Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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There is something very special about making homemade sweet rolls from scratch. I love finding a new recipe to prepare every year for Christmas morning. I’ve made a variety of orange sweet rolls, cranberry sweet rolls and the traditional cinnamon rolls over the past years. They don’t compare to the tube you’ll find in the grocery store. I’m not sure exactly why – maybe the butter and sugar content or the labor of love that take to make them.

I love a sweet roll because you can make them the day before. Wake up early for a final rise while enjoying a cup of coffee and then bake off right before guests arrive (or wake up). I made these homemade cinnamon rolls for my Winter Walk friends this past Sunday. They were a huge hit and renamed “homemade cinnibon’ during the party. I baked them in a large casserole dish but you can use two cake pans easily. Save these for Christmas or New Year’s morning – it’s worth the wait.

Our Favorite Cinnamon Rolls, Epicurious  | September 2014

For the dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons bread-machine yeast or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

For the filling:

  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups chopped, lightly toasted pecans

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

Special equipment:

  • 2 9-inch round cake pans

preparation

Make the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add flour, yeast, and sugar. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add eggs and mix on low to combine. In a small pot, heat milk, butter, and cinnamon over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is between 120 and 130°F (use a thermometer).

Add warm milk mixture and salt to stand mixer. Beat on low speed 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium speed until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. Dough will be very sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into ball and transfer to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

While dough rises, cut 2 pieces of parchment to fit 2 9-inch round cake pans. Butter pans, line with parchment, and butter parchment.

Make the filling:
Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl.

Make the glaze:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt.

Assemble and bake:
Preheat to 375°F and position rack in center of oven. Punch down dough and transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border on the long sides. Sprinkle filling mixture evenly over butter, then add pecans. Starting at a long edge, roll dough toward you into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled tightly. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 16 equal slices.

Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up; rolls will be touching. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

Bake rolls until tops are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up. Drizzle glaze over rolls and serve immediately.

cooks’ note:Rolls can be assembled, arranged in pans, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for several hours or overnight. If refrigerated, allow to come to room temperature for about 2 hours, watch for second rise (rolls should almost double in volume), and then bake.

 
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