As Christmas approaches, my need for buttery, gooey breakfast pastries skyrockets. Between croissants, morning buns, pain au chocolate, cinnamon rolls, an unhealthy amount is consumed. Maybe it’s because while I am home for a few days, I need to get my Standard Baking Company fix, or that because I make sticky buns each year for Christmas morning, I just feel the need to carbo-load for weeks in advance. Whatever the reason, I had the urge to welcome a new cinnamon roll into our family!
The other night while Roberto and I were enjoying our bi-weekly pizza Friday, I started daydreaming about cinnamon rolls. Like, they literally took over every thought of mine. Gingerbread rolls? Toasted oat rolls? Apple butter filling? Brown sugar bacon rolls?! We have a winner!
How had I never thought of this before? The smell of bacon just screams breakfast, plus it’s extra yummy when coated in cinnamon sugar and wrapped in a cozy, buttery dough. Besides, I figure if you’re going to go all out with breakfast, especially on Christmas morning, a little bacon never hurt anyone—even throw in a few mimosas and possibly a gingerbread cookie while you’re at it!
This recipe starts with a very simple yeast dough—flour, milk, yeast, some sugar. Plus you will, most likely, have all of the ingredients in your pantry already! What else is so great? This should be started the night before you want to serve them, so take a couple of hours out of your day, prep the rolls, stick them in the fridge, and violà! The next morning you just have to pull them out of the refrigerator, let them come to room temperature and bake away!
So, while sticky buns may have been the tradition for the past few years on Christmas morning, I think that these cinnamon rolls may be taking the lead this year. A little less butter, a little more bacon, and a lot more love to surround you and yours on Christmas day!
Luckily, my first wedding dress fitting is the day after Christmas; I hope they can wiggle me into it!
Milk (110-115˚F)—4 oz, or ½ C
Molasses—1.5 oz, or 2 TBL
Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C
Yeast—0.25 oz, or 1 TBL
Butter, softened—4 oz, or ½ C
Milk—4 oz, or ½ C
Flour—17.5 oz-20 oz, or 3 ½-4 C
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm milk, sugar, molasses and yeast.
Mix just to combine, and allow this to sit for about 10 minutes.
The yeast will begin to activate and become foamy—if not, then you have either not made the milk warm enough, so the yeast will take slightly longer, or you have overheated your milk, killing the yeast and you will have to start again!
After the 10 minutes, attach the dough hook to your mixer, and add in the eggs, butter and second milk. Mix.
With your mixer on low, slowly add in the flour.
Mix for 10 minutes on medium speed. This will really knead your dough and give it the wonderfully soft texture that you will soon taste!
After the 10 minutes, if your dough is too sticky to handle, add in a Tablespoon at a time more flour.
It is okay if this dough is slightly stickier than most yeast dough that you make, but if it’s really stuck to the sides of the bowl, more flour will be needed!
Transfer your dough to a well-oiled bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm room so that it can double in size—about 2 hours.
While this is happening, you may prep your filling below!
Brown Sugar—6 oz, or 1 C
Butter, softened—5.5 oz, or 2/3 C
Cinnamon—1 oz, or 2 ½ TBL
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar.
Once smooth, add in the spices.
When you are ready to make the rolls, take your risen dough and put on a well floured surface.
Knead just slightly with your hands.
Roll into a large, 10” x 24” rectangle.
Spread the filling all over the rolled dough.
Sprinkle the bacon evenly on top.
Starting from the bottom, roll upwards, very tightly.
Cut into about 2” thick slices.
Place into a well-buttered baking dish.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator overnight to rise again.
If you are looking to make these the same day, you can let them rise out of the fridge.
The next morning, when you are ready to bake these for breakfast, take out of the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.
If you preheat your oven to 250˚ F and let your rolls sit on top of the oven, they will warm up faster before you bake them!
When they are ready to be baked, bump your oven up to 375˚ F and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven, allow the cinnamon rolls to cool for just a few minutes, and then either top them all with the frosting recipe below, or serve and allow people to frost their own buns!
Butter, softened—2 oz, or ¼ C
Confectioner’s Sugar—4 oz, or ¾ C
Brown Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C
Milk—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL
Cream together the butter and sugars.
Once combined, add the vanilla and milk.
Frost the entire tray of cinnamon rolls, or serve on the side for everyone to take as much or as little frosting for their own roll!