Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

Not everything around here has been about our future progeny, although that is the vast majority of discussion as of late. Life has also gone on. Our kitchen is well on its way towards being complete, and it is significantly more functional. I'll post an update on that later this week. It is amazing how once a kitchen becomes functional, it also suddenly becomes more useful.

My latest creation occurred as a result of a popular cinnamon roll chain airing commercials. I absolutely love cinnamon rolls, but I try to avoid fast food and artificial preservatives as much as I can. In other words, I knew could make better.

I started out with the sticky bun recipe from the Hermes House Baking cookbook and then tweaked it a little to create cinnamon rolls. I have had this cookbook for years, and I love it. The recipes are easy, but seem a little fancier than your run-of-the-mill baking cookbook. You should check it out. Anyways, without further ado:


2/3 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast (I used 2 1/4 teaspoons of bread machine yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups of flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick of cold butter, cut up into pieces
2 eggs, slightly beaten

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water


1. Warm the milk to lukewarm, combine with yeast and sugar and let sit until frothy, about fifteen minutes.

2. Combine the flour and salt, cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender to the consistency of sand.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour, add the eggs and dump in the yeast mixture.

4. With a wooden spoon, fold the liquid into the dry ingredients until you have a rough dough.

5. Dump the dough onto a floured surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

6. Place the dough in a mixing bowl that is sprayed with cooking spray, cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for two hours, or until doubled in size. I "cheat" by heating my oven to 200 degrees, I turn the oven off when I start kneading. By the time the dough is ready to start rising, the oven is the perfect temperature to serve as a bread proofer. I used to have a hard time getting bread to rise evenly, but this technique works every time!

7. Punch the air out of the dough. Roll the dough on a floured surface to a 12 inch by 18 inch rectangle. I'll be honest, I just sort of pat it flat, the dough is very elastic at this point so rolling pins prove to be more of a pain than an asset.

8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling, spread evenly over the dough.

9. Roll into a tight bread log. Slice into 1 inch slices. Place each slice on a greased cookie sheet. If any of the cinnamon filling falls out during the cutting/transferring to the pan, just spread it on top of the cinnamon buns.

10. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

11. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

12. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, combine the topping ingredients into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Allow to boil, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until the mixture forms a thick syrup. It should coat the back of the spoon. Set the syrup aside to allow to cool/set up while the cinnamon rolls finish baking. By now, your house should smell amazing.

13. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven, they should be golden brown. Top each cinnamon roll with a healthy spoonful or two of the cinnamon caramel topping. I made twelve cinnamon rolls and divided the topping evenly.

As you can probably tell, these babies are very sticky, I recommend a plate and fork. Sit back, enjoy, and revel in the fact that you made something yummy AND you can name every ingredient in it.

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