Friday, October 16, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls



Ahhh, the cinnamon roll. I actually made these little babies back in May, but have taken my sweet old time to add them to the blog. I don't think I need to tell you that they were amazing. However, the icing recipe that was listed in the original was not my favorite. It tasted, to me, like eating straight powdered sugar. Bleh. So, if you have a great icing recipe, please share!

My instructions are for the cinnamon rolls, but the recipe in the book also includes sticky buns with a caramel glaze that I'll be making very soon.

To make the rolls


6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter or margarine (I prefer shortening)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast (the original recipe doesn't recommend using active dry yeast since it doesn't have as many living cells)
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk and 1 cup water (I did whole milk but next time I'm going with buttermilk for sure)

For the filling
6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
walnuts, pecans, raisins or any other filler you'd like- I left these out this time


In the bowl of an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together the shortening, salt and sugar using the paddle attachment. Mix in the egg and lemon extract/zest until well blended and smooth.

Add in the yeast, flour and milk to the bowl and mix until well combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead until smooth and tacky. Add more flour if the dough is still sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough ball in and roll it around to coat lightly with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 2 hours. The dough will roughly double in volume.

Transfer the dough to an oiled countertop and roll out with a rolling pin, lightly dusted with flour until it is a 12x14 inch rectangle, about 2/3 inch thick.

Sprinkle the cinnamon & sugar, along with any fillings you'd like, on the dough (make sure comes all the way to the ends. A few of mine were blah because there was almost no filling on the ends! also, next time I'll make sure to use ALL the cinnamon/sugar mix. It looked like a lot when I was doing it so I left some out. Don't do that. Trust me on this. Now's not the time to diet)

Roll up the dough into a spiral log, then with the seam side down, slice the log into 8-12 rolls, about 1 3/4 inches thick, then place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place the buns about 1/2 an inch apart and make sure they aren't touching.

Proof the buns at room temperature for 75-90 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size. You can also put them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just pull them out of the fridge 3-4 hours prior to baking so they can warm and proof.

Pre-heat the oven to 350° with the oven rack set to the middle level. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before glazing with the icing.  Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.

For the white fondant icing

4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon or orange extract
6 tbsp. to ½ cup warm milk

Sift the powdered sugar over a bowl. Pour in the lemon/orange extract. Starting with 6 tablespoons, slowly add in the warm milk while mixing, adding up to 1/2 C, making a smooth and thick paste.

Using a fork drizzle the icing over the top of the warm buns.

Source: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart


  1. I think you need an unbiased food taster to see if your recipes are really that good.
    I would like to volenteer!!

  2. No one would question the bias of my mother, of course ;)

  3. These look so pretty! My cinnamon rolls definitely do not come out like that - nice job!

  4. Aw, you are too kind Colleen! Thanks :)