I had not baked cinnamon rolls since… high school, I think. I had some milk I wanted to use and a desire to get back to making yeast doughs. Cinnamon rolls seemed like a good choice and helped me through a night of insomnia (and meant freshly baked rolls for colleagues just a few hours later). The pictures above represent attempt #1, which was more successful than my second attempt (featured below). Both were good, but I think the second attempt yielded a drier roll. I think I rushed the second attempt and the dough did not turn out as soft. See the unbaked and baked second attempts below.
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm milk (110F/45C)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted, but slightly cooled, butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup softened butter, which you will spread onto the rolled-out dough
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
(You can also add raisins or nuts to the filling, if desired. I never do.)
Cream Cheese Icing:
3 or 4 ounces softened cream cheese (85 to 110 grams)
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl (or stand mixer). Mix in the sugar, butter and eggs. Add flour and mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball (or, if using a stand mixer, use the dough hook for about 5 minutes). Make sure your hands are dusted with flour while doing this. Put in a clean bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
After the dough has doubled, turn it onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle (40cm by 53cm). Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly press the cinnamon-sugar and butter mixture into the dough.
Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F/200C.
Bake rolls in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add powdered sugar, then vanilla. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.