Traditional Cinnamon Rolls

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Traditional Cinnamon Rolls

I often find myself falling into the trap of modifying everything. Every recipe has to be altered in some way or some strange flavor combination has to be used. Well not today! Today I will be making traditional cinnamon rolls. Sugar+ Cinnamon+ Rolls= Cinnamon Rolls

I want to use this recipe to introduce dough kneading to all my fellow alchemists because kneading is the basis of great bread formation. Kneading is the stretching then folding of a dough. To knead dough use your non-dominant hand to hold the dough, while using your dominant hand to push/stretch part of the dough (about one-third of it) away from your body. Then pull/fold the stretched dough back into the main body of the dough. Slightly rotate the dough then repeat.

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The process is pretty straight forward. The most difficult part is working with moist, sticky dough. If you want to make the dough easier to handle, flour the surface you’re working on and the dough. Although, excessive flouring of the dough can lead to a dry product.

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You might be thinking now, “Why bother with kneading anyway? It sounds like a lot of work to me.” Well my friend, we knead the dough because we need the elasticity of the gluten to create an effective rise. In bread and roll making, yeast is inserted into the dough to produce CO2. The gluten is then expanded by the CO2 gas. Gluten works similarly to blowing bubbles with bubble gum. When we blow a bubble, we push air into stretched gum which expands into a bubble. When too much air is pushed against the gum, the bubble bursts. The same happens with bread dough when too much CO2 is created, so be careful not to let dough rise too much further than what the recipe calls for.

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Ingredients

Dough:
1/4 -ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:
1/3 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in more flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes adding enough flour to make dough non-sticky. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. When doubled in size, fold down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle (MAKE SURE TO DO THIS). Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
  4. Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.