I use 2 mini muffin tins for this recipe. You could also bake them on 2 cookie sheets, but make sure you roll them up very tightly if you do. The muffin tin will keep not-so-tightly rolled dough from unraveling during the baking.
The amount of icing in this recipe is about twice what I need, so I halve it. Some folks like to spread their rolls thickly with icing and this amount will be enough for you if that’s what you like. If you like to spread the icing thickly, use less milk.
***This recipe uses a digital kitchen thermometer. They don’t cost much and they are a valuable kitchen tool.
1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour
3 tbsp (37 g) granulated sugar
1tsp (3 g) dry yeast
3/4 cup (178 ml) water
3 tbsp (43 g) butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp (6 g) ground cinnamon
2 tbsp (28 g) butter, very soft
2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
2 tbsp (28 g) butter, very soft
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
3 to 4 tbsp (45 to 60 ml) milk
Put the salt in the bottom of a stand mixer bowl.
Add 1 cup (120 g) of the flour, sugar, and yeast, in that order. (Salt can kill yeast, so never put them next to each other in a recipe.)
Stir the dry ingredients until blended.
Cut the butter into pieces and put it and the water into a microwave safe bowl.
Cover the bowl and nuke it on high in 20-second intervals until is is very warm, but not hot.
Check the temp with a digital kitchen thermometer in between intervals. It should be between 120 to 130 degrees F (49 to 55 degrees C.) The butter will not melt completely. This is okay.
Add the water and butter and the egg to the flour mixture in the stand mixer.
Using the mixing paddle, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrap the bowl halfway through.
Add another cup (120 g) of flour and beat at high speed for two minutes. Scrape the bowl halfway through.
Swap the mixing paddle for the dough hook.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour until the dough forms a ball.
Knead on high speed for 3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling:
Combine the cinnamon and the sugar in a bowl and set it aside.
The butter needs to be soft enough to spread easily on the rolled out dough.
If it isn’t very soft, nuke it in the microwave in 10-second intervals until you can press your finger into it easily, but NOT so much that it starts to melt.
Back to the dough!
Lightly flour your space and roll out the dough in a narrow rectangle 7 X 24 in. (17.5 X 60 cm)
Spread the very soft butter over the dough to within about a half inch (1 cm) from the long edges.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter.
Roll the dough tightly along the long end. You will have a 24 in (60 cm) log. Pinch the seams.
Butter 2 mini muffin tins or 2 cookie sheets.
Cut the rolls into 24 equal pieces, about an inch (2.5 cm) each and place them about 2 in (5 cm) apart on the cookie sheets or place them into the muffin tins.
Cover with a towel and let them rise in a warm place for about an hour.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree F (175 C) oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Cool them on a wire rack.
Place the very soft butter in a bowl and sift the powdered sugar on top of it.
Mix until the butter and sugar are incorporated.
Add the milk 1 tbsp at a time.
If you want to dip the rolls, the icing should be thinner.
If you want to frost them thickly, then use 3 tbsp of milk at most.
When the rolls are cooled, either dip them into the bowl of icing to cover the tops or frost them with a butter knife.
Options and Extras:
- You can add finely chopped nuts to the filling. After sprinkling cinnamon sugar, sprinkle the nuts.
- You can use a spice mix instead of cinnamon alone. Use cardomom, allspice, nutmeg, ginger or cloves. Don’t go too heavy on the ginger or cloves! The total spice that is mixed with the sugar should equal 1 1/2 teaspoons.
- You can add finely chopped dried fruit.
- Substitute 2 tbsp of poppy seeds for the cinnamon. Sprinkle the seeds onto the butter first, then brown sugar.