This weekend was a major cooking weekend for me. I had my family over for Easter dinner, which was the first time that I hosted a holiday, and in addition to that, I baked up two things that are definitely not in my comfort zone! On a whim Saturday afternoon, I decided that I wanted to make my Grandma’s famous (they have been published!) dinner rolls. As I have mentioned here before, yeast has not always been my friend. In addition to the dinner rolls, I got the idea in my head that we NEEDED cinnamon rolls for Easter breakfast…I don’t know why I was so determined to make these, but I am so glad I did!
Before I even share the recipe, I need to tell you that I made a major rookie mistake when making these. I did not read through the entire recipe first. Usually when baking, the dough requires 2 raises. These cinnamon rolls required 3! Since I was so set on making these and it was already 10 o’clock at night and I had the dough already rising for the first time, I decided to keep going with it…which meant I was not going to get any sleep! Oh well…lesson learned.
So let me tell you about these classic cinnamon rolls…the dough is soft and tender and oh so perfect. These blow store bought rolls out of the water and were honestly the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had. I am a devout CinnaBon fan, and have to say, that these were even better! They do not have the cream cheese frosting, but I am sure that the addition of that would make these even better! I wanted to whip up some frosting, but was so tired that I went with the glaze, which was great as well.
While these look complicated, I truly think even a beginner baker could handle these! Give these a try for your next brunch, breakfast, or whenever you just need something super delicious and decadent!
1 1/4 -ounce packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form into a ball and return to the bowl. Lightly butter a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it directly on the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 batch Basic Sweet-Roll Dough
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the rolls and bake until they spring back when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan. (You can freeze the baked rolls for up to 2 weeks. Cool completely before freezing, then thaw, warm up and glaze before serving.)
Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, milk, vanilla and salt in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls.