for as long as i can remember, my husband’s family has made cinnamon rolls. there’s something sweet about watching his whole family make their way to the kitchen once the smell of these cinnamon rolls waft its way around the house. so since moving away, i’ve attempted to make them a few times and am always pleasantly surprised at just how easy they are to make! i used to be afraid of yeast because i’d heard it was so finicky, but as long as your water is not too hot (nor too cold) then it seems to work out just fine! i just a simple candy thermometer (aff link) to get this part right.
a few tips before you get started:
* you can use traditional dry yeast or instant yeast (aff links) – the only different is that the instant yeast, well, it rises a lot faster! so in the recipe when it tells you to knead the dough and then cover and let it rest for 20 minutes, the instant yeast may only need 10 minutes – you just want it to double in size, and the instant yeast gets to that point much faster than traditional yeast.
*as with any dry mix that will be beat using an electric mixer don’t pour it all in at once! both from pouring and mixing you’ll get flour everywhere if you do. rather pour in a little bit at a time and start the mixer on a low speed to work in the dry ingredients. once all of it is worked in you can turn it up. on that note, as can be seen in the picture i’ve had my kitchen aid and it’s attachments (aff link) for over 10 years and it’s still going strong. i love it and would recommend one to anyone! though i’ve heard bosch mixers (aff link) are super nice as well! whether you use an electric one or a hand beater, pouring in your dry ingredients a little at the time will also reduce wear on the mixer’s motor!
* when adding flour to finish making your dough, just remember that the amount may change each time you make it depending on humidity, etc. so just add enough to make a soft dough. even if it seems a little bit sticky still (see next tip)…
* when your dough is finished and you’re ready to knead it, remember that the flour you place on your counter top will be absorbed into the dough as you’re kneading it, so even if it’s sticky to begin with, just keep kneading in that flour until the dough is smooth and elastic and is no longer sticky when you hold it.
* when rolling your dough, the thinner you roll it will dictate how many “swirls” you get in your roll. we like thinner dough with lots of filling so we tend to roll it thin, slather on the butter and cinnamon-brown sugar mixture and roll it as tight as we can!
* when cooking your cinnamon rolls, keep an eye on them. if they start to brown too quickly, simply place a sheet of tin foil loosely over top. they’ll still continue to cook but won’t get the direct heat from your oven that causes them to turn dark.
enjoy making these easy cinnamon rolls! & see just how fast your family flocks to the kitchen once these cinnamon rolls hit the oven!
[follow the step-by-step pictures starting from the top & going left to right]
- for the dough:
- 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages dry yeast (4.5 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- for the filling:
- melted butter for spreading
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- for the icing:
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 Teaspoons hot water
- to make the dough:
- mix together 1¾ cups flour, yeast, and salt. set aside.
- in a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter, and sugar over med-low heat until it reaches 120-130F, stirring constantly. pour into the dry mixture and beat until smooth.
- add egg and ½ cup flour and beat for another 2 minutes.
- gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough (probably cup or two).
- knead dough. cover and rest for 20 minutes.
- once dough has risen, roll out into a rectangle, approx ¼" thick. spread melted butter over top, and sprinkle filling
overtop, leaving a ½" border all the way around.
- to make the filling:
- combine brown sugar and cinnamon. (double amounts, if necessary, to cover the area.)
- roll the dough as for a jelly roll, keeping it as tight as possible. when you get to the end, pinch the dough along the top and cut into 12 rounds, using a knife or bench scraper. place rolls on a greased pan and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. let cool slightly, then top with glaze.
- to make glaze:
- combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and hot water and stir until you reach a smooth consistency.