I don’t normally make cinnamon rolls, it’s just easier to buy them in a box from Costco already made. But every once in a while I love taking the time to make them from scratch.
I use Pioneer Woman’s recipe for the dough, because it is so absolutely easy to put together. No kneading. That’s my kind of dough. I made a half batch of the dough, a full batch is just too much and no one needs that many cinnamon rolls laying around.
Once the dough is made, I let it sit in the fridge over night, to chill the dough and firm it up. If you’ve ever made Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll dough you know how “loosey goosey” it is when it’s first made.
The next day I get ready to make the cinnamon rolls. This is where I tend to veer off from Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Mix together 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar, 4 heaped tsp. of cinnamon, 1 heaped tsp. corn starch and a big pinch of salt.
Roll out your dough to a large rectangle (try for at least 30X10 inches – although I tend to make it larger than that). Then spread 1/3 to 1/2 cup margarine (or softened butter if you prefer) leaving a 1 inch strip along one of the long edges of the dough to help you seal it shut.
Sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the margarine and with your rolling pin, press the sugar mixture into the dough slightly. (Just roll over it to compact it in so when you roll it up and slice it, it doesn’t all fall out).
Next, start rolling it up into a long cylinder, pinching the seam shut.
I tend to cut both ends off and toss those away (I know, shame on me). Then divide the dough in half, then in half again. Then divide the 4 pieces into thirds, to get 12 cinnamon rolls. Place these into a buttered (or using baking spray – I always have baking spray on the counter, it’s a staple in my house) 9X13 pan. Cover and let the rolls rise for an hour.
About 30 minutes into the rising time, start to pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, till they are golden brown.
Right before the cinnamon buns come out of the oven mix together the frosting. 2 cups icing sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste and approximately 3 tsp. milk (more or less). Stir this together to make a spreadable frosting.
Spread the frosting onto the warm cinnamon buns and then let them cool. Enjoy.
Dough: (Pioneer Woman’s recipe)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
4 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup margarine (or softened butter)
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 heaped tsp. cinnamon
1 heaped tsp. corn starch
Big pinch of salt
In a large 5 qt. pot mix together the milk, oil and sugar. Heat just until it starts to bubble around the side of the pan. Then turn off the heat and let the milk cool until the temperature is between 110 to 120 degrees F.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. instant yeast and 4 cups of flour over the milk mixture and using a wooden spoon, mix this together, making sure there are no dry pockets of flour left.
Cover and let this rise in the pot for 1 hour.
After the hour, sprinkle over another 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix this together, If you need to knead it slightly to get everything mixed together it’s fine. Then place the dough into a greased bowl, turning the dough over to coat it and then cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night.
The next day (or 2 to 3 days later) roll the dough out into in a large rectangle. Spread the dough with 1/3 to 1/2 cup margarine, leaving a 1 inch strip at the bottom long edge free of margarine to help seal the roll.
Mix together 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar, cinnamon, corn starch and salt and sprinkle this over the margarine.
Using your rolling pin, press the brown sugar mixture into the dough. Roll up the dough, tightly into a long log. Pinch the seam together. Cut off both ends (if you want to keep these that’s fine, it’s up to you). Cut the dough in half, then cut each half in half. Then cut each 1/4 into thirds.
Grease a 9X13 baking dish. Place the 12 cinnamon rolls into the baking dish, spacing them evenly. Give them a little press just to spread them out slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place them in a warm place to rise for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Once the cinnamon rolls are finished rising, bake them for 30 to 35 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Right before you take the cinnamon rolls out of the oven, mix together the frosting (icing sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt and milk). Once you remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven, spread the frosting evenly over the cinnamon rolls. Allow to cool completely and then enjoy.