DO YOU EVER DREAM ABOUT FOOD? I do. In fact, as I slept last Saturday night, visions of cinnamon rolls danced in my head. They were soft. They were gooey. They were…something I had to make the following morning:
The “Sweet Roll” Dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk, scalded then cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup (5 and 1/3 Tbsp) butter, softened
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Special Equipment — 2 cake pans, 9 inches in diameter, and 2 inches deep. Butter and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar the bottom of each pan. Do you like this recipe already?
1. Making the Dough – In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and let it proof for 5 minutes. Add milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour; stir with a stout wooden spoon until smooth. Then mix in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Quickly wash out the large bowl, dry it, and then grease it with oil or vegetable spray. Place dough in bowl; turn “greased” side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
TIP: Because I live in a drafty old house, in winter I always let my yeast doughs rise on a heating pad set to “low.” You can buy such a pad at any drug store for about $10.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees before proceeding with the next step.
2. Filling and rolling the dough — Punch down the dough, turn it onto a floured surface, and then roll it out to form a 15″ x 9″ rectangle. Spread the dough with the softened butter; sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Then roll it up tightly, beginning at the 15-inch side, as shown. Pinch ends to seal.
Let rise until double, about 40 minutes.
3. Baking — 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Set the pans on the lower middle oven rack, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls have slightly browned. Don’t over-bake, or you’ll have crispy cinnamon rolls (this isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Set pans on a wire rack to cool slightly.
4. Glazing the rolls — Mix butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add hot water, a tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is thin enough to pour. Drizzle the glaze in between and all over the rolls.
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