What’s fluffy on the inside and out?
My husband loves cinnamon rolls over many other baked goods that I make, which I never really understood and I’m not going to try to… I’ve just accepted it…really. The thing about cinnamon rolls, or actually any baked goods or breads, is that it requires yeast and then is becomes that much more difficult given to how sensitive yeast can be. I’ve had a number of failed yeast attempts and then seeing a lot of ingredients go to waste due to my failure with the yeast. So, instead, every time I work with yeast, I ALWAYS start with placing the yeast in 2-3 tablespoons of water at the temperature of 105-100F degrees (this is when your instant thermometer is your best friend and is a test of patience to get the water to the right temperature…) with a sprinkle of sugar. I make sure that the yeast bubbles and rises, before I incorporate it into the flour (otherwise, I can start over with another packet of yeast). After the yeast bubbles, then I also use my instant thermometer to make sure that the water/milk (depending on the recipe) is at the same 105-110F degrees for the stages when the dough is coming together. With all this care and attention to the beginning stages of my dough, I always like to refer to my dough as my Dough Baby.
Dough Baby requires the right temperature and care… and at this point in my life, it’s the closest thing I have to a baby, so for the next 2-4 hours until it goes into the oven, I care for it at the right temperature. When its summer, I like to place Dough Baby in the cabinet covered with a towel (I know, its not the nicest way to care of an actual baby…). However, in the winter months, Dough Baby sits with my husband while he’s watching TV. LOL… yes, I have my husband use his body heat to warm up our Dough Baby…and it works like a miracle! It’s the least he can do, since I brought Dough Baby to life (haha…).
All the love and attention to Dough Baby is well worth it. These cinnamon rolls turned out so perfectly fluffy and moist that it’s well worth all the effort.
- 1 pack dry yeast (I like Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise yeast)
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 105F to 100F degrees
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup shortening with a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 bread flour
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon shortening (mixed with pinch of salt)
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (for brushing on cinnamon buns before baking)
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons hot water (possibly more, if needed)
- Heat water to 105-110F degrees and mix packet of yeast with 2-3 tablespoons of water and pinch of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Allow the yeast to bubble and rise. If after 5 minutes, nothing is happening, I would suggest to start over or you can wait to see if it will start to bubble, but most likely it won’t.
- In bowl to standing mixer, add together the all-purpose and bread flour, sugar, salt, shortening, with dough hook. Add in yeast, then turn mixer on low-speed and add eggs and milk. Make sure that the milk is at 105F to 110F degrees for the yeast to continue to thrive. Once ingredients are incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium.
- Once dough comes together, lightly flour the dough and bowl. Then place the dough into bowl to allow the dough to proof (rise) and be sure to cover with saran wrap and place in warm area to rise for 1 to 2 hours (if you have the time, best to let it rise for at least 2 hours!).
- After the dough rises (double to triple its size), use a rolling pin (or sub with wine bottle, which is what I used to do before I owned a rolling pin) and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a approximately 20 inches long by 15 inches wide (about 1/4 inch thick).
- Spread the shortening over the surface of the dough (I suggest using an icing spreader vs. knife or even your fingers would work well). Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the surface with shortening.
- Butter the pan with unsalted butter before placing the cinnamon rolls into the pan. Place them around 1-2 inches apart. Cover and place in dark/warm area to rise for about another hour. Since I made these while it was still freezing outside, before I rolled out the dough, I preheated the oven to 200F and then turned it off to allow the temperature to cool (to about 100F degrees). Then I placed my pans with the cinnamon rolls, so they can proof one more time before baking in the warm oven. This works incredibly well when it’s still cold out.
Wow, look at that before and after (this is after one hour in the warmed oven)!
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Before placing in oven, brush with melted unsalted butter and bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow the cinnamon buns to cool! While they cool down, make the glaze!!
- Melt butter and add vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar.
- While whisking together ingredients, slowly add in one tablespoon at a time of hot water.
- The mixture will slowly come together (the clumps will become smooth).
- Drizzle over cinnamon rolls while the mixture is still warm (it will harden as it cools).
Enjoy the best cinnamon rolls ever!!
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.