Not-From-A-Can Cinnamon Rolls

picture713Those refrigerated “peel and pop” cans of cinnamon rolls, ready to bake and complete with icing, are convenient.  Truth be told, they don’t taste half bad. But homemade cinnamon rolls they are NOT… nothing made with ingredients you can’t pronounce (read the can!) quite compares to a truly homemade cinnamon roll.

“How much work are these, really?”

You’ll expend about 30 minutes of effort kneading, rolling, mixing, and slicing.  Now, be honest… if you drive to the grocery store, pick out a peel and pop can of cinnamon roll dough, stand in line to pay for it, and drive back home, how long will THAT take?

Go ahead – roll up your sleeves, and get ready to play with flour!

Ingredients (makes about 24 cinnamon rolls)

2 cups lukewarm (not boiling) water

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1/4 cup dry milk

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup canola oil

2 cups whole wheat flour

4 cups white flour

For the filling:

1 stick of real butter, melted

1 cup of brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup chopped pecans (or substitute raisins)

For the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk


Step 1)  Combine sugar and lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in yeast, and allow to sit for a minute or two until the surface of the water appears a bit creamy.

Step 2) Add dry milk, salt, and oil to the picture331yeast mixture.  Stir in flours, one cup at a time, and transfer dough to a floured tabletop.

Step 3) Knead dough for a few minutes until a smooth ball forms.  Add a bit more flour as needed, to prevent sticking.  Transfer dough to a large bowl which has been greased with canola oil.

picture334Step 4) Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise until it doubles in size.  This will take about an hour in a warm location, such as an oven that has been warmed to 100 degrees and then turned off.

Step 5) Punch the bowl of risen dough a few times to release air bubbles (this is fun!).   Knead on a floured tabletop for a few minutes.  Divide dough in half, and roll picture714into two long rectangles, each about 5 inches by 16 inches.

Step 6) Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl. Spread filling over dough rectangles, being careful NOT to place filling picture708within 1 inch of one of the long edges, as shown above.

Step 7) Carefully roll the long side lined with filling toward the long side with the plain edge. The plain edge should be on the bottom of your long roll when you are finished. We’re using gravity to help seal the rolls.

Step 8) Slice each long roll into 1 1/2 inch slices. The easiest way to do this is with dental floss!  Slide a piece of floss under the dough and “tie” a slice right through the roll.  So easy!

Step 9) Lay the rolls 2 inches apart on generously greased baking sheets.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 10) Bake rolls for approximately 12 minutes, until the dough begins to turn a golden color. Carefully remove from baking sheets and allow to cool slightly.

Step 11) Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over cinnamon rolls.  Enjoy!

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