Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I've never made cinnamon rolls from scratch, but I tried making them this week with my niece and they were GREAT! Seriously so amazing. They taste like Cinnabon. I found this recipe online, so I can't take credit for it, but wanted to share it since it is such a good one!

Dough:

1 package yeast (1 tbsp.)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs at room temperature 
6 tbsp. butter melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat which is why my dough is so much darker than normal, but white flour works great too)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

STEP 1: Start by proofing the yeast. Warm up the cup of milk to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the milk up in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds. It should be warm, but not hot to the touch. Mix in the 1 tbsp. sugar until it is dissolved. Add in the yeast and gently stir. Let it sit about 5-10 minutes. You should see a bubbling/foamy top on the mixture. That is how you know the yeast is still good! If not, discard and try with new yeast.

STEP 2: I used a stand mixer with the dough hook, and that is what I recommend. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix. Then add the dry ingredients slowly. Once the dough is firm, but slightly tacky, turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand, adding more flour if necessary. Knead the dough for about 2-5 minutes.

STEP 3: Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a lightly greased bowl to rise. I covered mine with a warm, damp towel and put it in a warm place to rise. At first I didn't put it in a warm place and didn't notice much rising happening. Once I moved it to a warm place I noticed a big difference. It should about double in size (should take about an hour).

*TIP: for making your dough rise faster: Boil some water and put it in a bowl next to your dough bowl. Cover them both with the damp towel. 

Filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
6 tbsp. butter softened 

STEP 4. While the dough is rising make the cinnamon sugar filling. Mix with a fork until it is is completed mixed together. 

STEP 5. After the dough has risen, press it down to release the air and form it into a rectangle. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a 12" by 24" rectangle (dough should be about 1/4 inch thick). If it is too sticky, add a little more flour to the surface. 

STEP 6. Once the dough is rolled out, add the filling. It is a little tricky to spread, but If you press and break apart the pieces as you go, it's not too bad. At first it might look like you don't have enough filling, but there is more than enough! Leave about a 1/4 inch border with no filling so it doesn't leak out.

Step 7: Roll up the dough tightly then cut 12 (2") pieces. I use a very sharp serrated knife. Be careful not to push down too hard because you will squish your rolls. You can measure out 2 inch pieces and mark them beforehand. That makes it a LOT easier. 

Step 8: Put the rolls into a greased (or lined with parchment paper) 9x13" baking dish. 

*TIP: I did all the above steps and then covered them tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and put them in the refrigerator. I then took them out and finished them the next day. There is a lot of prep work and it makes it easier to do all those steps the day before you want to eat them. You could also do these steps weeks in advance and put them in the freezer. If you freeze them, let them come to room temperature overnight before baking. 

Step 9: Time for the second rise. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and put in a warm place. They should double in size (about 45 minutes). While they are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 10: Bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-20 minutes until they are golden brown on top. The outside of the rolls should feel firm (not doughy). While the rolls are baking make the frosting. Leave the frosting at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge).






Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups powdered sugar

*TIP: All frosting ingredients should be room temperature.

Step 11: Frost the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. Serve them warm and everyone will LOVE them!



*TIP: You can freeze baked and frosted rolls by putting them in an airtight container. You can individually wrap them in plastic wrap to be able to get them out easier also. When you are ready to eat them, just take them out of the freezer and let them come to room temperature before microwaving them or putting them in the oven at 300 degrees. 

If you make these, you won't be disappointed because they are AMAZING!

XO,
Sarah

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