Better than the best bakery’s cinnamon rolls
September 4, 2012 § 4 Comments
We subscribe to Grit Magazine. When we first started receiving this farming magazine, we weren’t sure what to think about it, because the articles didn’t seem very relevant to us. However, the longer we live in this farmhouse the more we find ourselves reading and enjoying every issue.
Grit’s recent recipe (September/October issue) for cinnamon rolls was particularly good, although we did modify it to substitute butter for the lard specified by the magazine (I just can’t bring myself to cook with lard). We made a few other changes as well, including adding pecans.
These cinnamon rolls are very tasty, and better than any you’ll find in the very best bakeries. But, they do take a lot of effort time-wise, and if you’re not up to it, then go ahead and buy yours from the bakery. I think if you want these for breakfast, you’ll have to start the day before, and let the final rising occur in the refrigerator overnight.
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups lukewarm water
8 ½ to 9 ½ cups all purpose flour, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
½ cup cold water
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons milk (or buttermilk)
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, salt, lukewarm water and 4 cups of the flour. Stir together thoroughly; Dough will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours.
In a separate large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs and the ½ cup cold water. Add 2 cups of flour, one cup at a time stirring well after each addition. Pour into the yeast flour mixture. Use a mixer (I used a heavy wooden spoon and then my hands) to mix together. Add enough additional flour (up to 2 ½ cups) to make a dough the consistency of bread dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours until doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a floured board, and knead until soft and pliable, about 10 minutes, adding up to 1 cup additional flour.
Roll the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle, about 1/3 an inch thick. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to rub the ½ cup softened butter onto the dough. Stir together the ¾ cup brown sugar and the 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle over the butter. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Start with the longest side of the dough, and roll like a jellyroll, pinching the edges with your fingertips as you roll. Moisten the top edge with water to seal.
Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 – 14 equal slices. Place the slices close together into two large greased 13 by 9 inch glass baking pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool in their pan for 5 minutes before icing. .
To make the icing, place the cream cheese, milk, and half the sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixed until smooth and free of lumps. Beat in remaining sugar and vanilla. Use a tablespoon to drizzle the icing over the rolls.