Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grandma Klein's Famous Cinnamon Rolls (Sticky Buns)

A few years ago I requested that Grandma Klein make her famous cinnamon rolls and I was going to video tape it.  However, the videotape never happened, so I just followed her around like a reporter and wrote down every little thing she did. It proved to be difficult to be exact.  But, we've tried the best we can.

There's really 2 separate recipes.  First you'll start with the sweet roll base.  Grandma says you can use any sweet roll recipe as the base, but here is the one she used that day. 

I will be going step by step for people who are totally uneducated about cooking from scratch (like me)... So, if you already know this, just scroll down a while to find the cinnamon roll and goo part... :)

UPDATE: 5/26/2010. I've added pictures and edited the instructions after my mom visited. Please post a comment to explain what you do differently and what your results are. Thanks!

UPDATE: 6/5/2010 - I changed the "goo" measurements to reflect a range.  I personally like the upper range better (adding more of everything to a single pan making more goo), but it was good with the lower range as well.

1 c water (room temperature. not cold. not hot. tepid.)
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs dry yeast
2 eggs
2 c milk
2/3 c cooking oil
3/4 c sugar
4 tsp salt
10-11 c flour

Now, just a warning.  Apparently I don't own any big bowls or any metal cake pans, so we did things a little differently (nothing that would mess up the integrity of the recipe).  Just don't get confused if you see different bowls. Or different pans.

Combine water and sugar in a small bowl (no picture, but I used a big cereal bowl).  Sprinkle yeast in and gently stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.

While you're waiting for the yeast, get the largest bowl you have, crack the eggs in and beat.

 Pour in milk.

Pour in oil.

Pour in sugar.

Pour in salt.

 Mix well.

5 minutes should've passed by this point, so add the foamy-lookin' yeast mixture to the very large bowl and stir gently.

Then add about 7-8 cups of flour and mix.

Then add one cup at a time to get the right consistency (up to 10 or 11 cups).  It shouldn't be sticking a ton to the sides of the bowl and shouldn't be super shiny, if that makes sense.  It'll get harder to stir.  These pictures show the mixture as too shiny and obviously not stirred in.

Place in covered bowl in fridge if you're not going to use it right away. (we made ours at night, so we stuck it in the fridge... it's hard to tell something is even in there.... and I don't have lids for these bowls, so we just put saran wrap and a rubber band on it.)

if you just want to make sweet rolls, follow the rest of the recipe below.  otherwise, just forget about this part...
shape rolls about 2 hrs before serving.
let rise.
punch down unused dough and return to fridge.
bake @ 425 for 15-20 min 

To make the cinnamon rolls, here's what you need:
a clean counter  :)
flour (to put on counter when rolling the dough)
2 cake pans (9x13 or larger)
rolling pin
butter - 1 stick (softened, not melted)
1 c brown sugar (can add or decrease... you'll be sprinkling it)
scant 1 T cinnamon (can add or decrease... you'll be sprinkling it)
clean towels (to flip pans over on when done)  NON TERRYCLOTH

and to make the "sticky" sauce part, you'll need:
1/2 - 3/4 stick of butter
1/4 - 1/2 c pancake syrup (maple flavor)
3/4 - 1 c  brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp water
***  these amounts make sauce for ONE pan and the roll recipe makes 2 pans ***

Clean off counter and spread out some flour

Separate dough into 2 balls working on one at a time.  Put one ball of dough on spread out flour.

Flatten a little with your hands first. It will make rolling out the dough go a little faster.

Use rolling pin to flatten and make the dough about the dimensions of a big piece of construction paper, perhaps 12x18?  You just want a big rectangle.  And it doesn't have to be perfect.

Soften (NOT melt) 1/2 stick of butter (I left mine out overnight, but you can nuke in microwave if necessary) and spread on dough.

Sprinkle on brown sugar (about a cup) all over .  Rub it in so there is a thin layer smoothed out.

Sprinkle on cinnamon (a scant Tablespoon) to cover. Distribute evenly.

Starting on one end, roll up the dough the long way.

Keep rolling until you get to the other side. The go back and forth - side to side - until it's all rolled out.  Even it out so the middle is not so bulky.  Doesn't have to be totally perfect, just to get rolls a uniform size.

Take 9x12 cake pan and put 1/2 to 3/4 stick of butter in it. Put pan on stove top to melt the butter.  (Unless you're like me and don't own a metal cake pan. I have glass and ceramic, so we melted stuff in the microwave and poured it in the pans). 

Add pancake syrup and stir.


Add brown sugar and stir.

Add about 2 to 3 Tbsp water and stir. If you want sticky buns, add more water. If you want them more chewy, omit water.  If melting on the stovetop, your sauce will definitely look thinner.  It'll all turn out the same,  but Grandma does it on the stove with a metal pan.

Use bread knife (serrated) to cut dough about 1 1/2 inch thick.   Mom likes to eat the little end pieces that won't be used for cinnamon rolls.  I don't like to.  Do whatever you want with the ends.  (by the way, you could do this step before you make the sauce, but mom wasn't sure how many would fit in my pans)


Place rolls on side in pan that has the syrup/sugar mixture (turn it over from how you cut it so you can see the swirls facing up)

Cover pan with dampened towel and let dough rise until double in size (could take 1-4 hours depending on the warmth of room, etc.  I didn't take a picture of this. You can put it in the fridge to rise, but will easily take 6-8 hours).  If you're cooking the rolls striaght from the fridge, let dough get to room temperature first.
Here's what one pan looked like after rising.

Place pan on lowest rack and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. (your oven may vary.... experiment with the time). If you have glass or ceramic pans, lower temperature to 350 and cook for 35-40 minutes.

Let rolls sit in pan for a few minutes and then flip over onto a non-terrycloth towel.  You don't want bits of the towel to stick to your yummy treats.

2nd pan. Larger pan so we doubled the "sauce", but made it thick (we left out the water).


Let me know how these instructions worked for you and what you did differently.