Pastries are something I can’t live without. I keep toying with the idea of trying a gluten-free diet, just giving up wheat, or switching to a low acid diet. I don’t think that will ever happen because I love baked goods too much. Five years living a low carb lifestyle without them was torture enough. Cinnamon rolls are something I make a couple of times a year. We have a diner in town that serves such enormous, soft, gooey homemade cinnamon rolls that my kids, who don’t remember a time without them, have always called it the Cinnamon Roll Restaurant. I have yet to figure out how to duplicate those cinnamon rolls, but I do my best. This is one of many batches that I’ve come up with in an attempt to make the perfect cinnamon roll. They are far from what I am aiming for, but are great freshly iced with a hot cup of coffee.
1 envelope quick rising yeast
4 c. all-purpose flour + 2 to 3 cups for kneading and rolling
1 c. cream (milk can be substituted)
1 whole egg
3 T butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3 T cinnamon
2 T all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter at room temperature
3 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
Milk, added a tsp. at a time until icing reaches desired consistency. Add less for a thick icing, more for a thinner glaze.
Sift together yeast and 4 c. flour in a very large mixing bowl.
Heat cream in a saucepan with sugar and salt. Add butter and warm just until butter melts. Cool to around 108 degrees.
Add vanilla and almond extract. Make a well in the center of the flour/yeast mixture. Pour cream mixture into center and beat together very well into a dough.
Beat in egg. Knead with enough flour to make a smooth elastic dough, 5 to 8 minutes.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Punch down dough, and knead on a lightly floured surface a few times. Roll into a large rectangle, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
Mix together all filling ingredients into a paste, or mix together everything but the butter to make a dry filling. If making a paste, spread over dough. If doing a dry filling, dot dough rectangle with butter and sprinkle on dry ingredients.
Roll dough up from short end of rectangle to get larger cinnamon rolls or from the long side to get thinner rolls, but a greater quantity. Pinch together end into roll to seal edge. Slice into 1 to 2″ slices to make the rolls.
Lay on greased baking sheets with sides touching. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Bake for 30 to 4o minutes depending on how brown you want them. I like them gooey inside and lightly browned.
You can cool them if you want the glaze to stand out on the rolls, or serve them hot, letting the glaze melt and soak in. MMMM!!
Mix together glaze ingredients until smooth.
Spread on each cinnamon roll.
Note: You can use any sweet roll recipe or Danish pastry recipe for these. I have even used white bread dough when I was making bread and decided to throw a few together for dessert. Not as good, but did the trick. You can also add nuts or other spices and fillings to make different versions of sweet rolls.