The Best Cinnamon Bun Recipe
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The Secret to Soft Cinnamon Rolls
Soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls have a secret ingredient: potatoes! Believe it or not, potatoes add a great deal of soft texture to bread recipes - the flavor of the potato is not detectable in the final product, but the soft, light texture will be appreciated by everyone who tries the rolls.
The reason potatoes work in this recipe is for the starch. Nearly all bread recipes require kneading, because the gluten in the flour must be broken down to yield a soft, springy bread. The addition of a small potato to a bread recipe adds starch without extra gluten, which makes for a softer bread.
The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Roll Dough Ingredients
- 1 small potato, boiled and mashed
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cups hot water used to boil potatoes
- 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more flour for kneading
- 1/2 cup sugar
- One 1/4 ounce packet active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
Making Cinnamon Bun DoughClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make the Dough
- Peel and cut a small potato into 1" cubes. Boil the potato for about 20 minutes or until it is tender.
- Place 1/4 cup butter into a small bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups hot water from the potato pot to the butter. Allow the butter to melt in the hot water.
- Thoroughly mash the potato until no lumps remain.
- Add 2 cups of flour to a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 packet of active dry yeast to the bowl. Mix to combine.
- When the water/butter mixture has cooled to about 100 degrees F (warm, but not hot), add the liquid to the flour mixture. Add the egg and the mashed potato to the mixture.
- Use an electric mixer set to slow speed and mix the dough for 1 minute. Increase the beater speed to medium and mix for one additional minute.
- Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring the dough to combine.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. Add more flour to keep the dough pliable - if the dough gets too sticky to knead, add a few tablespoons of flour until it is smooth and elastic again.
- Grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and turn the greased side up. Cover the bowl and place in a warm location. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 8" wide and 12" long.
Cinnamon Filling Ingredients
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
Baked Plain Cinnamon Buns
Finishing the Cinnamon Buns
- Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
- Spread the melted butter onto the cinnamon roll dough. There will be a lot of butter!
- Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the buttered dough.
- Starting from the long side of the cinnamon bun, roll the dough up.
- Cut the dough into 1" slices and place them (cut side up) in a greased 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Cover the baking dish and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour (until double) in a warm location.
- Bake the rolls at 350°F for 40 minutes. If not ready to bake the rolls, they may be frozen or refrigerated: simply allow them to return to room temperature before baking.
Cream Cheese Icing Recipe
How to Make Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and cream together until a smooth frosting is formed. When the rolls are done baking, spread the icing on the rolls while they are still warm. Eat and enjoy!