I used to be obsessed with making bread – but this is when I lived in the land of high altitude. I loved that the dough would rise so fast – baking bread was not an all day project. I remember the first time I attempted cinnamon bread without a recipe. I mixed up some cinnamon sugar and sprinkled it on the dough before rolling it up and putting it in the loaf pan. It looked beautiful, but there was hardly any sweetness or cinnamon flavor. I had no idea that I really had to pile it on in order for it to not completely absorb into the dough. I finally got the proportions down, and I was in love. I just couldn’t believe I could bake something so delicious.
When I moved back to sea level, I pretty much gave up baking bread. It was just too time consuming to wait for the rising process. I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I couldn’t resist. It had been way too long since I felt that silky dough in the my hands as I kneaded it until it was perfectly elastic. Also – I just had to try a low-fat version of these decadent treats. The dough definitely did not rise as fast as I remember, but eventually they were done – and they were fantastic. The girls devoured them – they were even good without the icing, right out of the oven.
- 1 cup warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)
- 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 package quick-rise yeast
- 16.88 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 3/4 cups)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
To prepare rolls, combine milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Add egg and remaining granulated sugar to bowl. Stir in 4.5 ounces (1 cup) flour; let stand 10 minutes.
Add 11.25 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) flour and salt to milk mixture; stir until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 35 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rise 35 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; roll dough into an 18 x 11–inch rectangle. Brush remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter over dough; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Beginning at one long side, roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut dough into 18 (1-inch) slices. Arrange 9 slices, cut sides up, in each of 2 (8-inch) square baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 35 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover rolls. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes in dishes on a wire rack. Turn rolls out onto wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Turn rolls over.
To prepare icing, combine 3 tablespoons softened butter and cream; stir with a whisk. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar; stir until blended. Spread icing over rolls; serve warm.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here: Cinnamon Rolls