Cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls

Nothing beats a gooey, hot cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven.  I have made a lot of cinnamon rolls in my lifetime, but these are the best.  They are soft, tender, sweet, lots of cinnamon flavor and so delicious.  They do take some time to make, but you can do the first steps, let them rise, roll them and cut them, put them in a pan and then put them in the fridge and pull them out about an hour before you want to bake them.  Believe me, once you taste them, you will never make anything else.

2 medium potatoes

4 packets of yeast

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup melted butter

3 large eggs

2 tsp. salt

9 cups flour

Peel and quarter the potatoes and over with water and bring to boil.  When potatoes are fork tender, remove the potatoes and reserve about 3 cups of the potato water.  Let the water cool to about 115 degrees.  Mash the potatoes, you should have about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of potato.  In a bowl mix potato water, yeast and 1 tsp of sugar.  Stir until the yeast dissolves.  Let the mixture rest until it gets foamy.  This will take about 4-5 minutes.  In the mixer bowl mix together the potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs and salt.  Add the yeast water.  With the mixer on slow, add the flour in three batches, making sure that flour is mix in well before you add the next batch.  You will have a soft, sticky dough.  Place the dough into a well-greased bowl.  Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough doubles in size.  This should take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down the dough. Let it rest while you make the filling.

Filling

4 cups chopped pecans

3 cups brown sugar

4 tablespoons cinnamon

1 stick melted butter

Mix the sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half.  Roll out one of the balls into a 1/4 inch rectangle.  Brush on half of the melted butter.  Cover with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture and then sprinkle with half the chopped pecans.  Roll up the rectangle on the long side and lightly press the edges to seal.  Cut into 2 inch slices.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Place slices into the pan, cut sides down, about 1 inch apart so they have room to grow.  You should be able to fit about 8 rolls in each pan.  Roll out the other ball and do the same.  You will get two pans of rolls.  One to eat and one to share. If you do not want to bake them at this point you can cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or wrap heavily in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to 3 weeks.  When you are ready to bake, remove from fridge, cover with a damp cloth and  allow to sit at room temperature until doubled.  If frozen, remove from freezer, remove foil and lightly cover with damp cloth and allow to thaw and double at room temperature. Once the rolls have doubled, preheat the oven to  375 degrees and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  They should be a light brown on the top.  Make icing and drizzle over the top.

Icing

5 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup half and half

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all together until smooth.  Make sure there are no lumps.  Drizzle over hot cinnamon rolls, making sure to coat each one.

Makes about 16 large rolls

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