Nate had treat day last week. He asked if I would whip him up some of my Grandma's homemade cinnamon rolls. Can I keep a pan for myself? If so, yes!!!
I have finally mastered Grandma's rolls. Okay, I still have some appearance issues to work out but the flavor is spot on. You know how some things just never taste quite as good as Grandma's. These rolls were one of those things but I think I finally have it. It only took me like 10 years of trying. These rolls may take some practice but I have lots of pointers for you that might lessen your learning curve.
These rolls are legendary back home. I grew up in the same area as my parents. A few of my teachers were also my parents' teachers. They quite often mentioned Grandma's rolls. How's that for leaving an impression? My dad thinks that's the only way he passed history. Me too, Dad. Me too.
Now for the legend-wait-for-it-dary recipe.
Place 1/2 cup warm water (not hot or you'll murder your yeast) into a measuring bowl. Add 2 packages active dry yeast, stirring gently to dissolve. (Make sure this gets nice and yeast bubbly before continuing. You can add a little sugar if your yeast doesn't appear to be cooperating.)
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (I used almond milk because we generally don't have cow milk in our house.)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup soft shortening (or ole if you're grandma)
- 3-5 cups flour
Mix with spoon until smooth. Add enough flour to handle easily. This is the key step to delicious rolls. You want to barely be able to handle it. As in it's still pretty sticky. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
Round up in a greased bowl, greased side up. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 1/2 hours). I place mine on top of a heating pad to help it rise. I'm patient. Can you tell?
Punch down; let rise again until almost double (about 30 more minutes).
Roll dough into oblong, 15x9". Spread with 2-4 tbsp softened butter and sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and 4 tsp cinnamon.
Roll up tightly, beginning at the wide side. Seal well by pinching edges of roll together. Stretch roll slightly to even.
Cut roll into 1" slices. Place a little apart (more than shown below. I was conserving disposable pans.) into greased pans (13x9" works great!). (You can freeze the dough at this point until you're ready to use it. If you're good at planning ahead.)
Cover and let rise until double in bulk (about 35-40. I use the heating pad here too.)
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. While slightly warm frosten. (We usually use the same cream cheese frosting that we put on everything. You can find that recipe here!)
Sneak a bite as a taste test. You would't want to send out a bad product to your husband's place of work, would you? I'm always thinking of others.
The problem is only taking one bite. Make sure it's big enough to get a fair taste sample.
Have you made homemade rolls before? What recipe is your grandma known for?