Cinnamon Rolls

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On Sunday morning of BreadYear Week 6, we woke up late and debated what to do for breakfast. After some debate, Amber decided on cinnamon rolls. I say that she decided because I didn’t think we had time – the dough would have to rise, the various recipes I was checking out seemed very involved, and it was already getting late in the morning.

I ended up going with a combination of recipes, mostly looking for one that didn’t require much rise time. This was a bad idea, I knew it was a bad idea, and now I can explain why.

What do we like about cinnamon rolls? We like them chewy and gooey and sweet. Well, chewy and gooey come from good dough and good dough requires a healthy rise time. You see, dough gets its character from the leavening agent – in this case, yeast – and the time that the yeast has to work its magic. Trying to rush this leads to heavy, thick dough and hard, crunchy rolls.

Anyway, these rolls did rise for a bit so they weren’t inedible… but after about a day they were pretty awful. The first day, however, they were tasty enough to polish off a few. For whatever reason, I decided that white icing was boring and I would spruce it up with some red food coloring and a splash of grenadine syrup. I couldn’t taste the grenadine at all, unfortunately – perhaps it would have come through if I’d skipped the food coloring and used more of the flavorful grenadine.

Cinnamon Rolls

adapted from Pat Myers’s Cinnamon Rolls II


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar


Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts and the milk just begins to bubble. Remove from heat, add water, and let it cool to lukewarm.

Once cooled, combine the sugar, yeast, milk/butter mixture, salt, eggs and 2 cups of flour. Stir well to combine. Mix in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Divide dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a 12×9 inch rectangle. In a bowl, stir together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread each piece with butter and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll up the dough tightly, starting with the edge closest to you and moving away from you.

Cut each roll into 12 slices using a very sharp knife or dental floss. Place rolls onto two 9×13 inch greased baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Drizzle with icing (mix 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1/4 cup milk, more or less sugar depending on your preference for consistency).