Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

A long time staple in our home has always been homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls. It started with my Grandma Payne, and then my mom took over. They were always asked to bake their rolls for special occasions and family get togethers. Walking into the house when the rolls were baking is definitely my ultimate comfort food smell. I decided that I should probably learn how to make them so that I can keep the tradition alive!

This summer I tried my very first batch of cinnamon rolls, and they turned out so, so good! And then Friday night Brian and I made two batches for him to take to his Saturday morning class. They were a big hit, and felt so proud.

My mom was telling me that anyone can follow the recipe, but unless you know what the dough should feel like, they wouldn’t turn out as good as they could. It’s an art form, bread making, and it just takes practice, trial and error. The two batches I made on Friday, and one more today, gave me the opportunity to try a few different tweaks and figure out what works a little better.

When you’re done mixing the dough, my mom says that it should be sticky, but not a wet sticky. It shouldn’t look like wallpaper paste, but should stick to your hands when you touch it. After it rises it won’t be as sticky. Remember that you can always add more flour, but too much will make your dough tough. A stand mixer works best for this, as the dough gets hard to mix with a hand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use your hand mixer until it starts to get hard to mix, and then finish mixing with your hands. (My mom, and I have both blown up our hand mixers mixing the dough!)

This is such a good recipe and I have yet to find a soul who could say no to one of these cinnamon rolls.

Grandma Payne’s Roll Recipe:
Sprinkle 2 Tbs of yeast into 1/2 C. warm water (Test water on wrist and don’t set bowl directly on counter, put on a towel underneath it.)

Heat in microwave for 3 minutes (stir half way in between):
1 cube of butter
2 Cups of Milk
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

Pour the warm mixture into mixing bowl, add 3 Cups of flour and mix until pasty.
Add 2 eggs, mix again
Add yeast, mix again
Slowly add 3 1/3 cups of sifted flour (you may need a little more or less)

Cover and let rise for 1 and 1/2 hours. When dough has risen to double it’s original size, punch down with fist and then you have two options:

1) Make into delicious dinner rolls: make dough balls, place on greased cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart, let rise again for another 45 minutes or so, or until dough is touching on sheet.

2) Make into cinnamon rolls: Roll out dough on floured counter until it makes a nice, big, even rectangle. Spread a cube of room temperature butter on the dough. Cover with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Cover again with a second layer of brown sugar. Adding raising, nuts and anything else you’d like will taste amazing too! Roll up the dough and cut into one and a half inch slices. Place 1/2 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Let rise again until touching. These will also rise more in the over.

Cooke either of these for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees. (We’ve been known to do half and half with a batch. One batch will make about 20 or so cinnamon rolls) One thing my mom and I have noticed is that the tops usually get done before the bottom of the rolls. I have found that non-stick pans help the bottoms to cook better.

Edit: I had a request for the icing. Here is the one I've been using lately, but any icing will work. And we love a cream cheese icing on these too! So good!

1 pound box of powdered sugar
6 TBS of butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or any type of milk)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix together-add more milk or powdered sugar to thin or thicken


  1. Uncle Den said shame on your for sharing his Mom's roll he won't let me share it with any of my family or friends. MEN!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! Really. Thank you. I'll try to make them for Derek and see if I can live up to Grandma Payne's legacy! Miss that lady...

  3. I miss her too. Grams was the best. I told Michelle I need her to teach me how to make Grams freezer jam. The roll recip, but no kneeding for dayyysss. Grams was a roll wiz. Thanks sister for keep up with it. I will need you to teach me someday.

  4. I didn't feel bad about posting it up because my mom said she gives it away and everyone says they don't turn out. I think you have to have the magic touch. I'm really hoping Grams gave it to me!

  5. Melissa: I'm going to attempt to make these, but what do you use for icing? ---Stephanie Smith

  6. OK Melissa. I made them and they were delicious! I used a Paula Dean icing recipe. The dough takes some getting used to. They certainly didn't look as pretty as yours!!!

  7. Sorry for the late addition, but I added the icing to the end of the post. Any will work though!


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