Cinnamon Rolls

It is almost laughable that I am writing a post on food today.  I am not the greatest cook in the world.  In fact, I consider it a small win every time I complete dinner without saying, 'I burnt the food' or 'I didn't read the directions the right way' or better still 'Um I didn't have _____ so I just substituted ____.'  Whenever I say these things I am pretty much certain my husband and daughter just know dinner is going to be interesting at best.

These cinnamon rolls are do-able even for me so if you are not a cook have no fear.  If I can make these, so can you.  One thing that I have learned along the way is that fresh ingredients are important.  Don't use eggs that are old or yeast that is old.  It will end poorly for you.

With that, here is what I did.

Mix the yeast, teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 cup warm water together.  The water should be warm, not hot.  

Cream together sugar with coconut oil/butter.  The original recipe I used called for shortening, but we don't normally have that around the house, so I use what I have.

I will be honest.  I don't have a lot of the kitchen equipment one should probably have.  When a recipe says sift, I pull out a colander and shake the flour through there.  It works, and I have more cabinet space.  :)

At this point the yeast should have rested long enough to look like the above photo.  It should be bubbly.  

Next, take the yeast that has been sitting, and pour it in the egg/butter mixture.  Add water, and then the flour mixture.  Having an assistant for these things makes everything go quicker.  I wash the used dishes, while she pours.  Win-win :)

Mix, mix, mix.  If you need to, maybe prop a knee on the counter to get some leverage :)

I transfer the batter into a buttered bowl after it looks like the consistency of bread dough.  I use a dry erase marker to mark where the dough is on the bowl, because quite frankly I can never remember how full the bowl was to begin with.

After the dough has doubled in size (about 4 hours), roll it out onto a floured surface, and make it somewhat rectangular.

Add some butter.

Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins (or whatever you fancy).
Roll it up, cut it up.  Let the rolls rest another 2 hours, and finally bake.  Let cool a few minutes and cover with icing.  Yummy!
Ingredient List
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
3 eggs
about 6 cups flour
1 Tablespoon salt

Cinnamon Raisin Mixture:
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins
5 Tablespoons butter

1 stick butter
1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk (almond milk, or coconut creamer work too)
Any flavors you prefer -- Vanilla, or cream cheese etc.

Mix yeast, warm water and sugar in a small bowl, and allow to sit in a warm place, while continuing onto the next step.  Cream 2/3 cup sugar and butter/coconut oil (you can also use shortening) together.  Slowly add eggs.  Set aside.

Sift flour and salt together.  

Add yeast mixture to cream mixture, and then add 1 1/2 cups warm water.  Slowly incorporate sifted flour into the cream mixture.  I use about 6 cups of flour.  It may take a little less or more depending on where you live.  I mix until it looks like bread dough. 

Grease a bowl and transfer the dough into it covered with a towel.  Let rise about 4 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface.  It is not necessary to kneed the dough.  I just work it into a large rectangle shape.  I keep the dough around 1/2 inch thick.  

Brush melted butter onto the dough, and sprinkle the dough with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.  Roll into the classic cinnamon roll shape and cut.  
I had about 30 cinnamon rolls.  At this point you can allow to rise (about 2 hours)  and then bake or place in the freezer to enjoy later.  (You will need to pull them out once they are frozen and wrap them up really well in plastic wrap/aluminum foil).
Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  After about 10 minutes, I cover them with foil to keep them from browning too much.
The icing, is just butter, powdered sugar and vanilla mixed together with a mixture until creamy.

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