The delectable scent of cinnamon wafting through the house from the kitchen is beyond mouthwatering. People led by their noses steadily migrate to find the source of the smell. And oh it is worth it. Cinnamon rolls are perhaps one of my favorite cinnamon-y treats. They can be light or heavy, gooey and nutty, or delicate and just a bit sticky. This soft breakfast pastry is joy for your mouth, and exaltation for your stomach. Perhaps, I love them too much, but surely you can forgive a girl for a little indulgence every now and then.
I found this recipe while surfing the internet. You can check it out here. It’s called grandma’s cinnamon rolls, and I have to envy whoever had the grandmother that made these treats. It makes 24 rolls, 12 fit in a 9X13 pan. The original recipe included nuts and a maple glaze, which I have not yet tried. It mostly stick to the original recipe for the dough itself, and change it up a bit for the filling. I usually only bake 12 at a time, and freeze the remaining dough.
- 6 cups of all purpose flour: You will need to divide this, 2 cups initially and then adding the rest later. You may end up using slightly less or more depending on a variety of factors (such as humidity, kitchen gremlins, etc). I have not tried this yet, but you could probably substitute some of the flour for whole wheat flour. I wouldn’t suggest substituting more than 2 cups, otherwise you might lose some the lighter quality of the pastry.
- 2 packages of yeast (or 4 1/2 tsps)
- 1/2 cup of sugar: Would you believe me if I said I actually used white sugar here? Well it’s true. You could probably substitute brown sugar if you prefer.
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of milk: I actually made this recipe with soy milk so my friend with milk allergies could eat them. I didn’t have any difficulties or flavor oddities.
- 1 cup of water
- 1/3 cup of butter or margarine: Usually I prefer butter in baking because, quite frankly butter is amazing. However I used margarine to no ill effect, with delicious results.
- 2 eggs
- extra butter to spread for filling: Estimate about 1/3 cup softened or melted
- brown sugar: I don’t measure this, but estimate about 3/4 cup to a cup.
- cinnamon: Again, I don’t measure. I prefer to be generous with cinnamon.
- Optional: nutmeg and cinnamon sugar mixture
- In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Set aside.
- Heat milk, water an 1/3 cup of butter in saucepan over low/medium heat. Do not let boil. Just make it so it is heated through and the butter (if not entirely melted) is mostly melted or softened.
- Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and add eggs. Using an electric mixture, mix on low until moistened, then blend on medium for about 3 minutes. You can do it but hand, just make sure the dough (batter like consistency) is smooth.
- Using a large spoon (or other by hand mixing utensil) add the remaining flour about a cup at a time until a soft dough forms. You will likely add about 3- 3 1/2 cups at this point.
- On a floured board (or counter top) knead about 5-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough is softer than other breads, for those who have made bread before. I ended up kneading an extra 1/2- 3/4 cup of flour into the dough so it would be sticky. Don’t worry about over kneading, just knead until it feel smooth, soft, and just the teeniest tiniest bit sticky. I actually ended up kneading about 10 or so minuted, but I do enjoy kneading.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn the dough to coat . Usually I let the dough rest and wash out the bowl I used initially: less dishes in the end. you can use any kind of fat to grease the bowl, Pam, shortening, butter, canola oil, etc. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 30-45 minutes).
- Punch dough down and divide in half. If you only want to make 12, reserve on half of the dough. I usually put it in a ziplock back and freeze it.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll (or pat) each half into a 12 X9 rectangle. My experience with dough is that it doesn’t like me much, so I pull out my weaponry (ie rolling pin) and flatten it into submission (politely of course).
- Brush or spread with butter. You don’t need tons, just a very light coating is sufficient.
- Spread a moderately thin amount of brown sugar over the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon over brown sugar. If you’re using nutmegs give it a dash across the shorter end. If you like you could premix the brown sugar and cinnamon (and nutmeg) before spreading. But I’m lazy and don’t like making extra dishes for me to do, so I don’t.
- Starting from the shorter side, roll up the dough tightly. Pinch the end to the roll to seal. Try not to have one end tighter, you want to try to keep a uniform thickness across the roll.
- Cut each roll into 12 slices and place in a greased 12X9 pan. Cover and let rise another 15 minutes, until doubled. I was going to have great picture to show you the difference, but I forgot to take the picture before it started rising.Save some time, while the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Optional: Before putting cinnamon roll in oven, sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture. I usually have a container with that mixture for toast in the morning. It’s a delightful addition. If you’re extra daring, sprinkle the greased pan with the mixture before putting the rolls on it.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It is a delightful golden color, and the house should be smelling like cinnamon.
Now I know some people (Me!) like putting a glaze on. A very very basic glaze is to take some powdered sugar, add a little bit of water (or orange juice or milk), mix to make a smooth a slightly runny consistence and drizzle over the buns. Other options is to make a butter cream or cream cheese frosting and spread over the rolls while still warm. The best would be a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Yum! If you’re extra lazy (and I won’t tell if you do this) but you can also take store bought frosting and spread it over.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I have!