Don’t get me wrong… I really love these Cinnamon Rolls- they smell so good baking and they taste even better, and in the end, I actually enjoy making them. But they are a lot of work, you have to get up early if you want them for breakfast, and I always make a BIG mess. I guess it goes to show: some of best things in life come from hard work.
My recipe comes from Lehi Roller Mills in Lehi, Utah. It is where I buy all my white flour and my wheat. I really don’t know why, but their flour makes everything I bake taste better. Their motto is “the best flour comes from the best wheat.” Take a look around your hometown and find out if you can buy good local flour. Buying local products is better for the environment and good for your local economy.
Over the years I’ve tried several different Cinnamon Roll recipes and this is my favorite.
1. Mix together 5 cups warm water, 1 cup powdered milk and 1 1/2 cups white sugar. Add 4 Tbsp. yeast and let activate, about 10 minutes. (On occasion, I haven’t had powdered milk– I just reduced the water by 1 cup and added 1 cup of warm milk.)
2. Add 4 room temperature eggs and 7 cups of flour (I use Lehi Roller Mill Turkey Strong Baking Flour). Stir or beat until thoroughly mixed. It should resemble cake batter.
3. Let it rise until bubbly or it rises to the top of the bowl. (about 10- 15 minutes)
4. Add 4 tsp. salt, 1 cup oil (I use canola), and the remaining 5- 8 cups of flour. How much flour you need to add is dependent on how the dough feels. It should be somewhat sticky, but manageable. I add the flour as the mixer is going and as I see the dough start to pull away from the sides of the bowl, I stop the mixer and check. Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes.
5. Grease your clean counter with Butter Flavored Crisco, (or I’ve used butter or regular Crisco also) and turn the dough onto the counter. As you can see, I have granite countertops, which is terrible for breads, it is always cold! One trick I use is to put a hot pan on the area where I will be working the dough. It warms up the granite and therefore keeps the dough warm too. I also put a little grease on my hands and rolling pin. Don’t be tempted to use flour instead of Crisco unless you want heavy, tough rolls.
7. If you are on a diet you might want to pretend you didn’t hear the next few parts… Spread 1 cube of softened butter over the dough.
8. Mix 1 cup sugar with 3 Tbsp. cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the top.
9. Crumble 1 -2 cups brown sugar evenly over the top. (That’s it, Phew…what is it that they say, “From the lips to the hips was never so sweet!”)
10. Carefully roll out width-wise, so you have one long roll. Be careful not to stretch the dough as you roll.
11. The recipe says to use a knife to cut the each roll 3/4 inch thick… But I use a piece of heavy thread or you can use dental floss. Slip the thread under the roll, measuring about 3/4 inch. Wrap the thread around the roll, crisscross and pull both ends. It will cut right through the roll without squashing the dough.
12. Place rolls on large cookie sheet (baker’s half sheet) sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. This recipe makes 3 cookie sheets, 12 rolls to a sheet.
13. Cover rolls with a clean dish towel and let rise until just touching on all sides.
14. Recipe says bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes but my oven takes 20-22. Test doneness by gently pressing down on center of a roll and if it springs back, without sinking, they are done. I always test a roll in the center of the sheet.
15. While they are baking make the frosting. In a large bowl combine 1 cube of softened butter, an 8 oz. box cream cheese, 1/2 cup milk, 1 Tbsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup brown sugar and enough powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.
17. This one’s all mine! The roll is light and the texture is perfect. They are just mouthwatering.
This recipe makes a lot of rolls and I do cut it in half sometimes. My friend Cherie’ taught me that you can freeze what you aren’t going to eat, just don’t frost them. Place them in gallon freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. When you want to eat them, set them out on the counter to thaw. After they are thawed, you can put them back on a cookie sheet and pop them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes until they are warmed. Take them out and frost.
Making Cinnamon Rolls from scratch in so inexpensive… compare these to one Cinnabon that costs almost $4. It costs $4 dollars or less to make 36 homemade rolls and they taste even better than a Cinnabon. Next time you have a little time on your hands and want to treat the family (or yourself) make these Cinnamon Rolls.
Here’s the official recipe:
Lorna’s Cinnamon Rolls – (From Lehi Roller Mill, contributed by Lorna Jenkins of Alpine, Utah– Lorna also happens to be an old family friend. It was a pleasant surprise when I picked up the recipe at the Mill and saw it came from her.)
5 cups hot water (She says hot, but not too hot or you will kill the yeast)
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup powdered milk
4 Tbsp. yeast
4 Eggs (at room temperature)
12-15 cups flour (I use Lehi Roller Mill Turkey Strong Baking Flour)
4 tsp. salt
1 cup oil
Combine hot water, sugar, powdered milk, and yeast in very large bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add eggs and 7 cups of flour. Stir or beat until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Let rest until bubbly or it raises to top of the bowl (10-15 minutes). Add salt, oil, and remaining flour. Knead for 10-12 minutes. Dough should be a little sticky, but manageable.
To prevent from sticking spread Butter-Flavored Crisco on the counter (I have used butter and regular Crisco as well) Do not use flour in place of the Crisco. More flour will make the cinnamon rolls too heavy. Roll out dough on the counter in a rectangle about ½ inch thick, 14 inches wide and 30 inches long. Spread with one cube (1/2 cup) butter, 1 cup sugar mixed with 3 Tbsp. cinnamon, and 1-2 cups brown sugar crumbled. Carefully roll up into long roll trying not to stretch the dough. Cut the rolls about ¾ thick with a sharp knife, using a gentle sawing motion. Place on a greased cookie sheet (bakers half sheet) one dozen per sheet. (Lorna bakes them on parchment paper sprayed with Pam. I bake them straight on the cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and no parchment, and they come out great.) The recipe fills 3 large cookie sheets (3 dozen rolls). Let them raise until they are touching on all sides. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown on top. Approximately 15-18 minutes. (My oven takes 20-22 minutes.) Test doneness by gently pressing down on center of a roll. If it springs back without sinking, they are done.
Frost with favorite frosting as soon as they come out of oven. Lorna (and I) use 1 cube softened butter, an 8 oz. box of cream cheese, ½ cup milk, 1 Tbsp, vanilla, and enough powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency. (I also add ½ cup brown sugar.)
Lorna makes her Cinnamon Rolls in a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine (like me.) But I’m sure you can make them by hand or in a Kitchenaid (I haven’t tried either and the only thing I’m not sure of is capacity in the Kitchenaid. If you are worried you can always cut the recipe in half.)