Cinnamon Rolls

I foolishly started making these rolls in the evening, forgetting they need 2 hours of rising time. During the whole process I managed to watch 'The Help' and read pick out 5 more recipes for the coming weeks. This was on a day where I got up a 6am to cycle to the swimming pool...I think the Olympics has been a great motivator to move my ass.

Boy was it worth waiting those 2 hours plus. If you want these for breakfast and you don't feel like waiting 2 hours for it, you can make them the night before and leave them in the fridge ready for baking. 

I want cinnamon rolls on rainy afternoons, with coffee, in Ikea, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner. 

They are a warm hug of carbohydrates. I don't mind the rain when cinnamon rolls are in the oven. It can rain all night for me.

I feel so happy when I bake, I might have had a horrible day at work, someone might have yelled at me on the phone, I might have chosen to wear completely inappropriate shoes that hate my feet but if I know I'll be baking by 7 o'clock I can take whatever you throw at me. 

These were actually supposed to be lemony breakfast rolls but there was a shocking lemon shortage in our home...I assure you the lemony ones will make an appearance at some point.

Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe adapted from The Kitchn)

1 sachet/7g yeast

3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 37°C/100°F (warm but not hot on your wrist)
250g/1 stick unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs

For the filling:

1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
1 heaped tablespoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes or until foamy. With the mixer paddle, stir the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour into this milk and yeast mixture. Stir in the salt and cinnamon. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable. (If you do not have a stand mixer, stir together the ingredients by hand, then turn the soft dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, pliable, and stretchy.)
  3. Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled — about one hour.
  4. For the filling, melt the butter and combine in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. 
  5. To assemble: Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking or pie dish. On a floured surface roll the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 inches. 
  6. Spread the filling evenly over the top of the dough, all the way to the edge. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the long side. Keep a firm grip on the dough making sure the cinnamon sugar doesn't fall out. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll closed to help keep the lemon sugar inside, and place each one, open and cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.
  7. Cover the rolls with a tea towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or a towel, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour before proceeding with baking.)
  8. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes (30 in a fan oven) or until golden brown.