No-fail cool-rise sweet dough: Easy as... cinnamon rolls

Mar 25, 2006

The Bottom Line This goof-proof recipe will make delicious morning rolls that you can fill with a variety of fillings for a breakfast treat.

I'm not big on sweets. I'm not crazy about cinnamon. I can't stand sweets in the morning. I'm especially not wild about cinnamon sweets in the morning.

So no one was more surprised than I was when I took a bite out of this delectable cinnamon roll and nearly swooned. I was at a cooking demonstration and took a small bit of everything produced, as much to be polite as anything else. The cinnamon rolls looked oozy-sweet and I mentally braced myself for that rush of all-I-can-taste-is-sweet that usually accompanies breakfast sweets. Well, it was sweet, all right, but also delicious.

The demonstrator was a middle-school Home Ec teacher who developed this recipe because she needed an easy, appealing, fool-proof one that her 6th graders couldn't mess up. As she said more than once, this is a terrifically forgiving recipe; nothing the kids did to screw it up ever made any difference. It rises in the fridge, instead of in a warm spot. You can let it rise for anywhere from two hours to 48 hours, or even not at all, as the demonstrator did. You can play with the fillings. You can substitute oil for half the butter. You can over-knead it. (Can you imagine the pummeling a gaggle of 6th-graders could administer to one poor lump of dough???) You can abuse it and neglect it, and it still comes out great. And you can use whatever kind of filling you want. That sounds like my kind of recipe, so I'm passing it on to you.

It's good. It really is.



3 c. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) sweet butter, softened
3/4 c. hot tap water
1 egg
cooking oil (not olive)

Cinnamon Filling
2 T. sweet butter, softened or melted
3/4 c. granulated or brown sugar
1-1/2 t. cinnamon
1/3 c. raisins
lemon or orange zest, optional

1 c. sifted confectioner's sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
3 - 4 t. milk or orange juice


Combine 1 c. flour, dry yeast, sugar, and salt in a the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir well to blend.

Add softened butter and beat well.

Add hot water.

Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Add the egg and 1/2 cup more flour.

Beat at high speed for another minute, or until thick and elastic.

Gradually stir in more flour. Use just enough to make a soft dough ball.

Turn dough onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth, elastic, and not sticky. If using the dough hook on a stand mixer, beat for about 6 minutes.

Cover with waxed paper and a towel and let rest for 15 - 20 minutes. Punch down.

Shape as desired into coffeecake or rolls. For cinnamon rolls, pat and roll into an 8" x 18" rectangle.

Combine filling ingredients and spread over dough.

Roll from short end, pushing the bottom edge of the roll into the unrolled sheet with each turn so it doesn't unroll later.

Pinch and smooth seam to seal.

Run a length of thread or fishing line under the roll, bring the ends up, swap hands, and pinch the roll into two halves. Cut each half again and again until you have 1-1/2" slices.

Put on greased pan, cut side up.

Brush surface with oil.

Cover loosely with waxed paper and plastic wrap.

Refrigerate 2 - 48 hours. (During the demonstration, she skipped this part.)

Remove from fridge, uncover, and let stand 10 minutes while oven heats to 375*.

Bake on lower center rack for 30 minutes or until done.

Remove from oven and cool before drizzling with icing.

Icing: Combine ingredients in a zip-lock sandwich bag. Squeeze the air out, seal the bag, and knead to mix the ingredients. Snip off one corner and use the bag like a pastry bag to drizzle the icing over the warm rolls.


See? I told you!

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