AKA Jerilyn's Grandmother's Cinnamon Rolls - Jerilyn Brusseau has been baking cinnamon rolls with her mother and grandmother since she was 9. She grew up in a Snohomish, Washington, farmhouse that was the center of hospitality. Every Sunday, the family enjoyed fried chicken, baked beans and cinnamon rolls. Brusseau is the creator of the franchised Cinnabon cinnamon roll, and it has become one of the culinary highlights of her career.
1 cup warm water
3 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast or 3 cakes fresh yeast (5/8 ounce each)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
3 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, unsifted
2 cups butter, melted
3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Dough: Combine water, yeast and sugar in large mixing bowl and let stand 5 minutes.
Add butter to cooling milk to soften. When cool, add milk mixture to yeast mixture
and stir well. Add eggs and salt and stir well with wire whisk.
Begin adding all-purpose flour, mixing well with wooden spoon until mixture resembles
thick cake batter. Add raisins. Add 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour. Mix well
again until dough is quite sticky and begins to leave sides of bowl.
Place 1/2 cup remaining whole wheat pastry flour onto board. Turn dough out and
knead about 10 minutes until smooth and shiny, slowly adding more flour if needed.
(Dough should be somewhat soft and resilient, almost sticky.)
Shape dough into ball and place in large greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover with damp towel. Let rise in warm place about 45 minutes or until doubled
Turn dough onto large floured board. Roll out to 24 x 20-inch rectangle. (Dough
will be quite thin.)
Filling: Mix together melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread entire
rectangle of dough with mixture (it should be very glossy in order to produce syrup).
Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll rectangle tightly from long side (filling will be slightly
runny and dough will be soft). Make sure seam side is on bottom. Shape with hands
to make roll uniform in size from end to end.
With very sharp knife, cut roll into 16 equal portions. Place side by side, cut
sides up, in 2 well-greased 13 x 9 x 3-inch metal baking pans. (Glass pans will
tend to caramelize syrup too quickly.) Cover with warm, damp towel and let rise
in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Bake at 350 degrees F until nicely browned and filling is bubbly, about 35 minutes.
Immediately invert onto serving platter or baking sheet, allowing syrup to drip
from pan onto rolls (this is the secret).