Every baker has a weakness: something they just can’t quite get right no matter how many times they try it. For some, it’s dinner rolls. For others, it’s pie pastry. For me, it was those devilish swirly confections known as cinnamon rolls.
The first time I ever actually tried them was when I lived in my very first apartment as a married gal. I made the Pioneer Woman’s pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I’m sure they’re amazing, but I have no idea how they taste because they came out absolutely raw and inedible.
It wouldn’t have been so bad had I not taken the cinnamon rolls to a dinner our lovely friends had invited us to. I didn’t know how to check for doneness and so when they were taken out of the pan, the rolls were all squishy.
I blame my oven. It was the oven from hell.
It just goes on from there. My filling fell out one time. I added too much flour another time. I overbaked them. I underbaked them. I just couldn’t get it right.
But, today was the day. On this glorious occasion of Guy Fawkes, I decided I would finally make perfect and delicious cinnamon rolls. And you know what. I did.
There are several secrets I have learned. One is potato. Another is to lay off the flour. These tricks keep your bread soft and supple.
That’s such a scandalous sounding word.
Take that baking vice! Now only 100 others to conquer.
Here’s What You Need:
- 1 russet potato
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 c milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- chopped pecans
Here’s What You Do:
1. Peel russet potato and chop into 1-inch pieces. Boil in a medium saucepan with salt until tender.
2. While potato is cooking, warm milk in microwave to about 95 Fahrenheit degrees. Combine in large bowl or stand mixer with sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
3. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and add cold butter. Mash butter and potatoes until combined. The butter should cool down the pot enough to add eggs.
4. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour to potato mixture, whisk until combined.
5. Add potato mixture to milk mixture. Combine using a whisk by hand or with dough hook on stand mixer.
6. One cup at a time, add remaining flour and knead in using hands or dough hook, about 5-7 minutes. I used my hands. The dough is done when it is still slightly sticky, but can be easily handled. Don’t add too much flour or your rolls will be dry.
7. Grease a large bowl and form dough into a ball. Leave dough in bowl, covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel, in a warm place until doubled in size. This takes about an hour.
8. When dough has doubled, punch down, and turn out onto a generously floured surface. Roll out into a 12×8 rectangle. It doesn’t have to be exact. Allow it to rest for a moment.
9. While dough is resting, grease either a 13×9-inch pan or 2 9-inch circle pans. Set aside.
10. Melt unsalted butter for the filling. Mix in brown sugar and brush onto dough. Make sure you spread it out to all the corners and edges. Then top with pumpkin butter. Again, make sure the dough is completely covered. Try to spread it as evenly had you can.
11. Starting in the bottom middle and working outward, begin to roll up your dough. Be careful, this dough is quite soft and can tear easily! I was really dismayed when I originally did it, but it’s very worth it. If it does tear though, it really isn’t a big deal. As you roll, every so often, gently tug the dough backward to stretch it slightly to get a tight spiral.
12. Cut log into 12 even pieces and distribution evenly into pans. Cover them and allow them to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 425 Fahrenheit degrees.
13. Once rolls have risen, bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. If the tops start to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
14. Once rolls are done, make glaze by combining cream and sugar. Drizzle all over rolls before serving and sprinkle chopped nuts over the top.