For the past 4 or 5 years I've been practicing my *made from scratch* baking skills. Including yeast, rolling out dough, and so on and so forth. When I was in college I started adapting this recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls. The recipe is simple, but time consuming. The cinnamon rolls are flaking, sweet treat that was a huge hit with my family. Since that discovery I've been making them every year for Christmas breakfast. Below is the recipe and tips on making this baking adventure successful.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of flour 
  • 4 sticks of butter 
  • 2 cups of brown sugar 
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup of milk 
  • 1/2 cup of warm water 
  • 1 .25 oz package of active dry yeast 
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon 
  • A pinch of salt 

Steps

1. In a small bowl dissolve 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and yeast packet in warm water. Stir slightly and let's stand until it's creamy/foamy. This will take about 10 minutes. During those 10 minutes warm your milk in a small sauce pan until it begins to bubble. Then reduce the heat and mix in 1/4 cup of sugar 1/4 cup of butter and a pinch of salt (no more than a teaspoon). Stir the mixture until everything is melted and smooth.

2. In a large bowl combine the yeast mixture, the lukewarm milk mixture, eggs, and 1 1/2 cup of flour and combined well. Continue to add flour 1/2 cup at a time (about 4 cups total) and stir well until the dough has pulled together (see pictures). You will know you have enough when the dough is difficult to stir and becomes more firm.

Once the dough is ready you will knead it on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic. This should take no longer than eight minutes. (Side note: be careful not to over work your dough. This will make it tough.) 

3. Oil a large bowl and place the dough inside of the bowl. Ensure that all of the dough is lightly covered with oil. Place a damp towel over the bowl and set-aside until the dough has doubled in size. This will take about an hour. 

4. While you're waiting for your dough to rise melt about 1 cup of butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted stir in 1 cup of brown sugar and whisk until it is smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13" baking pan. Then melt 1/4 cup of butter and set aside. In a separate container combine 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon and mix well. And set the mixture aside. 

5. Once your dough has doubled in size set it onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle (about 18x14"). Brush the dough with the melted butter leaving about 1/2 inch border. Then sprinkle your cinnamon and brown sugar mixture evenly across the dough covered in butter.

6. Begin rolling your cinnamon rolls along the long side. Ensure you roll the cinnamon rolls tight to avoid gaps. As you roll add butter along the bare side of the dough for to help hold the roll together (and for additional moisture and flavor). 

7. slice your cinnamon roll into 12 to 15 different sections. Place each of the rolls cut side down into your pan with the butter and brown sugar mixture. Cover your common roll filled pan with your damp towel and set aside until the cinnamon rolls have doubled in size. (See the picture.) This will take about an hour.

8. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Once the cinnamon rolls have doubled in size place them in the oven to bake for between 25 and 30 minutes or until they are golden brown. Once ready take them out of the oven and let them rest for 3 to 5 minutes then flip onto serving platter or wax paper. 

I hope my directions are clear and helpful. If you have any suggestions or difficulties feel free to leave a comment below. Enjoy!