Good Lord. The one thing I fear more than yeast is cinnamon rolls. Not eating them, making them.
I fear that it begins with yeast.
I fear waiting for the yeast to work its magic and the dough to rise.
I fear rolling out the dough.
I fear the dough sticking to everything in my kitchen.
I fear not being able to make a tight enough roll.
I fear slicing the rolls into parts too big or too small.
I fear the rolls falling apart after being cut.
I fear putting in hours of work only to have a failed project.
But you guys… something miraculous happened. I made cinnamon rolls. I. Made. Cinnamon. Rolls. Thank you Pioneer Woman!
Fear number two overcome: My dough rose beautifully!
How to overcome the sticky dough? I rolled it between two pieces of wax paper. Bring on the next fear!
Alright, well the rolling part was a little difficult for me. I may or may not have had to re-roll some of them after slicing my log.
But that’s okay because they still looked semi normal:
…Minus the two at the bottom with little embryos.
Nothing a little glaze couldn’t cover.
These were divine, more than anything I could have asked for. Was it worth the labor? I only say no because I’m lazy and because cinnamon rolls could easily be bought. Seriously… yeast dough is SO MUCH work! Is it worth making once a year? Definitely. So if I ever make cinnamon rolls for you, know that I love you. Deeply and truly. I might as well be proposing to you.
They’re best warm, so if you’re not eating them right away, nuke them in the microwave for a couple of seconds before devouring. I’m craving one now just looking at the pictures.
You can find the original recipe from Pioneer Woman here. Since I didn’t have the need for enough rolls to feed an army, I cut the recipe in half, as follows (I still ended up freezing half and saving it for later):
Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Cream Glaze
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 packages active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 4 cups (plus 1/2 cup extra, separated) AP flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon (heaping) salt
- plenty of melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- generous sprinkling of cinnamon
- Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside for about 45 minutes and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute. Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. To assemble the rolls, remove the dough from the bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin. To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle the ground cinnamon and the 1 cup of sugar over the butter.
- Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down.
- Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.
For the glaze, I stuck to a simple vanilla one rather than the maple one that Pioneer Woman has on her blog. I used the recipe from How Sweet It Is. She says that it’s enough for one pan of cinnamon rolls, but I used it for two:
- 1 heaping cup of powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
- Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Evenly pour the glaze over the cinnamon rolls when they come straight out of the oven and let them absorb all the goodness.