We come from a baking family and I like to think we know a little something about cinnamon rolls. I have great memories watching my mother roll out sweet dough in a large rectangle and smearing butter with her bare hands before she sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over it. It was pure love and I felt that the minute I had my first bite of her amazing rolls.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t a family recipe, or even one that I’ve had for very long. But I know a good cinnamon roll when I see one and this recipe is one of the best.
I have a friend named Hal who is unassumingly the best baking/cooking man I know. He always wins the church Chili cook-off’s this time of year, and can make a mean grilled flatbread pizza or two. But the man is absolutely amazing at baking. And I have a special draw to him because he’s seriously good at it. We’ve had many conversations about food and I don’t think there’s anything more wonderful to talk about. I’m quite certain his family is the luckiest because he loves to cook and bake so much for them.
So I am very excited to share his recipe with you, with a few slight modifications of my own which is why I think I can call this cinnamon roll recipe, the best. Enjoy!
- 4 cups whole milk (yes whole)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 4 cups bread flour (Be sure it’s bread flour and you’ll be adding about 8-9 cups once you’re done)
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 eggs
- CINNAMON FILLING:
- 1 stick butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup cinnamon (more or less depending on preference)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp. almond extract (imitation is fine, too)
- enough milk to make icing spreadable
- Scald or scold milk (I stand over it and call it bad names). Add sugar and shortening and continue heating until shortening is melted. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, instant yeast and salt. Pour hot milk mixture in with dry ingredients. Mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add additional flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is sticky, not stiff and dry (approximately 8-9 cups once you are done) Allow dough to rise to double. Punch down. Let rise again. On floured counter top, roll dough to oblong strip approximately 12 to 14 inches wide, 3 feet long, and 1/2-inch thick. Pour melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on entire dough area. Roll dough, carefully tucking bread tightly around itself. Cut rolls by using dental floss to slice through the rolls at about 1 inch thick per roll. Place on sprayed jelly roll pan or use 2 9 x 13 pans. Aside from spray, you can also use a parchment/foil combination (found at Walmart and seen in photos) so your dough doesn’t stick. Carefully place the rolls down and being sure to tuck in the monkey tail of each roll. Let sit and rise while oven is preheating. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Prepare icing and frost after about 15 minutes after cooling down.