“Yummy and tasty and good for the mornings,” says my daughter, and that’s the perfect way to describe these cinnamon rolls!
The yeast dough is easy to make, even for someone who may not be used to working with yeast dough. The recipe uses the equivalent of two packets of active dry yeast to shorten the rising time to just 30 minutes. That makes this a great brunch recipe, because you have just enough time after you wake up to prepare the rolls and have them ready for the eager people at the table who have smelled that cinnamon and rushed in to have some. I measure the ingredients and lay them out the night before to save myself time in the morning.
I clipped the recipe from the newspaper years ago. It came from a person named Pat Rising in Lawrenceville, Georgia, who said their father’s parents owned a hotel called the Rising House on New York’s Lake George — and their grandmother’s specialty was these cinnamon rolls.
As my son says, “It’s a great start for a good day.”
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
2 packages (0.25 oz. each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
5 1/4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour, unsifted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cinnamon
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s (icing) sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk. Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter, and mix until melted. Cool to lukewarm.
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add milk mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour, and beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. (The dough may stick to your fingers at first, but as it picks up the flour on the board, it will stick less and less. As you knead, scatter a bit of flour on the board to replace what the dough picks up.)
Grease a large bowl with a small amount of canola oil or cooking spray and place dough inside. Turn the dough to grease the top, then cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Heat the oven to 375F/190C degrees. Melt the remaining butter. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and punch it down to remove air bubbles. Roll it into a rectangle 12×24 inches. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture — all the way to the short sides of the rectangle — and drizzle with melted butter. Roll up jellyroll style into a 24-inch log. Cut into 1 1/2-inch slices and place in a 9×13-inch ungreased baking pan with rolls touching (don’t squeeze them in; just make sure they touch).
Bake 20 minutes. When the rolls are nearly done, mix the confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Pour over the rolls when they come out of the oven and serve immediately.