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Fear and Cinnamon Rolls

Okay everyone, let’s start tackling some of our kitchen fears. A while back I asked you to share some information with me in the form of the Lottie + Doof Food Quiz (If you haven’t already completed the quiz, go for it! [1]). One of the kitchen fears that came up most often was YEAST. I think there is a general misconception that working with yeast is difficult and I know many of you automatically dismiss recipes if they contain the words “let rise”. I used to be one of you! The truth is that yeast doughs are as easy as any other and just require a little extra time and patience.

It is time to get over your aversion of recipes requiring kneading and rising. This recipe for cinnamon rolls is the perfect place to start. The recipe is easy to follow and each step works as the recipe says it will.

Your reward for tackling your fears will be a pan of superb cinnamon rolls topped with a tangy and sweet cream cheese glaze. As you enjoy one, still warm from the oven, you will wonder what all of the fuss was all about. And hopefully, you’ll start trying all sorts of new breads and pastries.

Cinnamon Rolls (from Molly Wizenberg [2] of Orangette [3])




Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes.  Form into ball.

Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.

Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven and cut remaining dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices.

Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray (I used an 8-inch square and a 9-inch round- use whatever you have). Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes, or even longer.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

***These are best served the day they are made, but honestly I was happy with them the next day too.