I make really good Cinnamon Rolls, so I am told. And, I am told, I don’t make them often enough. All these years I thought the recipe was here on the site. I would get asked for the recipe and would gladly email it to whomever asked. So, tonight as I was rolling up the cinnamony, sugary, buttery goodness, I was thinking that I need to update the recipe. Notice I said update, not change. I went to the website and could not find the recipe. There must be a mistake. I did a search for cinnamon and every recipe that has cinnamon in it popped up. No Cinnamon Rolls.
All I can think of is when I moved to this domain five years ago, a few things got lost in the move. You know how that is. You move tons of stuff and after you unpack, the water buffalo sandals that saw you through your best of hippie days, went missing. Never to be found. All people helping to move swore under oath they did not see them. It happens. Stuff gets lost.
Here is the recipe. My update was to the instructions. I now make these in my stand mixer and do not knead them by hand. Thus, the flour amount is a straight forward measurement. No more of the “keep adding until the dough feels right”. I also added a little somethin’ somethin’. It is entirely optional. I added just a little powdered milk to the flour mixture. I found it made the dough just a bit stickier and the final rolls just a bit softer. Again, you do not have to add it. But, if you have it on hand, put a little in!
Gravy Girl Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 cup very warm water, check it on your wrist it should feel warmer than your wrist
2 packages of yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered milk (entirely optional, if I have it, I toss it in)
1/4 cup very soft shortening, butter, or margarine
6 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons table salt (not kosher salt)
Sprinkle the yeast into the 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside. When you are ready to use it, it should have a foamy head on it. That means the yeast is alive. If you end up with just tan water, the yeast is no longer alive and you need to run to the store and get some new yeast.
In a separate large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, the very optional powdered milk, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
In the stand mixer bowl, with the paddle attachment on, put in the 1 1/2 cups of warm water, beaten eggs, and the shortening and give it a little mix. Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture about a cup at at a time and give it a little mix. After about half of the flour mixture has been added replace the paddle with the dough hook and add the rest of the flour. When all the flour has been incorporated start your knead time for five minutes. You can then set the speed about medium or medium low.
At the end of the knead time, the dough should be kind of gooey and has pretty much left the sides of the bowl. It will come of the hook quite easily. Dump the mixture into a large greased bowl and form into a tidy ball of dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size. This can take a couple of hours. More if the house is not real warm. After it has doubled in size, lift up the plastic wrap and poke and press the dough to get the air out. Form it into a ball and put the plastic wrap back on. Let it rise again until it has doubled in size. It will not take as long as the first rise.
To make the rolls you will need the following for the filling:
2 sticks of very soft butter or margarine (you may use more or less)
2 cups of granulated sugar (you may use more or less)
Cinnamon to taste (I sprinkle until it looks like the sugar is covered)
After the second rise, poke and press the dough to get the air out and divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a rectangle about 24 inches long and about 1/2 inch, or a little less, thick. Spread the softened butter on each rectangle, sprinkle the sugar, then sprinkle the cinnamon.
Roll, starting with the long side and then cut into 24 (1 inch) rolls. Place in a well greased jelly roll pan, a well greased muffin tin, or in well greased cake pans. Space the rolls about an inch apart. Let them rise about 45 minutes and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are a nice golden brown.
While they are warm right out of the oven, frost with your favorite frosting. Here is my favorite frosting. Rolls can be individually frozen in zip sandwich bags.
Buttercream Frosting for Anything
2 pound bag of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 sticks of softened butter (if using unsalted, add two pinches of salt)
7 tablespoons room temperature water
In the mixer bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla and the first tablespoon of water, using the paddle attachment, low to medium low speed.
Now, alternate between the powdered sugar and the water, adding about a cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of water at a time. Incorporate each addition. After all the sugar and water have been added, set the mixer on medium high and mix for about four minutes. The frosting should be nice and fluffy.
This will make enough frosting for a two layer cake. The frosting can be put into a plastic zip bag and frozen for another use. This is really good on graham crackers and sugar cookies,
Note: for a stiffer frosting for piping, add additional powdered sugar to the desired consistency