Cinnamon Rolls

Warm cinnamon rolls are available at every airport, every mall, and many fast-food outlets. So why make your own? Because YOU control what's in them, using your own butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and other natural (not chemical-laden) ingredients. And besides, there's nothing like pulling warm rolls right out of your own oven!

Prep
25 mins
Bake
20 mins
Total
3 hrs 45 mins
Yield
16 cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon Rolls

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Combine the flour, dry milk, potato flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and lesser amount of water then mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to form a smooth, elastic dough, adding more water if necessary. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 7 to 10 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand or if your kitchen is cool. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

  3. While the dough is rising, lightly grease two 9" round cake pans.

  4. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16"x12" rectangle. It's a nice, soft dough, and pats out easily.

  5. To make the filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

  6. Brush the dough lightly with milk.

  7. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, covering the entire surface.

  8. Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll.

  9. Using a bench knife or a serrated knife, slice the log into 16 slices. 

  10. Space eight rolls in each of the prepared pans.

  11. Cover the pans, and let the rolls rise until they're noticeably puffy, about 1 to 2 hours; they should spread out and start to crowd one another.

  12. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  13. Bake the rolls until they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20 minutes.

  14. Remove the rolls from the oven and place the pans on a rack. Wait 5 minutes then remove the rolls from the pans to a rack.

  15. To make the glaze: When you're ready to serve the rolls, combine the sugar, vanilla, and enough cream or milk to make a spreadable glaze.

  16. Spread the glaze on top of the warm rolls and serve immediately.

  17. Alternatively, if you wish to serve the rolls later or on a different day, allow the unglazed rolls to cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Fifteen minutes before you're ready to serve the rolls, preheat the oven to 350°F. Unwrap the rolls, place them on an ungreased baking sheet, and tent lightly with aluminum foil. Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, until they're nicely warmed and make the icing in the meantime. Spread the icing on the rolls when they come out of the oven.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Why do you brush the dough with milk before spreading on the cinnamon-sugar? The protein in the milk acts like glue as the rolls bake, keeping the filling from oozing out.
  • When making anything with yeast, including these rolls, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you knead the dough; what kind of yeast you use) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

  • You can also bake these rolls in a 9" x 13" pan. Prepare the recipe as instructed through step 8. Divide the log into 12 equal slices, and arrange them in the lightly greased pan. Let the rolls rise as instructed then bake in a 375°F oven for about 20 minutes. Finish the rolls as instructed.