cinnamon-rolls

My church holds a worldwide conference every six months which is broadcast by satellite.  They are my favorite meetings of the year because not only do we receive wise counsel from the general leaders of the church, but we get to wear our pajamas and watch them in our living rooms.

When I was first married, I wanted to start a tradition for General Conference that would give my children incentive to sit quietly and watch all the talks.  I decided on cinnamon rolls.  They smell amazing in the oven, and they keep little mouths quiet while we try to listen.

cinnamon rolls

4 cups (600 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 package (a scant tablespoon) rapid yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (125 g) milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (250 g) warm water (about 110 degrees, 45 degrees celsius)
3 egg yolks
1 egg
5 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (100 g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix flour, yeast, and sugar.
2.  Add in salt, milk, water, melted butter, and eggs.  Knead on low speed for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
4.  Punch down to redistribute bubbles.  Let rest for 3 minutes.  Roll out into a large rectangle (about 12×20 inches).
5.  Spread room temperature butter over the entire surface of the dough.  Mix powdered sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl.  Using a sieve, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture over the butter.

6.  Starting on a 20 inch edge, roll the dough up loosely.  Make slices 2 inches (6 cm) apart.  Place rolls one inch apart, swirl side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate over night.*
7.  In the morning, place rolls in a cold oven.  Pour boiling water in a baking dish and place in the bottom rack in the oven.  Close oven and leave rolls to proof for 30 minutes.
8.  Remove rolls and water.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees celsius).  When oven comes to temperature, return rolls to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
9.  Frost with cream cheese frosting and serve warm.

*  If you don’t have time to refrigerate these over night, simply let them rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees celsius), and bake for 20-25 minutes.

For the frosting:

4 ounces (110g) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (80g) confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon heavy cream (or milk—whatever you have)

1.  Cream butter and cream cheese together.  Stir in sugar, extracts, and cream.  Use a whisk to break up any lumps.

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