Thursday, August 29, 2013

The best cinnamon rolls I've ever had [Recipe]

I have been dying to learn how to make homemade cinnamon rolls.

The best cinnamon rolls I ever remember having, were on beef stew day in the cafeteria at school when I was growing up. 
I've never found a cinnamon roll that has really came close to them.
I tried making the Pioneer Woman's recipe last year. I don't know what happened, 
but it was a total flop :(

I gave up for awhile after that.
Then, in Sunday school someone had made homemade cinnamon rolls and it gave the itch to try again.

I did an Internet search for the best cinnamon rolls ever and I came across THIS 
(Recipe and my notes below.)
I have to admit, when I saw the potato in the recipe, I was pretty skeptical.

Another problem I've always had is getting my dough to rise.
It would rise, but it would never double.

I don't know what the magic in these cinnamon rolls comes from, but they may actually be better than the ones I remember.
This recipe is not hard, but it is somewhat time consuming.
However, a lot of the time is waiting on the dough to rise.
And rise, it did!

If you've ever wanted to learn to make cinnamon rolls, I highly suggest this recipe!
They are perfect in my book!
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 3½ to 4 hours, mostly unattended
*My notes are in purple
1 small potato (about 4 ounces), cut into 1-inch chunks
1½ teaspoons salt
4½ cups flour, plus more for kneading and shaping
1 cup sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast or one ¼-ounce packet active dry yeast
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
Oil or butter for greasing the bowl and pan
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp maple extract)
1. Put the potato in a medium saucepan with ½ teaspoon salt and enough water to cover it by at least 1 inch. Cover the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook until the potato is very tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour, ½ cup of the sugar, the yeast, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
2. Drain the potato, reserving 1¼ cups of the potato-cooking liquid, and put the potato through a ricer (I just used a fork and smooshed it. You are just trying to get baby food consistency.) (Discard the potato skin.) Add ¼ cup (½ stick) of the butter to the reserved potato-cooking liquid and stir until it melts. When the butter mixture cools to 100°F—about the same temperature as the inside of your wrist(I used my candy thermometer and did the exact temp it called for)—add it to the flour mixture along with the riced potato and the egg. Stir with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand until combined.
3. Knead the dough with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand until it feels smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Grease a large bowl (it’s fine to use the same one you mixed the dough in), add the dough, and turn it over to coat it lightly with oil or butter. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, put it in a warm place, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I set my bowl outside because it is very hot and humid. Maybe that was the difference in why I got the dough to rise so much?)
4. Grease a 9- by 13-inch pan(I used two 8-inch round pans) with oil or butter. Punch down the dough, then transfer it to a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into an approximately 8- by 12-inch rectangle(I did this exactly and the dough was still 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. So it will look kinda puffy, not flat.) Spread the remaining ½ cup (1 stick) butter over the surface of the dough(My butter was softened, not melted.) Combine the remaining ½ cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle this mixture evenly over the butter. Starting from one of the long sides, roll up the dough as tightly as possible. Cut the roll into 12 one-inch slices and arrange the slices, cut side up, in the greased pan.
5. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, put it in a warm place, and let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.(Again, I put mine outside to rise.) (At this point you can refrigerate the cinnamon rolls for up to 12 hours or overnight; let them return to room temperature before baking.)
6. Heat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the cinnamon rolls and bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla(and maple extract.) Let the cinnamon rolls cool slightly, then drizzle the icing over them and serve warm.


  1. Potato in cinnamon rolls?? That would have me skeptical too. And you added maple extract? Genius!

    1. Potato obviously works, they were awesome!


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