Let me preface this post with one fact: this recipe was my first attempt at a yeast bread from scratch. So sure. I could've opted for a simple whole wheat bread loaf, but where's the adventure in that?! So for my first act in yeast breads, I will be sharing my adventure in cinnamon rolls from scratch.
Now, this isn't something for the faint of heart or someone in a hurry. Even knowing how long it would take...I had no idea it would take so long! From start to finish...hours went by. Actually, it took so long that I ran out of time on day one and had to scramble to figure out how to save the dough for the following day. More on that later.
So here goes nothing. 2 dozen really friggin' delish cinnamon rolls, old-school style. Take that, Pillsbury man.
Part One: Sweet Roll Dough.
This is the part that took the longest, though nothing about making the dough was in any way difficult. It's just a bit time-consuming. In the future, I plan to make dough and freeze it for future use, just in case I get a craving for cinnamon rolls. So long as you bring the dough to room temperature before using it, you're good to go (I think a thaw in the fridge overnight, then resting on the counter for an hour or so would do it.)
This basic recipe is the foundation for any sweet breakfast-y pastry (coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, that sort of thing.)
Ingredients for Sweet Roll Dough:
- 2 c. all-purpose flour (I sifted together 1 c. whole wheat flour + 1 c. all-purpose flour.*)
- 1.5 - 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 c. milk
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. shortening
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
* Measure out the flour by spooning it into a measuring cup and leveling off with a knife, then sift.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and yeast. On the stove, warm the milk, sugar, shortening, and salt to between 115-120°F, stirring to melt shortening. (I raised my temp. to about 130°F, removed from the heat, and cooled to 118°F. USE A THERMOMETER!)
Add mixture to dry ingredients and add eggs. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes.
Stir in 1.5 to 2 cups remaining flour and mix by hand until moderately firm. Lightly flour work top and knead dough for 8-10 mins. Shape into a ball. Place dough ball into a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise (double) for 45-60 mins.**
**I placed my covered bowl on the top rack of my cold oven and placed another bowl of hot water on the bottom rack. When the oven door is closed, it creates the perfect environment to let the dough rise.
***If you want to freeze or refrigerate your dough for the next day, now's a good time to do it...before dividing it. Just punch it down, cover it, and place in fridge for the next day OR wrap and bag it for freezing.
Once your dough has doubled, punch it down and divide in half on lightly floured surface. Cover again and rest dough for 10 minutes.
Part Two: Cinnamon Rolls
Hope you're still with me on this!
Once you have your basic dough, it's time to make cinnamon rolls. Each half of the dough makes one dozen (12) regular-sized rolls. The recipe below uses all the dough, so if you plan on making half, please remember to halve the ingredients!
Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls:
- Basic sweet roll dough (part 1 above)
- 1/4 c. butter, melted
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- icing (1 c. sifted powdered sugar + 1/4 tsp. vanilla + just milk to make it drizzly)
Roll each half of dough out into a rectangle appx. 8x12". Brush each with half of the melted butter. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half of mixture onto each dough rectangle. Roll each piece, starting with one of the long sides. Seal the edge. Cut into 12 rolls and place into greased pie plate (9" round). Repeat for the 2nd half of the dough. Cover dishes and let sit for 35 mins (the dough should come close to doubling again.) Bake at 375°F for 18-20 mins. Drizzle icing on warm rolls. Best served warm!
I hope you like this recipe - let me know if you give it a try! Happy baking :)