For the second day of my Homemade Christmas we have Cinnamon Rolls! Yes, you can buy them from a can, the frozen food section or a bakery but nothing beats a homemade Cinnamon Roll. I have eaten Cinnamon Rolls as part of my Christmas morning since I was little. My mother made them as did my grandma, they are a family tradition. Could be because my family is Swedish and the Cinnamon roll is presumed to come from Sweden. I am bringing them to you today so you can make them for Saint Lucia’s Day on Friday (December 13th). While it is not a tradition my family participated in it has always been something I have been intrigued with especially since I am of Swedish heritage. Traditionally Saint Lucia Buns/Lussekatter, a sweet roll flavored with saffron are served to family members by the eldest daughter who portrays “St Lucia” but other favorite sweet rolls and breads are served also. Saffron is expensive so the Cinnamon Roll is a cost effective alternative.
First I want to tell you there is no need to be afraid of using yeast. This recipe can be made with the use of a bread machine, using your kitchen aid or my preferred method I am going to show you, by hand.
Gather up your ingredients for the dough. They are simple flour, room temperature eggs, milk, yeast, softened butter, salt and sugar. I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to my dough also. The vanilla I will leave up to you.
If you are using regular yeast you will need to proof it. To do this you will need to warm your milk to 110*. No more than 110*. You can do this in the microwave in under 2 minutes. If you scald your milk and it gets too hot allow the temp to come down. You will kill your yeast if the water is too hot. I add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the milk and dissolve before adding the yeast. The yeast feeds on sugar and makes it happy. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 10 minutes to let the yeast get happy. You will see it get bubbly and you will smell it.
There is also fast acting yeast you do not need to proof you just toss in with your dry ingredients but remember to watch the temp of your milk. The thermometer is your friend.
Add your yeast mixture to the rest of your ingredients and mix it up the best you can and use your hands to lightly knead the dough.
Place in a bowl in a warm spot and cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise. I like to use the back of my oven (preheated to 400*). This part will take an hour. Your dough should double in size. If it doesn’t rise you have 2 options, you can start over or try to proceed in hopes of the second rise. I start over but that is me.
Once your dough has finished the first rise punch down and turn it out onto a floured counter. All ow to set and rest 5-10 minutes and then roll out into a large rectangle.
Spread butter all over dough. About 1/3 of a cup. I eyeball this.
Then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Again I eye ball this but I have been making these for a while.
Then roll up tightly, jelly roll style
When done it will look a bit like this-
Once rolled up, cut cinnamon rolls about 1 inch a part and place in a 9×13 pan or 2, 9inch round pans
At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to finish rising and bake later. If you chose to bake later your cinnamon rolls will continue to rise in the fridge just slowly. When you decide take them out to bake it will take longer than 30 minutes to rise, closer to one hour. If you are choosing to bake now place rolls back in a warm spot and cover with a damp towel. When done rising they will look similar to the picture below.
Pop your beautiful cinnamon rolls in a preheated 400*oven for 12-15 minutes.
While they are baking whip up frosting or a glaze if desired. We choose a glaze over frosting. One cup confectioner sugar, a splash of vanilla and a couple tablespoons of milk or heavy cream and whip until smooth.
All you have left to do then is enjoy your delicious Cinnamon Rolls!
The recipe I used was The Clone of Cinnabon from Allrecipes. This recipe is almost identical to the one my mom passed down to me. The only difference is she uses the same portion of liquid but half water and half milk and a hair more butter. She uses 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup. I have made the recipe both ways and they are both great.The changes between the two are very minor. I do highly suggest using all butter in the recipe over margarine. Butter simply makes it better.
Clone of Cinnabon from Allrecipes.com
- 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup margarine, melted
- 4½ cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2½ teaspoons bread machine yeast
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- Cream Cheese Frosting (optional… other glazes and frostings work well also)-
- 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
- After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll dough into a 16x21-inch rectangle. Spread dough with ⅓ cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.