When I was growing up I was lucky to spend a lot of time with my grandparents! My mom had a close relationship with my dad’s parents even after the divorce and so they were very involved in my life. Every summer I would spend a couple weeks staying with them and that meant I spent a LOT of time in the kitchen next to my Grandpa as he would bake some amazing things.
His baked goods are still spoken of with utter reverence even 10+ years after his passing. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if part of the reason my mom sent me visit them all the time was to bring back baked goods!
One of my absolute favorite ones to watch him make was cinnamon rolls. It was a thing of magic to me! I loved watching everything come together into a dough. I loved that I was the one who got to punch down the dough when it was ready. I loved that I got to eat one of the ends off the dough (yes I know that it’s super unsafe or whatever, seriously how did any of us survive our childhoods). And I LOVED getting to lick the spoon after he finished icing them.
I’m not nearly as awesome in the kitchen as my Grandpa was, but I have found a pretty decent cinnamon roll recipe that makes me quite happy. For the longest time I struggled with dough. It seemed that 1/3 of my attempts would be amazing. 1/3 would be just meh. And the last 1/3 would be utter failure.
So when my parents went to the Dominican for my mom’s 50th birthday I was pretty excited to find the bread machine in the basement. I swear my mom hasn’t used it in the last 14 years she lived in that house so I liberated it for myself. 😉 Best. Decision. Ever!
Now I’ve got a consistent rising dough, I’ve been making all of our bread from scratch, and oh man the cinnamon rolls! I like to just make the dough in the machine and then bake it in the oven, but I won’t judge if you do the whole thing in the machine.
If you don’t have a bread machine you can use whatever dough recipe you prefer. Because of the way I was raised I use the same recipe for bread, cinnamon rolls, and these amazing things called butter buns (which I will share in the future).
After your dough has raised punch it down (still my favorite part) and roll it out! You’re going to want the dough to be an even thickness and in a rectangular shape, I generally roll it out until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle your melted butter over the dough and spread it with a pastry brush. In a separate bowl combine the sugars and cinnamon and then spread it out over the dough. I like to do a little extra of cinnamon over it then because I LOVE cinnamon.
You’re going to want to leave an edge clear on the dough so that when you roll it up you’ve got something you can pinch together to seal the rolls. Then use a sharp knife to cut dough into each sections. I usually cut the middle first, then the middle of each half and so on until I have them at the right width. If you like really big rolls don’t cut as many. I like to cut mine to about 1.5 inches.
Grease your baking dish (I just use a stick of butter) and then put the rolls in there. You don’t want to stuff them in because they will rise again, so make sure there is some space. Otherwise the middles will push up and that’s not as much fun. Cover with a clean towel and I usually set them on top of my oven as it is pre-heating.
Let them sit for at least 1 hour, longer if possible, and they should be plumped up! Now it’s time to bake, put them in the 350 oven and don’t forget to set a timer (I’m terrible at that part) my oven tends to run warm so it takes about 25-30 minutes for mine to be done.
Pull them out when they’re a light golden brown and then it’s time for my favorite part….ICING! Seriously this is what makes or breaks a good cinnamon roll in my family. I make a mixture of powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and enough milk to thin to the right consistency. It’s simple and delicious!
Then it’s time to devour them!! I love these rolls because the dough isn’t overly sweet, because the filling and icing are basically pure sugar I like that the dough is a little more savory. But if you prefer a sweeter dough feel free to mix it up with your favorite! If you don’t have a bread machine you can still use the same recipe but just put it in your stand mixer and let it go with the dough hook for a LONG time! You can’t over knead this dough I promise.
- 3 tbsp oil (or melted butter)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tbsp yeast (regular)
- 1/3 cup butter (melted)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Milk to thin
- Put all of the ingredients for your dough into the bread machine and use the dough setting.
- Let the dough rise in a clean bowl for at least 1-2 hours (longer if possible)
- Punch it down and roll it out until it is 1/4 in thick and in a rectangular shape.
- Drizzle melted butter and spread it out with a pastry brush.
- Cover with sugar mixture.
- Roll up and pinch edges shut.
- Cut into 1 inch sections
- Grease baking dish and put rolls in.
- Cover with clean cloth and let rise at least 1 hour.
- Bake in over at 350 for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown.
- In large bowl mix powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla.
- Thin with milk until it's at your desired consistency