My Oma made the world’s best cinnamon rolls. I might be a bit partial of course but, I can say for sure it is one of the few yeast recipes that I have any success with. Its success had a lot to do with how Oma made them in a way that allowed the yeast to do its thing. Isn’t that the case with most recipes. How many times haven’t you followed a recipe step-by-step and still had it burn, flop, or just not taste that good?
Ahh, the real secret to cooking – technique. Today I’m passing on my Oma’s cinnamon roll recipe and the techniques I have learned that ensures my success.
Tech. #1: Before you even start: set out 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of butter, and 2/3 cup buttermilk. Warm to room temperature. You want to keep the yeast happy by warming some of the colder ingredients beforehand. This will help with the rising process.
Fit your mixer with a dough hook. In the mixing bowl add 1 cup of flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix. Add a packet of yeast, 3 tablespoons of softened butter and the egg. Start the food processor.
Slowly add 3 tablespoons of very warm water and the buttermilk. Continue mixing for about 1 minute. Add 2 more cups of flour, cup by cup, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Tech. #2: You do not want to overwork the dough, but you need to work it enough to activate the yeast. I read somewhere that the dough should be the texture of your earlobe. Huh? Soft with a litte give.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with butter, put the ball of dough in the bowl, and turn the dough to coat it. Cover and let rise until double in size.
Tech. #3: Cover the bowl with a loose plastic bag to aid the rising process. Yeast loves humidity and this little trick has saved me hours of frustration waiting for the dough to double.
Punch down dough. Lay on a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter over the rectangle covering all the dough. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and 2 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the butter.
Roll the dough into a cylinder, starting at the wide end. Pinch the dough along the seam to seal. Cut the dough into slices. I like my rolls a bit larger and cut them into eighths, but the recipe will make as many as 16.
Place the rolls in a greased baking pan. Cover with the plastic bag and let rise until almost doubled.
Bake in a 375°F oven for 25-30 minutes.
I don’t like the traditional cinnamon roll icing made with powdered sugar. Instead, I make a vanilla crème sauce and pour it on and over the roll. It is so good! Probably my favorite part of the roll.
To make the vanilla crème sauce mix 1 cup sugar with a tablespoon of cornstarch. Pour 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream into a saucepan. Gradually whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Add a stick of butter and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted, and mixture begins to boil. Continue cooking and stirring for 3 minutes, or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm.
Tech. #4: Cut the butter into 8 tablespoons using the guide on the paper before adding to pan. This ensures even melting that blends in evenly and more quickly.
Good Luck! – Ella
Cinnamon Rolls in a Vanilla Crème Sauce
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
• 3 tablespoon softened butter
• 1 medium egg at room temperature
• 3 tablespoons very warm water (120° – 130°F.)
• 2/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons softened butter
Vanilla Cream Sauce:
• 2 cups whipping cream
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
- To make the Cinnamon Rolls:
- Mix 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Add butter and eggs. Start the food processor.
- Slowly add the warm water and then the buttermilk and continue mixing for about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining flour, cup by cup, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Coat the inside of a large bowl with butter, put the ball of dough in the bowl, and turn the dough to coat it with the butter or oil. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Lay dough on a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter over the rectangle covering all the dough. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and spread over the butter. Roll the dough into a cylinder, starting at the wide end. Pinch along the seam to seal. Cut the roll into 8 – 16 slices. Place the slices evenly in a greased baking pan. Cover and let rise until almost doubled (45 minutes). Bake in a 375°F oven for 25-30 minutes. To make the Vanilla Crème Sauce:
- Stir first 3 ingredients together in a saucepan.
- Add butter, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until butter is melted, and mixture begins to boil. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour on and over the rolls. Serve warm.