We are always searching for ways to improve on a recipe. We found this one to be both easy and OMG delicious! These are by far the best cinnamon rolls we have ever had. The secret is using all the best ingredients and letting them rest overnight, which improves the flavor. It also makes them really easy to make.
- Use the best ingredients – brands matter!
- Use local organic dairy products – it makes a huge difference.
- The dough is made one day, and then put in the refrigerator overnight.
- Use a stand mixer – it makes life so much easier.
- Use a scale to measure the ingredients – This is so important for measuring flour that we don’t even give the measurement in cups.
- Part of the dough can be left in the refrigerator and baked on a different day.
- 28 oz/800 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 5 teaspoons instant yeast (Red SAF instant)
- 2 cups lukewarm (about 95 degrees F) whole or lowfat organic milk
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) melted and cooled browned organic butter
- zest of one lemon
- 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup white sugar from sugar beets (any brand that does not say cane sugar on the label)
- 1/2 cup of melted browned organic butter
- 1 cup of chopped dates
- 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
- 4 oz organic cream cheese
- 1/4 cup melted and cooled browned organic butter
- 1 cup homemade powdered sugar (1 cup sugar from sugar beets and 1 teaspoon tapioca starch blended to a powder in the food processor)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
- Kosher salt to taste (Diamond Crystal)
Using the stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, salt. Mix yeast and milk together and then add to the flour mixture. Add the butter and zest. Mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 4 minutes. Increase to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Form it into a ball. Place it in a clean, slightly oiled bowl that is double the size of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator over night (or for up to 3 days).
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide it in half. Form two balls. Cover them with plastic and let them rest for 20 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out each ball into a 12 by 15 inch rectangle. If it resists, let it rest for a minute and then continue rolling. Brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle all the ingredients in the topping evenly over the two rectangles. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll up the rectangles into a tight log. Cut it into 1 inch slices. Place them on a sheet pan about an inch apart. Mist them with oil. Cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rise for 2 hours or until they have swelled up and are touching. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 25 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients using a mixer with the paddle attachment on low. Frost the rolls when they have cooled for at least 5 minutes.
The recipe was adapted from Peter Reinhart’s “Artisan Breads Every Day”.