I sort of get on these quests for the holy grail of whatever recipe. Please tell me I'm not the only one. The cinnamon roll holy grail recipe quest is not yet ended, but this one is definitely a top contender. First I tried out Peter Reinhart's Cinnamon Rolls, and they were very good. They were a more substantial bread than these were, which is why my quest continued. The cinnamon roll recipe has to be one of the absolute most popular Pioneer Woman recipes, and PW and others have created a lot of great variations. This recipe makes a flip ton, and Pioneer Woman was right, if you give these as gifts, the recipients will want you to make them again. This could be my fault, but they spread out/rose more than I'd expect the Holy Grail Recipe to do, which is why my quest continues. Still, if I stopped here, I'd likely not be disappointed.
|The dough- all rolled into a long rectangle.|
|The mess after.|
This recipe is simple, and I halved the recipe because of its magnitude. I still got something like 4-5 pans of cinnamon rolls. Sometimes playing with baking ratios, even halving things, can mess with it, so as I said, I could be to blame for the bread to filling ratio not being exactly what I want. Either way, do try this. Regardless of my ratio comment, these are wonderful. Especially the topping. The topping is oh-so-good and to die for. One good thing is that you can break the whole project up into stages, making for less to do on the day you want to serve them. Serve these with a nice cup of coffee. Or another cinnamon roll.
I am posting the halved recipe, as I made it. Visit PW's website- the recipe title is the link- for her full recipe, beautiful step-by-step photos, and variations.
PW Cinnamon Rolls (original recipe)
from Pioneer Woman
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets (about 2 tsp yeast)
4 cups (Plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1/2 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
1 cup Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
1 box (4 cups) Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/4 cup Milk
2 Tb Melted Butter
2 Tb Brewed Coffee
Dash teaspoon Salt
For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.
Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.