Crazy For Cinnamon Rolls….And Nothing Beats EASY Home Made!
It all started with a trip over the bridge to visit an organic market.
It really started with the Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls!
They are always calling my name at The Fresh Market.
I try to look away. I try not to listen. I try to push on by and head for the fresh broccoli and asparagus. But somehow, someway, those cinnamon rolls end up in my cart.
And Today was no different.
The warm, scrumptious bread smell stayed with me as I tossed my veggies into the front seat of the convertible….and I almost plucked one of the two I bought out of it’s wrapping to stuff in my mouth.
As soon as I got home, I made my cup of tea…..and grabbed a fork. I know, I know….. I could have used my fingers but I wanted this to be an experience to enjoy!
I didn’t even wait for the Captain to get home from his errands.
I sat in my Secret Garden, and savored every single bite as a red cardinal chirped his approval from his perch in the tall hibiscus hedge.
So so good.
But I wanted more.
And then I remembered a recipe that I had tucked away a while back. I found it in an old issue of Taste of Home. I was purging my magazines, but couldn’t part with those 15 and 20 year old glossy pages of recipes….I am sure I need an intervention on all my recipe and decorating magazines.
But I digress.
I went through the recipe to be sure I had everything I needed…and I did.
I grabbed an apron….yes, I still wear a bib apron…I don’t know how those cooks on food shows wear long droopy sleeves and no aprons. I cringe when I see long sleeves sliding across the soup pot or a chopping block of wet veggies.
Hmmmmm…no egg in this recipe, but there is baking powder and baking soda. Interesting I thought, which was why I saved the recipe.
I gathered all the ingredients and measured them out so the steps in the simple process would go quickly.
Another difference in this recipe and others I have made….was the milk, oil, and sugar went into a large pot….This pot is used for everything so you want a fairly large pot.
Just before the liquid came to a boil…I removed the pot from the heat. I had an hour to kill and it didn’t require a thermometer to check the temp on the milk.
I liked that.
I had an hour to myself,… to do whatever I wanted. Check emails, do a load of laundry, sit with my feet up reading OR sort through more old magazines. 🙁
When the hour was up, I sprinkled in the yeast across the top of the milk and let that sit for about a minute. For the record, 1 package of dry yeast equals 2 1/4 teaspoons if you buy your yeast in large jars.
I added in the flour mixing until all the flour was incorporated but still a bit sticky and then I put a tea towel over the pot, placed it in warm place to rise for an hour.
THEN…I added the last of the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the dough and mixed it up.
At this point, you can go ahead and roll out the dough on a floured surface (which is what I did) or you can put the covered dough in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also divide the dough and make half now and half later OR you can simply cut the recipe in half at the beginning.
I rolled the dough into a rectangle, about 10″X30″, rolling it fairly thin.
I generously, and I do mean generously spread the melted butter all over (including the edges), and I used my clean hands.
Next, I sprinkled a generous amount of cinnamon and 1 cup of sugar (for half the dough). I know that sounds like a lot of sugar…but I am just sayin’. 🙂
Next, I rolled up the dough and cut into 1 inch slices. I put these into a well buttered pan and covered for about 30 minutes.
Then I popped them in the 375 degree oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
I need to tell you one more tip. DO NOT OVERBAKE these rolls. The minute they start to turn a little color, remove them from the oven.
I promise you they will be light and fluffy and not tough and dry if you do not leave them in the oven too long.
Another tip is to make the frosting while the rolls are baking and frost them immediately on removing from the oven. This frosting should ooze down in and around the rolls which will make them even more moist. Trust me on this.
This recipe is simply the “star” of the show!
I LOVE this easy recipe. AND they can be frozen (yes, even frosted) or refrigerated overnight. They are even great the next day. Just pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will taste like you just baked them.
Please don’t forget the versatility of cinnamon rolls. You can take this basic recipe and use the filling of your choice, whether it be fresh fruit (apples are wonderful) nuts, raisins or whatever you like.you can use fruit purees or preserves. Cherries would almost make them like a kolache. I will share that recipe with you soon.
You can also change up the frosting…instead of the maple, use clear vanilla extract for a white icing, or cream cheese for another flavor.
The easy printable recipe is below.
Now I can walk into The Fresh Market and head straight for the Brussel Sprouts and tomatoes!
- 1 quart Whole Milk
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
- 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
- 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
- Plenty Of Melted Butter
- 2 cups Sugar
- Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
- 1 bag Powdered Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Melted Butter
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- In a large pot, add the milk, vegetable and the sugar and heat only until it begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately and let cool for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
- After the cooling down period, sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the heated milk mixture for about a minute.
- At his time, add the 8 cups of flour, (reserving 1 cup of the flour for later addition) mixing well but do not overmix. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in warm place to rise for about an hour. I place mine in my oven (not on)
- After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Mix well.
- At this point you have two choices. Refrigerate the dough or start making the rolls.
- *I make the rolls but you can refrigerate the covered dough for up to 3 days before using.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F before starting to roll the dough.
- Divide dough in half and roll on a floured surface to a rectangle size of about 10"X30".
- I like to roll the dough very thin as it makes for a tighter (more cinnamon/sugar) roll on the cinnamon roll.
- Next, pour about 1 cup of melted butter (don't be stingy) over the top of your rectangle. I use my hands to assure the butter goes to all the edges
- Sprinkle on cinnamon to your liking followed by 1 cup of sugar. (No, that is not too much)
- Roll the dough starting on the long side farthest from you. Roll as tight as possible, using both hands. (You might lose a bit of butter or sugar out the ends, but as they say...don't worry about it.)
- On the last roll up, pinch the seams and begin your cutting.
- Make sure you have put lots of melted butter in your baking pan and after cutting the roll into 1 inch cuts, place each roll, cut side down in your baking pan.
- I like to use a jelly roll pan for my cinnamon rolls but you can use a pie dish or anything you desire. Just be sure there is a side to your pans.
- Repeat this process on the other half of the dough unless you are going to save it for later.
- Using your tea towel, over the freshly cut cinnamon rolls and allow to rise a bit more for about 30 minutes.
- Place cinnamon rolls in oven and set your timer for 15-18 minutes.
- This is the most important part of the cinnamon roll making in my opinion. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
- I repeat, OVERBAKING MAKES FOR TOUGH CINNAMON ROLLS
- So watch them closely, if you see dark golden tops...you have baked them toooooo long. They will be dry and tasteless in my opinion. Remove them from the oven when they have only started to get LIGHT brown.
- Make the icing while watching your cinnamon rolls bake.
- The icing is your preference. I find if it is thick and pourable it works best. It can be maple icing or white powdered sugar icing.
- Just make sure you use melted butter, powdered sugar, milk and your flavoring, maple or clear vanilla.
- The next tip is also most important.
- As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven.....pour your icing over the rolls. Let it drip down the sides of the rolls and in all the nooks and crannies. YUMMY!
- *placing the dough in the fridge makes for a dough that is not so soft to work with, so your rolls can be more uniform. I, personally find making the rolls right away without putting in the fridge works just fine for me.