Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup Whole Milk
2 envelopes Active Dry Yeast
½ cup plus pinch Sugar
½ lb. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
1 tsp. plus more fro seasoning Salt
2 large Fresh Eggs
4¼ cups All-Purpose Flour (sifted)
½ cup (packed) Dark Brown Sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 cup Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tbsp. Half & Half
In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave milk on high in 30 second bursts until warm but not hot. Stir in yeast and pinch of sugar and let stand 5 minutes until foamy. In a large mixing bowl (stand mixer works best) using the paddle attachment, beat one stick of butter with ½ cup of sugar and tsp. of salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time until blended. Add 2 cups of flour and beat on low speed until incorporated. Beat in warm milk mixture, scraping in yeast that has settled in the bottom of bowl. Now switch to the dough hook. Gradually add the remaining flour and beat at medium speed until a soft sticky dough forms (about 5 minutes). Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Cut four 15-inch long sheets of wax paper. When ready, turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and divide into quarters. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll the dough to a 14x7 inch rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Roll dough around a rolling pin and unroll onto a sheet of wax paper. Repeat the process with remaining 3 pieces. Place dough on sheet pans and freeze for 15 minutes (well chilled but still pliable). During this time, blend remaining butter with the brown sugar, 1 tbsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Now evenly spread ¼ of cinnamon butter mixture on a sheet of dough. Trim edges to form a 12x6 inch rectangle. Working from the long side, tightly roll up the dough. Repeat process with remaining dough and then return to freezer for about 20 minutes or until very cold. Butter a 10 inch springform pan. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces (about 48 total) and place cut side up in pan. Start on the outside and work your way around the pan ending in the center. Push together to get them all in. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise for 1 hour in a warm place. Remove plastic wrap and place in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes. Test with an instant read thermometer in the center looking for 180 degrees. While rolls are baking, mix the confectioner's sugar, half & half and remaining 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove rolls from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Run a knife around inside rim of pan to loosen. Release springform pan and remove ring. Slide rolls onto a plate and drizzle with the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: You could add a ½ cup of filling to cinnamon butter mixture if desired. Try a ¼ cup each of chopped nuts (pecan or walnut) and raisins. Or just do one of the ingredients.
Note: Unbaked rolls can be raised overnight in refrigerator and baked next morning. Just allow dough to come to room temperature first. Baked rolls can also be left overnight. Just cover with plastic wrap and leave set out at room temperature.
Note: I'd leave the rolls in one big round to serve for a better presentation. Let everyone just pull their own serving off the big round.
Ideas for Future Efforts