Let The Good Times Roll
Good ol’ cinnamon rolls… that’s what the world needs right now. Banish those troubling thoughts of trade wars, a slumping economy, horrendous traffic and rising gas prices. Instead focus on big, golden brown cinnamon scented yeasty soft buns filled with dried cranberries and topped with coarse white sugar for that extra oh yeah! Mom made them every week for Sunday breakfast and just the smell of them baking was hypnotic. While still hot from the oven, a vanilla or lemon glaze was drizzled on top of them for a glorious finish. So grab the coffee cup, your digital newspaper and one of these and the world just may seem a bit brighter.
Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls
4 1/2 to 5 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (110º -115) F water
1/2 cup warm (110º -115F) milk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups dried cranberries or raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
4 tablespoons melted and cooled butter
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
To make the dough in a stand mixer combine together 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Combine the water, milk, eggs, and butter Add to the dry ingredients and process a ball of dough forms around the blade. If dough is sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until a soft, but not sticky ball of dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until it is smooth and not sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Transfer the dough to a lightly butter bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm but not hot place (72 F is ideal) until doubled in size.
Meanwhile mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
Drain the cranberries or raisins and set aside.
When the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it into a large 18-inch long by 12-inch wide rectangle.
Brush the dough with the melted butter and evenly sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top.
Sprinkle the raisins over the sugar.
Start at the longest side nearest you and roll the dough up on it self tightly, forming al long log Pinch the ends closed and the two sides.
Preheat the oven to 375F
With a knife cut 18 one-inch slices and place them on lightly greased baking sheets about 1-inch apart.
Cover the rolls and allow them to rise again until doubled in size.
Meanwhile make the glaze by combining the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisking it until a thin glaze consistency is obtained. Cover and set aside.
Bake the rolls until lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer the rolls to a cooling rack.
Use a fork dipped in the glaze and drip it over the tops of the rolls.
These are best eaten warm.