baking · Uncategorized

Cinnamon Rolls

When I was thirteen years old I started working in a coffee shop/bakery. During the summer I used to go in early on Tuesday mornings because that was cinnamon roll day. We would pre-make pans of cinnamon buns to freeze and they would be pulled out every night to rise and baked fresh every morning. It was heavenly. I haven’t worked there since I was seventeen, and probably haven’t made a batch since, but I craved the process of making them. Not eating them, just making. It’s really relaxing and makes me feel like a good little home-maker.

I did run into a couple issues. 1. My one package of yeast was old, not expired, just not as fresh. I ended up making a new dough because after a couple hours it still wasn’t rising and I was getting impatient. 2. My cinnamon was probably from when I first moved in so it took a lot of spice to really taste that flavour.

This a really easy recipe and is so easy to put a different twist on it and make different fillings and toppings. For this batch I just used the standard cinnamon and brown sugar with cream cheese frosting. But there are so many options! Orange and cranberry filling with white sugar instead of brown with lemon zest in the cream cheese frosting, to die for! Another favorite of mine is adding chopped, toasted pecans in the middle. Yummy!

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INGREDIENTS
Dough
  • 2½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup warm  milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 5½ – 6 cups flour
Filling
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2½ Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch
Icing
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a bowl of a standup mixer, fitted with a dough hook pour water and sugar in, sprinkle yeast over top and stir. Let stand for 5-10 min. until the mixture becomes foamy. If it doesn’t get really foamy in that time, your yeast is too old.
  2. Meanwhile melt 6 Tbsp. of butter in a microwave safe bowl, set aside to cool.
  3. When the yeast mixture is ready add the milk, eggs and 6 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix on low adding in 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Now add in remaining flour slowly until the dough becomes a ball. Knead on medium high for 5 min. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface and take dough out and knead a few times by hand.
  5. Add the last Tbsp. of butter to a large bowl and microwave. Place dough into bowl and then turn over to coat with the butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and drape over a towel. Set bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen and let dough rise until doubled, about 60-90 min.
  6. While the dough is rising mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch for the filling and set aside.
  7. When the dough is ready turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and then roll it out into an 18″x24″ wide rectangle. Spread on the ½ cup softened butter. Leave a 1″ border around the edge.
  8. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar mixture and press in with a rolling pin. Now take the top long end and roll towards yourself. Run a bead of water on the last 1″ of dough to seal. Cut the dough in half and then each half in halves, you will now have 4 pieces. Cut each of the four pieces into thirds. You will have 12 rolls now.
  9. Grease two 8×11″ pans and 6 place rolls swirl side up into each pan. Place end pieces upside down. Again, loosely cover with plastic wrap and drape with a kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise until doubled aobut 60-90 min.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 20 min. or until golden brown and cooked through. Rotate pans halfway.
  11. While the rolls are baking make the icing. In a clean bowl of a standup mixer add in the butter and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to beat for another 3-5 min. Set aside.
  12. When the rolls are baked let cool for 5 min. then spread on ½ the icing. Let cool further and spread on the additional icing.

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