One of my favorite class series has been the “Holiday Breakfast” series that we teach in November every year. The Cinnamon Rolls are always a big hit! I make these on a regular basis especially when I need breakfast for a number of people. These are very easy to make the night before, then pull them out and stick them in the oven.
I’ve made these for Sunday Schools breakfasts, for work, for Carly for school – about anytime we need to have food for a group of people in the morning.
That was part of my plan for this weekend as we were hosting for DNow with our church’s youth group. We had 11 7th grade girls plus their leaders staying with us for the weekend and I was making breakfast for them on Saturday morning. The pictures I’m showing I took while I made these cinnamon rolls for them Friday night and baking Saturday morning. What I hadn’t counted on was my kidney stones deciding to act up Friday night. (Sorry if that’s TMI….) Having these ready to pop in the oven so I could get breakfast ready while in just a bit of pain was fabulous!
Anyway – they are not that difficult to make, but I will teach this recipe again in one of the breakfast classes, so if you aren’t on my newsletter email list, be sure to sign up so you can get information on the classes. This is a great basic sweet dough and you can use it for more than cinnamon rolls.
Now for the recipe…..
7 tablespoons sugar — or 3 1/2 ounces
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter — or 3 ounces
1 each large egg
1 teaspoon lemon extract — or 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
3 1/4 cups unbleached flour — 16 ounces of flour
1 package instant yeast — Rapid Rise Yeast
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted
For the ingredients, I like to use a kitchen scale and weigh them when I can. For the flour – 16 ounces was 3C and 2 tablespoons when I measured it. I put in the amount of 3 1/4 cups which was the closest round amount. You may need to add additional flour when you are mixing the dough – so this is the starting point.
Using paddle attachment for stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and salt on medium high speed until light. Add the egg and lemon extract and whip until smooth. Add flour, yeast and milk and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. (Don’t put it on high speed yet unless you want to wear the flour….) Note: The dough should not be overly sticky – if it is, add a little more flour. The dough should be tacky.
Change paddle attachment to dough hook. Knead the dough on medium speed for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and silky, tacky but not sticky. You may need to adjust with either flour or water to achieve the texture.
Dough should pass the “window pane” test. Lightly oil a large bowl and move dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until the dough doubles in size.
Note: The window pane test is to pinch off a small part of dough and stretch it out until it gets so thin without tearing so you can almost see through it. If it tears, then knead a little more. This is checking the gluten development in the dough.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Use a pastry cloth lightly floured. Gently place dough on surface. Lightly dust top of dough with flour. Roll out dough to a rectangle about 15 inches wide and 12 inches long. Brush melted butter on dough leaving about 1 1/2 inches without butter along the edge closest to you.
Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the cinnamon sugar over the melted butter pressing gently. Starting with the edge away from you, begin to roll toward you. Continue rolling until the dough resembles a log. Pinch together the seam to seal.
Using a bench scraper or serrated knife, cut the log into 1 1/4 inch rounds (12 pieces). Arrange rolls on sheet pan about 1/2 inch apart so they are close, but not touching. Allow the rolls to rise until about doubled in size. If you are preparing the night before, move the sheet pan to the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If dough is refrigerated, let stand 45-60 minutes to warm slightly. Bake the cinnamon buns on a middle rack for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Allow rolls to cool about 10 minutes than add glaze or frosting as desired while the rolls are warm, but not hot. Remove rolls from pan to cooling rack. Try your best to let them cool at least another 10 minutes. If you can’t, well, we understand!
Cinnamon Roll Glaze
3 cups powdered sugar — sifted
1 teaspoon lemon extract — optional
1/4 cup milk — warm (may need up to 1/2 cup)
Sift the 3 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. If using lemon extract, add to sugar (can also use vanilla or any other extract you want). While slowly adding the milk, whisk briskly until all of the sugar is dissolved. Only add as much milk as needed to create a thick, smooth paste. Glaze is ready to drizzle or smear onto the cinnamon rolls.
Pictures of the recipe….
Sorry, you can’t see the cinnamon sticks in the bowl behind the yeast package. I did grind the cinnamon sticks to mix with the brown sugar.