January 8, 2011

Conquering Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Mike and I have offered to host a casual brunch tomorrow at our house. Pot-luck, bring what you want, etc. How nice, you might say. Yes, nice indeed, until you get to the part about me offering to make homemade cinnamon rolls for said brunch. After reading the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls 101, I've been slighty obsessed with making them. Reality time: I'm an unabashed carbohydrate addict. Give me bread, fresh from the oven and slather it in a creamy sugar frosting for good measure. It's my Kryptonite.  But, having had many previous yeast bread disasters, I assumed that cinnamon rolls from scratch was out of my culinary repertoire.

Well, lovely and loyal readers, Tiny Wallet Style is about to blow your mind.

They were not hard. Easy. A cinch.

Can you believe it?? Quick, they were not. Un-messy, nope. But yes. They were not difficult. This may have devastating results on my waistline.

Here goes! Make a batch today and throw some in the freezer. Give them to your co-workers. Or just bake 'em all and invite over all of your neighbors like a crazy person, too!

*Warning: this post is photo-heavy. Beware!

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

1 quart milk (4 cups)

1 c. sugar

1 c. oil (we use vegetable)

2 packets active dry yeast (not rapid rise)

8 c. flour + 1 c. flour, separated

1 heaping tsp. baking powder (a little over the top of the spoon)

1 scant tsp. baking soda (a little under the top of the spoon)

1 heaping tsp. salt

In a sauce pan, stir together milk, sugar and oil. Scald the milk (turn off and remove from heat right before it reaches a boil).

Now let the mixture cool for about an hour. (Note- Don't skip this step! Your yeast will die if the milk mixture is too hot! ) Add in two packets of yeast and stir. Let it hang out for a few minutes.

Now start adding the 8 cups of flour. I do this in my stand mixer with the hook attachment, because I'm lazy.

About halfway there.

That's it! The dough will be slightly wet and tacky, but not sticky. Although it will stick to your fingers, so beware!

Okay, at this point- cover it up and stick it somewhere relatively warm and draft-free. I like to turn on my oven for a minute or two, turn it off and then stick the dough in there. It seems to work well in our freezing cold and drafty kitchen.

Okay. Now the dough should be nice and puffed up. Or, if you're like me, your husband will ask you to make him nachos and you will. You will make him the best nachos he's ever had. Buffalo chicken. Fresh pico. Nom nom nom.

Anyway. Your dough, if you're like me, will look like this:

And your oven...well...

For real. Punch down the dough a little. Add the last cup of flour, a heaping tsp. of baking powder, a scant tsp. of baking soda and a heaping tsp. of salt. Mix throughly.

At this point, you can throw the dough into the fridge, covered tightly if you're not going to use it right away. If you are going to use it, split it in half and roll it into a rectangle on a well-floured counter, like so... (sorry about the shadow, our counter lighting is weird)

Okay. Now mix yourself up some brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon. I eyeball it, but I'd say about 1/4 c. of each sugar and 2 tbsp. of cinnamon should do the trick. Melt yourself some butter (I use a stick for the whole shebang, so if you're only making half of the dough, use half a stick)

Brush the dough with the butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Now roll it up, starting from the bottom edge until you get all the way to the top. Pinch the seams tightly to close.

Put about 8 slices in a buttered 8-inch round pan. We also used a 9x13 pan, since we ran out of round pans. Whatever works!!!

Preheat your oven to 400f while your lovely rolls are rising. We let them rise about 20 minutes on the stove top. Now, throw them into the oven and let 'em bake about 15 minutes. Start checking them at 15 and when they look brown and perfect, they're done.

Dear Lord. I hope people show up tomorrow!!

We'll stick them in the oven in the am to warm them up, then glaze them with The Pioneer Woman's coffee-maple glaze. Oh baby.


  1. [...] to scheme what I would bring to our weekly brunch that we have with neighbors. I’ve conquered cinnamon rolls, gone down the fritata and quiche route before and made an amazing banana french toast. Hmmm. I [...]

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