Unless you want your cinnamon rolls to feel like rubbery hockey pucks, use.good.yeast.
Let us just say, between you and me, that my Dad has not been so impressed with my recent batches of cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are kind of his thing. He loves a bakery here in town that makes really good ones and he is the one who made the first batch of real yeasted cinnamon rolls here at our house. He has a high standard and I, his lovely daughter, have been falling a bit short. So, earlier this week, I decided I was going to make cinnamon rolls without whole wheat, without honey, without anything that would make them taste less than traditional bakery style. I was going to rock Dad's socks off with these, I mean, they were going to blow him away.
They blew him away alright.
I couldn't have done worse, really guys, the cinnamon rolls were horrible. (I'm laughing as I write this, they were so bad.) I can safely say there was no way I could ever share the recipe with you. I was somewhat amused with the whole situation - I mean, here I tried to make the biggest, sweetest, bestest cinnamon rolls - and I got hockey pucks. Rubbery hockey pucks! Elizabeth ate the ones I stuffed with chocolate chips ... and covered with icing ... lots and lots of icing. But she was the only one.
Note: Need to get rid of a bad batch of cinnamon rolls? Make a double batch of icing. Seriously, it works wonders.
So, I decided to turn to one of the most trustworthy bakers out there: Sally.
Sally, I thank you for helping me meet my Dad's standards.
I think the other recipe would've been fine had I had good yeast (did I mention this already? Use.good.yeast.)
*yes, Mary Frances, we've got this.*
Good. I used Red Star active dry yeast the second time - they never let me down. When I say use good yeast, I really mean use Red Star.
These cinnamon rolls are everything a good cinnamon roll is supposed to be. Thick, with a slightly crusty edge, that melts into soft and fluffy roll full of buttery cinnamon and sugar. I think heaven is going to full of carbs. I really do.
They are so easy to mix together. I even did these in a regular Pyrex bowl! And they only require one rise. The dough was so soft and stretchy, it felt amazing to knead.
And then we have frosting. My Dad's favorite frosting is cream cheese frosting, so I decided to skip the powdered sugar and milk icing and go all our with cinnamon cheesecake frosting.
It is creamy and thick and compliments these lovely rolls beautifully. And as overloaded with adjectives as that previous sentence was, these cinnamon rolls are overloaded with cinnamon. They are called cinnamon rolls, you know. I dialed it back for my family, who is not so into cinnamon (I can't help them) but feel free to adjust to your preference. I like a lot of cinnamon, so if I were to make a batch for myself (which probably would the biggest exercise in self control ever) I would add more cinnamon to the filling and the frosting. As it was, I really enjoyed the lacing of cinnamon throughout every fluffy, chewy bite.
Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cheesecake Frosting
Recipe Source: Rolls from Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 9 rolls
Rolls:2 and 3/4 cupsall-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package Red Star active dry yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons) (instant works, too)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk (make sure it is cow's milk)
2 -1/2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup cinnamon and sugar mixture
Cinnamon Cheesecake Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For rolls: Set aside 1/2 cup flour.
Mix 2-1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch.
Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture.
Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. I used a 1/3 cup. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes.
Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used non-stick spray) and let rest for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a rectangle.
For filling: Spread the softened butter on top.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar all over dough. (add more if you want)
Roll up the dough from long side.
Cut into 9 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan.
I used a pie dish, lightly sprayed with nonstick spray.
Allow rolls to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes. Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200F degrees. Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise.
After the rolls have doubled in size, (mine only took 45 minutes, but yours may take 60-90 minutes) remove rolls from oven and preheat to 375F.
Put rolls back in oven once preheated and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
For frosting: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and cinnamon together.
Spread over rolls.
Store rolls in an airtight container or tightly cover pan with foil or saran wrap.