I have a few fears in my life. Spiders. Cockroaches. Ants. Flies. Ladybugs. Being in the same room as any of the above. And for the longest time, there was another thing on that list: yeast.
Baking with yeast terrified me, the "will it rise" question taunting me from underneath the covered bowl set in the corner of the kitchen. Will I put in all this work – mixing and kneading and rolling – to end up with a flat, inedible bread?
Well, I’m no longer afraid, and you shouldn’t be either. Here’s the only thing you need to know to have a successful yeast endeavor: buy new yeast! You know that jar you have in the back of your cabinet that you received as part of some themed Purim packages six years ago? Throw it out. Those little packages of yeast that came in to your possession around the time of the Clinton administration? Toss them.
Now go out to the store and buy some nice new yeast – of the active dry variety. Then make these amazing cinnamon buns, and open the front door to allow in all the neighborhood kids who followed the smell. Then hide a few just for you – one will never be enough!
Gooey Cinnamon Buns
2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 cups and 1/2 cup flour, separated
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 stick melted butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat the milk until just warm to the touch. Mix with the oil and sugar. Sprinkle in the yeast, and let sit for a few minutes, until a few bubbles form [if they don’t, you need new yeast!]
Add in the 4 cups of flour, and mix to combine. (You could also use a bread hook on a stand mixer.)
Cover and let rise for an hour at room temperature.
Add in the remaining ½ cup flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix to combine.
At this point, you can either let the dough rise another hour before making the rolls, or stick the dough in the fridge overnight.
Grease 3 9-inch round pans. Roll the dough out in to a long, thin, rectangle.
Brush the dough with the melted butter until covered.
Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top, then sprinkle the dough generously with ground cinnamon. Roll the dough up in to a long, tight roll. Press the seam down to seal. Slice the roll into 3/4"-1" slices and place the buns in to the prepared pans.
Let rise for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake the rolls at 375 F for 15 to 18 minutes until just turning golden brown.
While the buns are baking, mix together 2 cups of sugar and the remaining ingredients for the glaze. Whisk well until smooth. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup to thicken if necessary.
After the rolls have cooled for 5 minutes, pour the glaze over them, making sure to coat them completely. Enjoy!