Friday, January 21, 2011

Snowy Day Cinnamon Rolls....

 There is nothing like a snowy day to make me want to bake. We have all had plenty of snow lately that is for sure. The kids were asking for Cinnamon Rolls, so while the boy was home from college , what better time to indulge them a little. These are not something I bake on a regular basis, so they remain special. I use a combination of several recipes that I have tried...
I do use my Kitchen-Aid mixer for these and I start them with the paddle attachment, then I switch to the dough hook once the dough starts to come together. It is very sticky and you will need to keep adding flour by the tablespoon until it is not longer very sticky and slaps around the bowl of the mixer. Then I take the dough out of the mixer and place it on a floured board or the counter and knead it a bit with my hands. It will be smooth and silky , like a baby's bottom.

Cinnamon Rolls
adapted loosely from a recipe by Molly Wizenberg
1 cup whole milk ( I used 1 % several times...that was fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 to 4 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 large room temperature eggs
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast or instant yeast (one packet)
1 teaspoon salt  

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar 

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup (1/2 of a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heavy Cream or Half and Half ( or water if you wish)
For dough:

Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed, 110°F to 125°F, 30 to 45 seconds, it may take a bit longer depending on your microwave, be careful of the milk being too hot as it can kill the yeast. Rapid Rise yeast can take higher temperatures than regular yeast, so keep that in mind.  You may need to let it stand for a few minutes, then take its temperature with an instant read thermometer. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, eggs, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and switch to dough hook. Beat on low until flour is absorbed , scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Knead with the dough hook about 8 minutes. The dough will stick to the dough hook,  and slap around the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic... adding a little more flour more flour if sticky. Form into ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling:
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide). Sometimes I only get 16 matter.

Spray two 9-inch square or round glass or metal baking dishes with nonstick spray.( do not use a 9 x 13 baking pan) Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. If making ahead, refrigerate dough overnight. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 16 -20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.Glaze right away, while still warm.

For glaze:

Mix two cups of powdered sugar with one teaspoon vanilla and enough heavy cream or half and half  to make a thin glaze. Drizzle this glaze on the hot rolls, using a fork or spoon. If you are only baking one pan of the rolls then cut the glaze amounts in half, and make another half when you bake the second pan.
These can come back to life when they are a day or two old by putting on a microwave safe dish and nuking for about 15 seconds or so...if they make it that long.

If you wish, you can freeze one pan of the rolls, well wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil for another day.
You can take the rolls out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge over night and then remove for the second rise when ready. It will take longer than 45 minutes to rise if the dough is cold from the fridge. 
You might want to use another cooling rack on top of the turned out buns to turn them over again right side up before glazing...I like to line a sheet pan with baking parchment and place the cooling rack over that so that the glaze drips on the parchment, making clean up all the easier.
The middle is the best part...isn't it?


  1. Gosh, I don't think I've made this recipe! Gives me something to do this bitterly cold weekend! Thanks so much for sharing...your cinnamon rolls always look spectacular, Linda!

  2. PS...I'm curious why you shouldn't make it in a 9 x 13. Thanks`

  3. Perfect, Linda. I used to buy those frozen cinnamon rolls in a case that you bake when I was in college and didn't cook... ate them ALL the time! I still love them, but prefer a higher quality these days. Great recipe.. To market tomorrow... I am out of yeast. Goodness, 10 kinds of mustard and NO YEAST!!! Madness. Keep warm... at least the snow is lovely. We were the only nuts in the dog run... St Bernards and snow... well she was over the moon. btw, the dishes you liked are about 1910, Royal Staffordshire-blue iris... the are my favs.

  4. This recipe originally had a cream cheese glaze and a bunch of us made it on the board. Thought you did make them Lizzy.
    There is more room in the two pans...
    the 9 x 13 totals 14 cups and either a square or round pan totals 8-10 cups each.

    Also easier to turn out in the smaller pan and I feel they have more room to rise in the separate pans. The original recipe called for the two pans, and I have always made them that way. Several people had not so great results making them in a 9 x13...
    I personally like not having to bake all 18 rolls at one time. I enjoy freezing one batch or just keeping them in the fridge for several days and baking off fresh rolls at another time.

    If you want to make them in a 9 x 13... I promise not to tell the Cinnamon Roll
    I am sure they will be just fine.

  5. You are welcome Nancy...

  6. Deana! I love those dishes...gorgeous. I am crazy over anything blue and white and the gold mixed in...heavenly!
    I store my yeast in the fridge so it lasts...the freezer works as well.
    I like SAF...they have it at Trader Joe's for 99 cents for three packets!
    I keep mine in a big container because I use so much...
    I am sick of the snow...really..enough already!

  7. I bet I have made them, Linda...I just didn't recognize the source! Makes sense to use two pans...but my gang will eat a whole 9 x 13 in a couple of know boys and their metabolism :) Many thanks for your quick response! xoxo

  8. They are bakery shop perfect..but better..I love Molly.. her book..etc..You've made me want to make these..So beautiful Linda!

  9. Cinnamon rolls are a comforting thing on a snowy morning. Great photos, Linda.

    THESE.LOOK. A M A Z I N G. !!

  11. Beautiful! I love the smell of cinnamon rolls being baked. The aroma is heaven. Your rolls look tear-away soft & fluffy ... like clouds.

  12. Oh MY!!! Linda, I would love to wake up to one of your cinnamon buns tomorrow morning.


  13. Oh boy, I'd wish for snow days all the time if it meant I could have cinnamon rolls like that. They look wonderfully soft and yummy and, you're right, the middle is the very best. I have a new linky on my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link this up.

  14. Thank you all so much for stopping by and for your kind words...
    I hope you make these and get to smell the lovely aroma of cinnamon perfuming your home one morning soon!

  15. Mmm, perfect for a snowy day. I've never made cinnamon rolls, but my kids sure wish I would. Maybe the next snow day.

  16. Linda, you did it again. These look phenomenal! Thank you so much for posting and the awesome pictures..{{{hugs}}} from Hanover...

  17. Anything rolled, dashed and mixed with cinnamon will be in my favorite lists. That rolls really are tempting.

  18. Wow! I haven't ever made cinnamon rolls....but I have eaten my fair share! These look fabulous. I must step outside the box!

  19. Step baby step!

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!