Monday, January 20, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls: Recipe

My Amazing Husband doesn't very often that I cook any particular thing, so when he asked me to make cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast, and lemon bars for dessert, how could I resist!??

Last time I made cinnamon rolls, they were good, but not awesome, because I used a quick recipe. This time, I used my full-on-takes-3-hours version. There is your warning! These are not fast to make ... but they are OH! SO! Worth the time and the effort!

They freeze great! So at the end of the day, I sealed each one in it's own baggie to put in the freezer (of course, I left 6 of them out and I know they will not last long). Now we can pop one in the microwave for a few seconds (or maybe a minute, whatever it takes) and have a fresh delicious cinnamon roll!

Helpful Hint: turn your oven on to the lowest temperature before starting. Once your dough is ready to "set to rise" turn the oven off, and place the bowl of dough in the oven. This is called "proofing".

I use a huge stainless bowl, I think it's 32 cups!! You need plenty of room to stir and mix in 5 cups of flour; I like to kneed in the bowl, and let the dough rise; saves a little on clean up later.

Heat 2 cups of milk until it is steaming. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil (I used butter, which melts in the hot milk, and cools it enough to add an egg ... Mix this well and set aside.

In your big bowl, mix gently to dissolve together:
1 Tablespoon yeast (I buy it in the jar, so read rounded Tablespoon, if you are using packets, consider using 1-1/2 or 2)
1 Tablespoon honey (you can use sugar, I just see the yeast respond more lively with honey)
1/4 cup warm water (bath water warm)

Once the yeasty water is frothy, add the milk mixture, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup sugar and 5 cups of flour. mix well and kneed to a firm consistency, adding only enough flour to control the stickiness.

Lifting the ball of dough, add a little oil to the bottom of the bowl, return the dough, then turn to coat. Set aside to rise for half hour.

While your dough is rising, mix 2 sticks (or 1 cup) of softened butter (or margarine if you must) with 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 table spoons of cinnamon powder, until you have a spreadable creamy mixture.

If you are going to add nuts, crush or chop them if necessary.

Helpful Hint: If you are adding raisins, set them to soak in hot water before starting. This re-hydrates them, and helps prevent them from burning while baking. This is also a great tip for adding raisins to oatmeal raisin cookies!

Once your dough is ready, PUNCH IT DOWN! (this is a favorite part for me! LOL) Roll it out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. My pan is a 9x13, but I rolled this about 12x 20!! I got a little crazy! LOL

Smear on your butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture, sprinkle on your nuts and raisins evenly.

Roll it up into a log and cut it in slices 2-3 fingers wide. I could have rolled from the shorter edge, and made fewer rolls, that were bigger around. I really doesn't matter, it's a personal preference!

Place the rolls cut side down into your baking dish, they can be touching as this allows them to grow taller as they rise, but be careful not to crowd them ... I ended up with a few to spare, so they went into a glass pie pan.

Put them back in the (still slightly warm oven) to proof again for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes of rising, turn the oven back on to 325 degrees, and let the rolls bake until lightly golden and your house is filled with delicious smells! About 20 minutes.

 If you tap on the golden crust of a center roll, and it sounds hollow, they are done. Be careful if your baking pans are not the same thickness! The glass pie pan is not as thick as the ceramic 9x13, and it is not as full, so those rolls cooked more quickly, and were done several minutes before the others.

I brushed the tops with a little additional butter (I did not promise low calorie, low fat, or low any thing else! LOL)

Serve hot! YUMMY!

THIS is Living WELL!

LOVE, SuziQue!

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See you next time!