Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Breakfast, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Weekends are a great time for baking. One of my favorite Sunday breakfasts has to be homemade cinnamon rolls. They are pretty easy to make and taste so much better than the ones that you pop out of a can. They do take a little practice and a few hours from beginning to end, but they are well worth it.

I've been making these a few times a month lately. Not to long ago, I won a great prize pack from @RedStarYeast that included 36 packets of yeast, so I've been doing quite a bit of baking!

For these cinnamon rolls, I use:
  • 1/2 warm tap water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick(1/3 cup) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups of flour, plus extra kneading surface
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce) of yeast
Working with yeast can be tricky. I think a lot of it has to do with having everything warm. I use hot tap water, and that works well for me. For the milk, I scald it and let it cool until feels warm to the touch. Neither the water or milk should be cold.

First thing I do is dissolve the yeast in a small bowl of warm water. Stir it until all the yeast is dissolved, you will see bubbles start to form...this is what you want to happen. Next, in a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, egg and salt. Add 2 cups of the flour, and mix until smooth. Add the water and yeast mixture, then the rest of the flour. Mix until the dough is easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes. This is the fun part! Kneading dough is easy, but if you don't know how to do it, YouTube has a bunch of great videos. If the dough becomes to sticky, add more flour and keep kneading. Place dough in a well greased bowl and cover it with either plastic wrap or a cloth, or even a paper towel. Leave in a warm place and let it sit until it doubles in size. This can take an hour to an hour and a half.

When its done rising, pour dough onto a lightly floured surface again. Punch it down and roll it flat into a rectangle shape. I use a pizza cutter to trim the edges so it's a perfect rectangle. Now for the filling. I use:
  • 1/2 melted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • raisins or walnuts
Spread melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Add raisins or walnuts if you want them. I personally love raisins in my cinnamon rolls. Starting at the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough tight and press ends together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices and place them in a buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. I sprinkle some left over cinnamon and sugar on the pan before I add the dough.

Let them rise again, in a warm place for about an hour, or until they double again in size. Cook at 350 for about 1/2 hour. Cool completely then frost with a homemade glaze, that I make while they are cooking. Glaze is so easy and so much better than anything you buy in a store. What I use is:
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Put the softened butter in a mixing bowl(I love my Kitchen Aide mixer for this!) and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low-speed until is well incorporated, then add milk slowly until it looks wet and shiny. Whip on high-speed for a few minutes then add vanilla. Keep mixing until all the sugar lumps are gone. If glaze is to thick, add a little more milk. This is also makes a great butter cream frosting, you just add less milk for a thicker frosting. Once you make this, you'll wonder why you ever bought frosting at the store!

I make these the night before for breakfast. These are perfect a lazy Sunday morning breakfast that everyone will love.

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