Home Made Cinnamon Rolls – Rich and Decadent

Is this sweet enough for ya?

Okay, someone asked for my cinnamon roll recipe. Now, I used to work for a country style fried chicken restaurant called Grandy’s back in the day. I learned how to make the world’s BEST dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls under the tutelage of a Hawaiian lady named Lelani. She was a tough customer, let me tell you! The only way was the right way. I got over being intimidated by baking really fast. I used to make rolls and cinnamon rolls for up to 400 customers a day. You get big Popeye biceps doing that! Here’s how I made the ones I made yesterday that are causing a stir on my Facebook page :).

I should warn you that I use my KitchenAid mixer to do the mixing and folding of the dough except right at the end. You can do this all by hand but it will be more work.

Basic Sweet Dough

3-1/2 to 4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs

In a small pot, heat the milk and the butter. Remove from heat and cool until it is warm enough for you to put your finger in for ten seconds without burning, between about 86 and 103 degrees for you technical types. It is VITAL not to use the milk while it is too hot, or you will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise. While the milk and butter are cooling, in the bowl of your mixer combine the 1-1/2 cups of the flour, all the yeast, and the sugar and the salt. Attach the mixing paddle. Turn the speed to one and slowly add the milk and butter mixture, then add two whole eggs. Mix to combine and then raise to medium speed and allow to mix for about three minutes. This starts activating the gluten in the flour so you’ll get a nice texture. Okay turn off the mixer and then change from the mixing paddle to the dough hook. Add two cups of flour and start the mixer on LOW speed unless you want to have flour in your face, eyes, and up your nose. Allow it to work in and see if the dough starts coming away from the sides of the bowl and creeping up the dough hook. If it is too sticky, add more flour about a 1/4 cup at a time. The dough should be slightly tacky but not too sticky. It is more towards a firm dough than a loose dough. When it looks good, allow it to mix in the mixer for about ten minutes. This saves you from having to knead it by hand. Go have a latte or something….

Okay, turn off the mixer, remove the dough from the hook, scrape all the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and knead for just a few minutes to bring it together into a nice ball. Place in a greased bowl, grease the top and sides of the dough ball nicely, and allow to rise undisturbed in a warm place for probably at least an hour. This is not a super-fast rising dough and you do want to give it time to work. It should be doubled in size when it is ready.

Punch it down and plop it out onto a floured surface. Flatten it as best you can with your hands and then grab the rolling pin and be ready for battle! You will need to roll this out to about a 12×12 square or 14×12 or so. I actually didn’t measure but just went with what looked right. The dough will want to spring back so you’ll have to put some muscle into it.

For the next step, melt a stick of butter, and get out cinnamon and sugar and raisins (if you like raisins; if not, just omit. Also, you can toss in ground walnuts or pecans also). Using about 3/4ths of the melted butter, pour it on the dough and then lightly spread it with your fingers so the entire face of the dough is covered. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon, sugar, and nuts; toss raisins on. Then you start to fold the dough away from you until it is rolled up. Now, my mom used to make something called a tea ring, which means she did up to this point, then made a circle of the dough, tucked it in on the ends, then snipped about 3/4ths of the way through all around the ring, laying over the pieces like flower petals. You can do that, or do like I did and cut out 12 cinnamon rolls. Place on a 1/4 sheet pan. Brush with some of the leftover melted butter. I boiled a kettle of water and then poured the hot water into a deep pan and put it on the bottom shelf of the oven (turned OFF), then put the rolls in this steamy environment to proof until they are doubled in size. Take them out – gently so as not to bump and deflate them! – then take out the water pan and heat the oven to 350 degrees. When it is at the proper temperature, put in the rolls and bake for about 15 minutes (check at 13 to see if they are done in case your oven runs a bit hot). Bake until light brown on top and then remove from the oven. Allow to cool for about fifteen minutes. I used store-bought (gasp!) cream cheese frosting on mine because I happened to have it in the cupboard but you can make your own or make a simple powdered sugar glaze. Frost or glaze the rolls, then step out of the way because your family WILL trample you on the way to get them.

Bil hana wa shifaa!

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Published in: on September 28, 2011 at 9:57 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As salaamu alaikum,

    Jazakillahu khair for sharing this recipe. I do have a couple of questions though if you don’t mind đŸ™‚ First, after rising and when it was time to roll it out into 12X12 my dough didn’t resist, it was actually very easy and submitted! Is that a bad thing? Second, how long do you recommend leaving the buns in the oven during the “proofing” stage with the steaming hot water? I know you said until they double in size but approximately how long does that take you? Also I live in Riyadh, KSA and the humidity is very low to none. So from experience I’ve found that I sometimes need to add extra liquid so I added a Tsp more of milk, do you think that could make a difference? Thanks again and thanks for your time!

    Umm Mahmoud

    • Walaikum as Salaam. I’m SO sorry I’m late in answering this. I am still working on learning this blog setup. If you are quick after the first rising and don’t work it too much, then yes, it can roll out pretty easily. No problem. The doubling can take as little as fifteen to twenty-five minutes, then they are ready to bake. Adding the extra liquid is fine as it totally depends on things like how dry the flour is and how the weather is. InshaAllah you were able to make some lovely cinnamon rolls!


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