I have a real weakness for homemade cinnamon rolls! It takes all my willpower not to eat the whole pan full. The smell of warm brioche, with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar is so intoxicating. Since a snow day was in the forecast I went out and got my supplies ready for a day of baking. There’s something special about baking on a cold day while looking out the window at falling snow. When the time finally came to pop these rolls in the oven I was rewarded with such a wonderful aroma. I couldn’t wait to drizzle the glaze over top and taste one. They are so light and buttery with the sweetness of cinnamon and sugar. As far as pastries go, these might be my favorite!
You can make the dough by hand or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment. First start by adding salt, yeast and water together. Let that sit a few minutes for the yeast to activate and bubble up.
Sprinkle all of the cinnamon brown sugar mix over the layer of butter. Gently begin to roll the long side of the dough from the bottom until you have a long roll. Tuck the ends underneath to seal. Slice the rolls with a sharp knife approximately 3/4 inch thick.
Take a small pat of butter and run along the bottom and around the sides of (2) 9 inch round or square bake pans. Place the cut rolls into the pan leaving enough room in between for them to rise and spread out. Prepare the other pan and prepare the rolls as per instructions above. Place both pans in a warm space and cover with a cup towel.
3/4 cup Lukewarm Water
3/4 tablespoons Yeast
3/4 tablespoons Kosher Salt
4 Eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Honey
1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
3 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
Cinnamon Roll Filling
6 tablespoons softened Butter, divided in half**
1 cup Brown Sugar, divided in half**
4 teaspoons Cinnamon, divided in half**
Glaze for Cinnamon Rolls
2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Half and Half
Add the water, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Let the yeast sit for a few minutes to activate and begin to bubble and foam. Add the honey, eggs and softened butter. Stir with a wooden spatula.
Begin to add the flour a little at a time. Stir the flour into the liquid ingredients until it begins to form into a dough. Use your dough hook and mix on low to incorporate all the flour into the dough. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary. The dough will be sticky and wet. Prepare a work space and generously sprinkle with flour. Knead the dough with enough flour to form a round ball. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a cup towel and place in a warm area to rise (approximately 2 – 3 hours).
When dough has doubled in bulk, punch down the dough and using your previous works space knead the dough until it is easy to work with. Divide the dough in half and shape into 2 rectangles. Take one rectangle and roll out to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Microwave 3 tablespoons of butter 30 – 45 seconds stirring after each 15 second interval. Whisk the butter into a spread. In another small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix until well combined. **Use half of the softened butter and cinnamon roll filling for each rectangle of dough.
Spread the softened butter over the rolled dough. Leave 1/2 inch free around the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mix evenly over the softened butter. Gently begin to roll the long side of the dough from the bottom up until you have a long roll. Tuck the ends underneath to seal. Slice the rolls with a sharp knife approximately 3/4 inch thick. Prepare the reserved dough and cinnamon roll filling as instructed above to make another pan of rolls.
Prepare (2) 9 inch round or square baking pans by rubbing a pat of butter on the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Place the cut rolls in the pan leaving a little bit of space around each roll to rise and expand. Prepare the other half of the dough as instructed above. When you have both pans filled with the cinnamon rolls, place in a warm space and cover with a cup towel. Allow to rise and double in bulk. Bake rolls for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
To make glaze: Sift powdered sugar and whisk in the vanilla and half & half. If glaze is too thick, add additional half & half, a tablespoon at a time until you have a desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.