Friday, May 8, 2015

Easy (but not quick) Cinnamon Rolls

We arrived back from California on Monday. By Wednesday, I noticed the can of storebought cinnamon rolls in my fridge (btw, Aldi has THE BEST) was approaching expiration.

Cinnamon rolls on Wednesday morning it was. Benjamin wasn't complaining and let's be honest, me neither! We had leftover rolls on Thursday for breakfast as well.

Today's Friday. Benjamin distinctly told me he wanted "roller coasters" for breakfast. Cutest thing. How could I not deliver?

I told him we could go to the store if he really wanted some badly (knowing he would never willingly go there!). He told me I could go, like alone. Not in time for breakfast, but I decided to make some of my own.

I set the kids up with Greek yogurt frozen pops (post breakfast) and flubber on the deck and went at it. I used the Minimalist Baker's recipe. Sure, easy, but not quick. And messy. But I expected no less, having made rolls once before while we were living in Germany (they were terrible and I blame the vanilla tasting like perfume).

So just in time for lunch (ha!), I had these homemade rolls fresh and ready. Breakfast is made for the weekend! These were also made vegan by using Country Crock (which I buy because it's calcium added for my non-milk drinking kiddos) and almond milk. This was actually the recipe design to be vegan, but it wasn't my intention to keep it that way... just so happened those were the ingredients I had on hand. I suppose I could've used regular butter which I also have in abundant amounts, but you can't tell the difference.

If you're new to baking, a huge tip is to buy your yeast at Costco. It's less than $5 and 2 pounds worth. That's A LOT of yeast. Yeast in the grocery store is insanely expensive. I keep this in the freezer and allow it to reach room temp before activating it. It will last you years. Just 2 1/4t is equal to a packet you buy at the grocery store. And it costs you pennies. I used it to whip up these cinnamon rolls and pizza dough for tonight's dinner.

I always put my rolls on a cookie sheet instead of in a tight-fitting dish. They look cuter all together in harmony, but I find that they cook quicker and more evenly without any soggy ones in the center to worry about. Homemade ones unravel a bit, but stick them near the edge and you're good to go. A good pinch will do the trick if you leave the dough a little sticky. Plus, they end up looking better when you remove them for plating because they don't pull apart or stick to one another.

Worthy of praise, these "roller coasters."
                       



                           

                           

Recipe (with few modifications) from Minimalist Baker
Ingredients
2 1/4t active dry yeast
1c milk
1/2c butter, divided
1/4t salt
1/4c + 1T sugar, divided
3c flour
Cinnamon (I don't measure that!)

Steps
1. In a large microwaveable bowl, warm butter and milk until butter is melted but not boiling (don't kill the yeast!).
2. Sprinkle on yeast and let it activate for 10min or until frothy looking. Sprinkle on 1T sugar and salt.
3. Add flour slowly. I use a fork to stir. Once mixed, mix with hands and knead just a bit to get it into a nice, medium-sticky ball. Coat the ball with a little oil. I used Grapeseed. Leave the ball in the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 1 hr.
4. Roll dough into a large rectangle onto floured surface and pour on 3T melted butter, sprinkle 1/4c sugar and liberally sprinkle cinnamon to your liking. I just sprinkle straight out of the spice container. My husband told me once you can never have too much cinnamon. While I disagree, cinnamon rolls would be the place to be generous with it.
5. Roll the dough somewhat snug, seam down into a big log. Use baker's twine or a serrated knife to cut about 1-2 inch rolls. Place them on a well buttered cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees until slightly browned (check often), about 12 minutes... at least for me.
7. If you want icing (of course you do), add about 1/4c powdered sugar to a bowl and just a splash of milk. Stir and top on warm rolls. If the icing is too thin, add more sugar. If too thick, add a hint more milk. You can add a bit of vanilla if you'd like, too.

3 comments:

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I'm assuming you made icing. Man,those look amazing. Never made them before, but now I'm drooling.

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

yum.

I'll take these in July! ;)

A Few Good Eggs said... [Reply to comment]

Homemade cinnamon rolls are SO good!