I ended up combining recipes from two wonderful bakers, along with some tips and tricks from a few others*. These are cinnamon rolls, these are serious, and they need to be amaze-ing. Especially considering how long you have to wait to eat one!
Set aside your Sunday, friends, these require commitment. Okay, so that was a tad exaggerated. Don't be like me, though, and not start them until after 1 pm. I ruined my dinner.
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 warm water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
3/4 tsp salt
Cinnamon-y filling goodness
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
- In a large bowl, combine yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar. Add the warm water and stir. Set aside for 10 mins.
- Heat milk in small saucepan with butter until hot, but not boiling.
- Remove milk from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl, sift flour and add salt.
- Add the white and brown sugar to the yeast mixture and stir. Add the warm milk and butter mixture, the eggs, and vanilla. Mix well.
- Slowly add in the flour, one cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon. Dough will be slightly sticky.
- On a well floured surface, knead the dough for several minutes, adding several tbsp of flour as you knead.
- Place the dough ball in a large bowl, well greased with oil. Roll the dough around in the oil until well covered. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place a tea towel over the bowl. Put bowl in oven and let rise for about 2 hours.
- Place dough on well floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding in 2-3 tbsp of flour.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan.
- Roll dough out into a 10x20 rectangle and spread melted butter across the surface.
- Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl and pour over the butter, patting down.
- Starting with one short end, roll up the dough tightly, pulling lightly on each end as you go to keep it nice and long. Pinch the ends together to make a seam.
- With the seam side down, cut the roll into 8 equal pieces.
- Place each piece, with the cut side up, spaced equally out, in a greased 9x13 pan.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cinnamon rolls should be puffed up, bubbling, and brown.
*Adapted from Joy the Baker and A Clockwork Lemon, along with helpful tips and tricks from Mennonite Girls Can Cook, and my own experience making King Cake.