Gloria’s Perfect Cinnamon Rolls


PREP TIME 25 MINUTES COOK TIME 22 MINUTES ADDITIONAL TIME
1 HOUR 58 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME
2 HOURS 45 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS
ROLLS:
• 4 cups milk (see note)
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 3/4 tablespoons instant yeast (see note)
• 4 large eggs
• 11-13 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
FILLING:
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
• 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
FROSTING:
• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 teaspoons maple extract/flavoring
• Pinch of salt
• 2 pounds powdered sugar
• Cream or milk for consistency
INSTRUCTIONS
1. For the dough, heat the milk in a medium saucepan until the milk is scalded (which is basically heating it until right before it simmers – it will start steaming and little bubbles will form around the edge of the pan). Pour the milk into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or you can do this by hand with a large bowl, wooden spoon and lots of elbow grease).
2. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Mix until the butter is melted and let the mixture cool until warm but not hot.
3. Add the yeast and eggs and mix until combined.
4. Gradually add the flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. The exact amount will depend on the temperature, humidity and how you measure flour. I usually end up adding just under 13 cups of flour.
The dough should be soft and just slightly sticky without leaving a lot of residue on your fingers. Let it
knead for 2-3 minutes.
5. Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled.
6. Divide the dough in half. Roll each portion of dough (it’s soft enough to be patted and stretched with your hands) into an 18-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Spread one stick of softened butter over each rectangle.
7. Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half of it over each rectangle. Pat it in slightly with the palms of your hands. Starting with one long end, roll up the cinnamon rolls as tightly as possible, pinching the seam lightly to seal.
8. Working with one long log of cinnamon roll at a time, using a serrated knife, cut it in half. Then cut each half in half again (forming four equal portions). Cut each of the four portions into three rolls – twelve cinnamon rolls total. Repeat this with the other roll – you’ll have 24 cinnamon rolls total.
9. Place the rolls evenly spaced on a parchment-lined large, rimmed baking sheet about 11X17-inches (or 12X18-inches). I space the rolls 3 across, 4 down. If the ends have come free, carefully tuck them under the cinnamon roll.
10. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until double. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
11. Bake the rolls for about 18-22 minutes until only very slightly golden on top. Let the rolls cool almost completely in the pan before frosting.
12. For the frosting, in a large bowl, whip together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla, maple and salt and mix until combined.
13. Gradually add the powdered sugar (if you add it all at once, be prepared for a huge snowstorm in your kitchen) and mix until thick and creamy. Add cream or milk a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is smooth and spreadable to your liking.
14. Spread the cinnamon rolls with frosting.
15. To freeze, once the cinnamon rolls are completely cooled, use a spatula to carefully transfer a single
cinnamon roll to a quart-sized ziploc bag. Seal the bag with as little air inside as possible and freeze for up to a month. To reheat, remove the roll from the bag (it’s easier than it seems – it will pop right out!) and warm on a plate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
NOTES
These rolls turn out far superior if you use whole milk but you can make them with 2%.
Also, if you don’t have instant yeast and want to use active dry, up the amount to 2 1/2 tablespoons and dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water with a pinch of sugar. If doing this, you’ll need to add a bit more flour than if following the recipe using instant yeast.

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