It is finally looking more like Spring here. While the trees are still only budding, the grass is green and we are having more warm days than cold. Winter definitely doesn't want to give up this year. At least we don't have snow like our friends in the western states and those just north of us.
A few people have asked how I make cinnamon rolls from the bread machine dough. This is the way I also made them when I used to mix and knead the dough myself. I am sure there are many ways to prepare the cinnamon rolls but this is what I have tweaked over the years.
This seems like it would take awhile but it really doesn't, once the dough is ready. I just want to make certain I get the details right so the description is quite wordy.
The dough cycle of the bread machine makes one loaf of bread or one half-sheet of cinnamon rolls. I mentioned before that I recently realized why my cinnamon rolls were too small (aren't we always learning in the kitchen?). It happened when my cinnamon rolls were rising a few weeks ago and I forgot about them. They had been sitting on a half-sheet pan, covered with a thin tea towel for at least an hour. They were much larger than I usually let them get and when they baked they were... the perfect size!!! Lesson learned. :)
So... make your favorite dough. My bread machine dough recipe is... here. I also have instructions on turning them into cinnamon rolls at the bottom of that recipe post. Even when I tried to fix it, I couldn't get the paragraphs to separate so sorry for the jumbled look of that post. It was written back in 2007.
Make your dough and let it rise once. If you are making it a day ahead and want it to rise overnight in the refrigerator, cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig with a plate on the bowl for a slow second rising. Make sure the bowl is large enough for the dough to double in size. The next day, roll out the dough per instructions below.
If you are making the cinnamon rolls immediately, make the dough and let it rise once. It will have done this already in the bread machine. Set the dough on a lightly flowered counter and press it into a rectangular shape. Then let it rest about fifteen minutes. Dough needs to rest a little or it will spring back. You will know this already if you watch The Great British Baking Show! ;) (If it set in the frig overnight, you may not need to let it rest.)
Then roll the dough out as thin as you can get it, usually 1/4" or so, if it springs back again then let it rest a little longer. You want the wide side of the rectangle nearest you for proper rolling and cutting. Melt a few tablespoons of butter and brush it on the dough, leaving about an inch free of butter at the bottom of the rectangle so it will seal better.
Sprinkle cinnamon on the buttered dough to taste, I like cinnamon but some people don't so it is up to you how thick it goes on. I get all messy and rub the cinnamon into the butter until all of the dough has cinnamon/butter on the surface... except that inch at the bottom of the rectangle!
Sprinkle brown sugar over the dough until you get the amount you want. You can also use white sugar or raw sugar but I do like the flavor that brown sugar gives it. Press sugar into the dough to help it not fall out.
Starting at the top of the rectangle at the wide side of the rectangle, turn the dough down about a quarter to a half inch all the way across the top. This takes a little patience, then start rolling by stretching the dough back just a little and making one roll, stretch it back just a little and make another roll, until it become easy to continue rolling the dough into a cylinder. Pinch the seams shut.
I use a sharp chef's knife but you can use whatever knife or bench scraper works best for you to slice them. Some people even use unflavored dental floss. The easiest way to get even slices is... make a slice in the middle of the cylinder. That creates two halves. Then make a slice in the middle of each half. Then make a slice in the middle of each quarter. You will probably be able to make one more slice in each piece.
Pinch together the dough that has come apart in the slices and place them on a greased half sheet pan or cookie sheet (I use parchment paper). Cover with a light dish towel or tea towel, cotton or linen but not terry cloth... and let rise until double. This could take an hour, especially in winter.
Bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes, you do want them to be well baked but not burned at all. Obviously. Take them out of the oven and if desired, transfer to a cooling rack. I have left them on the baking sheet to cool before, too.
When cool or just a little bit warm (not hot), ice with your favorite icing if desired. For many years, I craved the cinnamon rolls my parents purchased when I was a child. There was something about them that I couldn't replicate in my own recipes. Until I looked at the cinnamon roll icing recipe that was used in an Amish restaurant and I noticed something different about it.
When I made that recipe, it was a lot like what I remembered from childhood!!! They had a high amount of butter ratio to the confectioners sugar (icing sugar). It made for a less sweet icing, albeit probably more calories but I mean really... yum.
I have the icing recipe on the cinnamon roll post, too, but it is basically:
- 1/2 to 1 stick butter (according to how rich I feel at the time)
- 3 Cups confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
- Milk added one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency, whether you want to ice the cinnamon rolls or make a thick glaze. I choose to ice them most of the time. If you don't use all of the icing on the cinnamon rolls, it is really good on graham crackers.
I hope this answers the questions. If I left anything out, just let me know in Comments!
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Parchment paper for half sheet pans... here.
Since we are on the subject, parchment paper for 9" cake pans... here.
Half sheet pans... here.
Once again, the original bread machine bread recipe is... here.
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Image: Fresh Bread by Loren Entz