. Rich and soft without being overly sweet. Of course, my Sweet Lady Wife and I cannot eat the entire dozen, so we eat a couple of them and then enlist the neighbors to save us from the rest. They don’t mind at all.
One of the attractions of making your own is that they become ‘Designer Cinnamon Rolls’. If you don’t like raisins then leave them out. Prefer your cinnamon rolls without nuts? Then leave them out. etc. Make them exactly the way you prefer them.
1/2 cup warm water, 110F – 115F
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you may not need it all)
softened butter to grease the baking dish
4-6 Tbsp soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
3-5 Tbsp (approximate) ground cinnamon
Chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, according to your taste
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp soft butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Dissolve the teaspoon of sugar in the warm water and add the yeast. Set aside.
Heat the milk, butter, and salt over low heat until the butter is just melted. Remove it from the stove and let it cool. It does not need to cool completely to room temperature.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the 1/4 cup sugar with the egg and egg yolks. Add the yeast mixture and the milk-butter mixture. Beat until well combined.
With the mixer running on medium-low speed, begin adding 2 cups of flour in increments of 1/2 cup. After adding each 1/2 cup of flour, wait until everything in the mixing bowl is fully combined and smooth before adding the next 1//2 cup.
Now that you’ve got the 2 cups of flour in the dough it is time to start adding additional flour, a 1/4 cup at a time. Add a 1/4 cup and then wait until it is fully combined before adding the next 1/4 cup. When you see the mixer’s paddle pulling away from the sides of the bowl you have added enough flour.
Lightly flour a countertop. turn the dough out onto it. Knead gently until you have a smooth but very soft dough. It is really important at this step to not knead it too much. If you knead it to much then too much gluten will form and you’ll end up with tough cinnamon rolls. Do the least amount of kneading you can to get a smooth consistent dough.
Use some on-stick spray to lightly coat the interior of a bowl. Roll the dough into a ball, put it into the bowl, and cover it with cling wrap. Lay a towel over the bowl to help it retain heat. Place the bowl on the kitchen counter and let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume (about 1-2 hours).
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. DO NOT KNEAD. Use your hands and a rolling pin to gently work the dough into a 12″ x 16″ rectangle with the long side facing you.
Now it’s time to add the fillings. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, chocolate chips, raisins or whatever you desire over the surface of the dough.
Grab the long edge of the dough nearest you and tightly roll it up so that you have a ‘log’ that is 16″ long. Pinch the final edge closed and place that edge face down. Use a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to cut the log into 12 equal pieces.
Place the 12 rolls in a lightly buttered 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Distribute them evenly in the dish so that there is an equal amount of space between each one. Brush a little melted butter on the tops of the rolls. Cover the baking dish with cling wrap and a towel.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Let the rolls rise for 1 hour, then put the baking dish i the oven on the middle rack. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes until lightly brown. Remove from the oven, remove the rolls from the baking dish and place them on a cooling rack. Apply the glaze (below) while the rolls are still warm.
Glaze the rolls
Combine the powdered sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the milk a small amount at a time until you have a smooth thing glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls.