Recipe borrowed lovingly from an awesome individual.
4 1/2 – 5 C (unbleached/organic, if doable) flour
4 t active dry yeast (2 packages)
3/4 C milk
1/2 C water
1/2 C vegetable shortening (part butter — also, I use Spectrum’s non-hydrogenated shortening — it works very well)
1/2 C sugar (or rapadura, or ecocrystals, or turbinado)
1 t salt
2 eggs, room temperature
Measure 1 3/4 C flour into yr large mixer bowl. Add yeast and blend. Measure milk, water, shortening, sugar, and salt into saucepan. Blend. Heat until warm (about 120-130 degrees F).
Pour into flour/yeast mixture. Add eggs. Beat 30 seconds with electric mixer at low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stop mixer.
Gradually stir in more flour (by hand) to make a soft dough. It will be rather sticky. Knead on lightly floured board or counter until nice an’ smooth, about 5-10 minutes (it’s good exercise!!). Cover with bowl or pan and let rest for 20 minutes.
Shape as desired. Here’s what I do: I cut the hunk of dough in half, roll out one of the halves until it’s flat and rectangular and large, brush it with butter, sprinkle it with a cinnamon/sugar mixture, add raisins (sometimes), and roll it up. Then I cut off the ends and cut the rest into 1″ wide slices. They usually fit nicely into 2 9″ greased cake pans. Then I put them in a warm oven (I usually warm it to 200 degrees for a few minutes, then turn it off) with a pan of hot water under them and a foil tent over them and let them rise for 40 minutes, or until doubled.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. You can ice these with powdered sugar icing (I usually do) after they’ve cooled off, but believe me when I tell you that they’re wonderful just plain and warm outta the oven. Cool them on a rack. When they’re cool, you can wrap them in foil, and freeze. Just warm them in a 250 oven for about 45 minutes and oooh boy, it’s like you just made ‘em.
Enjoy them — the recipe is from a cookbook called Homemade Bread, published by the Farm Journal people in 1969.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbl of milk
1 tsp of vanilla
Add milk and powdered sugar to get the glaze to the consistency that you desire.
What did I learn?
My dad made cinnamon rolls for us when we were kids so every now and then the thought of making them myself would pop through my brain and then disappear. I had never made anything using yeast before so I was a little nervous about how these rolls would turn out. It was much easier than I expected and I learned that working with yeast was not as terrifying as I thought. I mixed everything by hand and kneaded the dough by hand as well. As you can see in the photo above, my pan was a little crowded so I will put less in the pan next time and measure my strips of cinnamon dough a little better. Overall, I was very pleased.