Saturday, December 30, 2006

Grandma Sally's Cinnamon Rolls

8 year-old Erin, Christmas morning: "Please can't we open presents? Puh-leeeze?"

Erin's mom, Christmas morning: "Not until everyone has a cinnamon roll and the adults have their coffee."

Luckily, my Grandma Sally's cinnamon rolls are so good, my sister and I almost didn't mind having to eat one before we could open presents on Christmas morning. Almost.

Now, we're the last ones out of bed on December 25, and often more excited about the presents we're giving rather than getting (J says: not true). Even better, this is the second year that my sister and I have helped my Grandma make the cinnamon rolls, and I think I'm ready to attempt a batch on my own.

Like most grandma-perfected baked goods, exact measurements are difficult to ascertain. Use the recipe below as a general guide, but feel free to experiment. Serve warm with butter.

Grandma Sally's Cinnamon Rolls

¼ c sugar
2 tbsp shortening
4 t salt
4 c warm water
1 pkg yeast

12-14 c flour
1 stick butter, softened
brown sugar

2 9x12 cake pans, greased

Place sugar, shortening and salt in medium bowl. Add warm water, then stir in yeast. Mix well until yeast is dissolved, shortening will remain lumpy.

Sift 10 cups of flour into large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add yeast mixture. Stir well until all flour is incorporated.

Sift approximately 2 cups flour onto clean counter. Turn out dough onto sifted flour. With floured hands, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If the dough's too sticky, add some more flour. Lightly grease large bowl that flour was in, and return dough to that bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down with your fist, and let rise again for about 1 hour.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface, and roll out into a large rectangle, approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Liberally brush dough with softened butter, covering entire surface. Spread buttered dough with brown sugar, completely covering surface. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Tightly roll dough into cylinder. If your rectangle is really long, an extra pair of hands is useful for this step. Turn cylinder seam-side down, and cut into rolls approximately 2 inches wide.

Place rolls into greased cake pans, about 12 to a pan; do not crowd since they have to rise again. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve warm, or reheat in low-temperature oven before serving. You can freeze them too.


Kristen said...

I love cinnamon rolls, which you know is our Chrismtas morning tradition as well.
How did yours turn out?

Does the recipe really call for 12-14 cups flour or am I reading that wrong?

Erin S. said...

yep! Though I start with just 10 and add from there (some of the flour is used for sprinkling the surface you roll out on as well). The recipe makes 2 dozen rolls.

Anonymous said...

These look great! My wife's family ahs been doing cin-rolls for years also. What I appreciate the most about this post though is the picture of your grandma's hands. If she is anything like my grandma was, she is probably a little self-conscious about her knuckles/arthritis (hopefully not) To me these are beautiful hands, displaying years of loving use, producing nourishment and treats for the progeny. It brought a tear to my eye seeing them and thinking about my grandma and nana. Thank you.

Momsa said...

D- man you are just too sweet. Erin and her sis keep me centered and appreciating grandma's hands and everything else about her love for all of us. Give your nana a hug for me!

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