Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cinnamon Caramel Rolls

My grandmother was an incredible baker.  These cinnamon caramel rolls were one of her staples.  Rarely did she not make bread and do a batch of these too at the same time. They were a staple at Vertin's cafe in Ely, Minnesota where she worked as well.  What's not to love...cinnamon, rich yeasty bread and caramel!

I use the larger Pyrex pan, a 10X15 instead of the more standard 9X3 as this is a big batch, 2 dozen rolls.

My Mom makes them with chopped walnuts in the caramel.  That's really tasty too, but the clowns  kids in my house can't stand nuts in their rolls so I omit.  By all means feel free to add in a 1/2 chopped walnuts into the caramel if you want an extra treat to your rolls.

I make these doing the second rise overnight in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.  I remove from fridge to warm up while preheating the oven and remove the plastic wrap and bake so I have fresh from the oven cinnamon caramel rolls for breakfast.  You can of course do the second rise, about 1-2 hours 

Cinnamon Caramel Rolls
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T dry active yeast
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) melted butter
  • 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 C flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Filling
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • Caramel
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 C) butter
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 T dark brown corn syrup
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts - optional

Scald milk and cool to 105f.  Stir in yeast and 2T sugar.  Set aside until foamy - about 5 minutes.

In stand mixer add 2C flour, melted butter, eggs, salt and yeast mixture.  Beat 1-2 minutes until flour incorporated with the paddle attachment.  Scrape dough off of paddle and switch to dough hook.  On low speed add flour 1/2c at a time until you get a shiny dough that is no longer sticky.  (I usually use about 5 cups flour but that change with humidity of the air).  Knead on low for 5 minutes.  Turn into a greased bowl, cover with tea towel and set aside in warm place for 2-3 hours until doubled in size.

When doubled in size get out a large bread board.  four board liberally and roll dough to about a 18" by 24" rectangle about 1/8-1/4" thick.  Brush dough evenly with 1/4 c melted butter.  Sprinkle on brown sugar.  Liberally or scantily sprinkle on cinnamon to taste.  Roll up jelly roll style starting with the long edge. Cut into 1 inch slices across the rolled dough which will give you 24 rolls.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat.  Add brown sugar and corn syrup until dissolved and small bubbles start to appear on the side of the pan.  Pour the caramel into the baking dish.  Sprinkle on chopped walnuts if using.  Let cool 5 minutes.

Add the cinnamon rolls cut side down onto the caramel sauce.  For here you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night or cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours if you opt to bake immediately.  If doing overnight method remove from fridge and take off the plastic wrap and let it warm up 30 minutes before baking.

Bake in preheated 350F oven 30-40 minutes until the rolls are golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool 5  minutes on a wire rack.  Take a sheet of foil and put over the hot pan.  Place a serving tray over the foil.  Carefully, but quickly with oven mitts grab the serving tray and baking dish and invert.  Be careful not to spill hot caramel onto you.  Remove baking dish when inverted. Spoon up any residual caramel and spread on the rolls.  Allow 10 minutes additional cooling before eating.

Dough rolled out with butter and brown sugar spread on it...waiting for the coating of cinnamon.

Cinnamon rolls risen and doubled in size ready for baking.
Cinnamon rolls baked to golden brown and ready for inverting.

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