I'm not a cinnamon roll fan like my family may be, but my love for my five people is bigger than how I feel for the rolls, so I oblige and make them on special occasions such as my daughters 13th birthday or when my kids beg and kiss me the night before to make them come morning. I'll make them for that reason too.
This recipe makes a ginormous amount of cinnamon rolls. I don't know how many the recipe makes exactly, but I do know they fill up at least 4 pans worth, and that's a lot! Now, don't get scared if you're a family of 2. Make the full recipe and freeze the rest. When company comes over, or you find yourself without anything prepared for breakfast, you'll thank yourself when you peek in the freezer and find cinnamon rolls to warm up and frost. But of course, I won't be your bossy sister and tell you what to do. So, cut the recipe in half and you'll still have plenty to eat and then eat again for a snack.
**You will be using another 1/4 cup of melted butter for the inside of the cinnamon rolls, so go ahead and melt a full stick of butter while you are at it, to save yourself the hassle of sighing at me and wondering why I didn't tell you this in the beginning of the recipe. :)
In a mixing bowl add the water, yeast, salt, sugar and 1/4 cup of melted butter/oil. Mix lightly together and let set for 5 minutes.
10 1/2 cups of flour - you can do a mixture of whole wheat and white if you desire, just don't use 100% whole wheat in this recipe, it'll make the cinnamon rolls a little dry.
Mix until it becomes a soft dough, it shouldn't take long. Adding the flour cup by cup while mixing.
Plop it out with oiled or floured hands and let set on the counter for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
In a small bowl add:
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 cup of brown or white sugar
1. Cut the dough in half and set the one half aside. Roll into a large rectangle, not too thin, but just right. You'll get the feeling. It'll be at least 12" in length and width, probably more. Brush the other 1/4 cup of melted butter or oil all over the dough, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture. Be sure not to use all of the cinnamon sugar mixture and butter because you'll need it for the other half.
2. Roll up the dough carefully, you'll get the hang of it if you haven't done it before. Now here's a secret. Cut the rolls smaller than you think you should. This recipe has a lot of yeast therefore they will rise quite large. And hey, if you want big cinnamon rolls, make them bigger than you think you should! Life is short, friends.
3. Place the rolls slightly touching each other in greased pans. I use an assortment of 9x13 pans and round pie pans. You can use jelly roll pans too. They are the large pans with a slight edge on the side, though I do like having a little wiggle room with my pans come time to pour on the frosting.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 at this time. It'll give you a few minutes for the rolls to rest and rise a tad before going into the oven.
Bake for 12-15 minutes
Here are two different frosting variations:
Brown sugar glaze:
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract or almond extract
Place ingredients in a saucepan and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Pour on cinnamon rolls, fresh out of the oven. This is the made-up recipe I use, because I find myself without powdered sugar in the cupboard nearly every time I make cinnamon rolls. It's still ooey-gooey and so good!
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2-4 T. milk
Mix together with a fork in a bowl. Pour on cinnamon rolls, fresh out of the oven.
To freeze leftover cinnamon rolls, let cool completely, and place into a ziploc bag, preferably covered with parchment paper for extra freezer protection. Freeze for up to a month.
When company arrives, re-heat gently in the oven and frost or leave unfrosted and serve with a big pat of butter. Make a good cup of coffee and impress everyone, and pat yourself on the back for being unexpectedly prepared!