I've always wanted to make cinnamon rolls but somehow never got around it, until this weekend.
We were scheduled to meet my sister pretty early Saturday morning to help her with some home improvement projects. The idea of toting along some warm breakfast food sounded really appealing.
I put together the rolls Friday night, put them in a foil-covered ceramic baking dish raw and set my alarm for 4 a.m. Saturday to pull them out of the refrigerator to rise (I went back to bed, by the way). At 6 a.m. they were in the oven, and they made a wonderful, comforting breakfast. They weren't too hard to make, and the results tasted way better than canned cinnamon rolls. They also made my house smell like an Amish bakery, so that was great, too.
Here's the recipe I used, from my "Betty Crocker Cookbook ." This recipe is an alternative for a similar Caramel Sticky Rolls recipe. I intend to try that, and will share when I do.
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour (I used closer to 3 1/2 cups and also used two tablespoons vital wheat gluten)
1/3 cup granuated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages regular or quick active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup very warm milk (120 to 130 degrees) (I used almond milk and our instant-read cooking thermometer to make sure it was warm enough)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated or packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and yeast. Add warm milk, 1/4 cup butter and egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed one minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed one minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about five minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. (I just did this in my stand mixer.) Grease large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and brown sugar for filling, set aside. Gently push fist into dough to deflate.
Flatten with hands or a rolling pin into a 15-inch-by-10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread with two tablespoons butter and sprinkle with filling. Roll rectangle up tightly, beginning at the 15-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch and shape until even. Cut roll into 15 1-inch slices with dental floss or a sharp serrated knife. Place slightly apart in greased 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan. (At this point, I covered my pan with foil and put it in the fridge. You just want to pull it out again two hours before baking and set in a warm place to rise. But if you're baking right away, read on.)
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove rolls to a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes. Drizzle rolls with Vanilla Glaze if desired. (Recipe follows.)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
In small bowl, stir all ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. (I made this in advance and kept it in the fridge in a covered glass dish. I took it with us and poured it over the rolls just before we ate them, so they didn't get soggy.)