I’m currently sitting on a stockpile of cinnamon rolls.
It’s true. They’re hanging out in a bag in the bottom drawer of my freezer, and every third morning or so, I break into it and enjoy one with some butter and tea. It’s quite the treat.
The best part is that I made them myself. That’s right—I made the dough, rolled it out, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar and lived to tell about it. The result is super wholesome, relatively nutritious (75% whole wheat) pillowy cinnamon rolls that freeze well and can be reheated in a toaster oven…because you deserve a nice breakfast even on a weekday.
You can do it, too. Just beware that yeast is involved, so you’ll need a few hours of prep time. Here’s how (see full ingredients list at the end of post):
Prepare the dough: To start, heat butter and milk in a saucepan and set aside. Next, mix white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour, water, yeast, sugar and eggs together at low speed using your paddle attachment. Now add the milk and butter mixture, salt, and the rest of the whole wheat flour. Don’t stop until it’s well blended.
If you have a kneading hook, now’s the time to use it. Start kneading, adding more flour (verrrrry slowly and in tiny amounts) if needed. The goal is to get a big ball of dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixing bowl. Same goes if you’re kneading by hand. You want it to be moist but not sloppy. It should take about 10 minutes.
Once you get it right, transfer the ball into a large, oiled metal bowl. Cover with a towel, and put it in a warmish place.
It should grow in about 2 hours. Once it has, take it out and roll it onto a floured surface. I just used my kitchen counter. I also didn’t have a rolling pin, so I used a tall drinking glass, which totally worked. Shape it into a rectangle with about 1/4 inch thickness.
Fill it up: Before you do anything, preheat the oven to 350. Now, let the fun begin. Take your cinnamon and brown sugar and mix it up in a bowl. Then spread it all over the surface of the dough, leaving about a quarter inch border. Drop the raisins, too.
Roll it up: Starting at one of the corners, roll up your rectangle. You’ll want to make it tight, otherwise cutting it is a pain and a half. When you get to the end, dab some water on the boarder to help “glue” it to together. I had to unroll and start all over, so there’s no shame if you muck it up on your first try.
Slice ‘em up: Grab your sharpest knife and begin slicing. I was able to divide mine into about 12 pieces. The ends are going to be oddly shaped and smaller than the rest, but I don’t know how to remedy that problem.
Bake those rolls: First of all, congratulate yourself for getting this far; it’s been a long road. Now, spray your baking pan with some cooking spray or butter it up, and place your rolls so that they’re close together. Bake for 30 minutes.
And you’re done. Butter those suckers, or make an icing. Check out 6 in the Morning blog (I adapted her recipe) for a great cream cheese icing recipe.
Here’s what you need:
For the dough:
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted butter
1/2 cup warm water
1 packet of fast rising yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg plus 2 yolks
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
For the filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 cup of raisins