There is nothing like the early morning smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. These rolls have been a favorite for my family for holiday mornings especially Christmas and Easter for many years. The Christmas version should have raisins but my husband doesn't like them so I just leave them out but the Easter version has blueberries and are finished with a lemon glaze. The rolls are a perfect spring time treat.
Don't be intimidated by the use of yeast. If you follow my directions, the rolls will be perfect every time. The key is to take the temperature of your liquid solutions and make sure the temperature is between 105 and 110 degrees. Use an instant read thermometer to assist in this step. Also, let your stand mixer knead the dough and save time and energy.
Enjoy the rolls and let me know how you like the rolls. Please share any variations that you make.
Ingredients (1 dozen)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup for kneading
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
Combine the milk, sugar, salt and 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan. Heat the mixture just until the butter melts. (Photo A) Remove from the heat and cool to 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the warm water (105 to 110 degrees F) and yeast in the bowl of the electric mixer. Let the mixture stand for at least 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to bubble. (Photo B) This demonstrates the yeast is active.
Stir in the milk mixture with the yeast mixture with the paddle beater. Add the egg and stir. (Photo C) Add approximately 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining flour and mix until smooth. (Photo D)
Remove the paddle beater and insert the dough hook in the mixer. Add about 1/2 of the 1/4 cup of flour and begin the kneading process with the mixer on medium speed. Knead the dough with the dough hook for approximately 6 minutes. Add the remainder of the flour if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl. How much flour is added will depend on the moisture in the air. The extra 1/4 cup is more than enough under most conditions. The dough will be smooth and elastic. (I forgot to take pictures of this step. Oops!)
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times and form a ball. (Photo D) Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn to grease the top. (Photo F) Cover and let rise in a warm place until the mixture has doubled in size. (Photo G)
Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12x8 in rectangle. (Photo H) Spread the room temperature 2 tbsp butter on the dough. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on the buttered dough. (Photo J) (Option: Sprinkle 1/2 cup raising or fresh blueberries on the cinnamon mixture.) Roll the dough starting with the longest side (12 in side). Roll up jellyroll style and pinch the seams to seal. Cut the roll into 1 in rolls. (Photo K) Use a sharp knife and do not press down on the dough. Use a sawing motion so the rolls are not compressed. Place in a greased 9 in square pan. (Photo L) Brush with the 2 tbsp melted butter. Let the rolls rise in a warm place for 40 to 50 minutes. The rolls will not double in size.
The rolls can be placed in the refrigerator to bake in the morning or can be baked at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. (Photo O) If baked the next morning, let the rolls warm on the counter for at least 30 minutes before baking. (Photo M)
Combine the powdered sugar and milk until mixed well. (Photo M) Drizzle over the warm rolls and serve. If blueberries were added to the dough, substitute lemon juice in the powdered sugar.