A few weeks ago, my grandmother paid me to bake a hundred cupcakes for her birthday. One hundred. Cupcakes. In four different flavors. Holy. I mean, sure, I baked two hundred before but back then I had my cousins to help me. Plus the oven we used could accommodate two cupcake pans in one go. Now, I have to bake, frost and package 100 cupcakes by myself, in my tiny oven after I come home from my afternoon class.
On the cupcake baking day, I woke up early to prepare for class and do some last minute inventory check. Upon opening the cupboard that contained all of my baking stuff, my cheapo plastic measuring cup came falling down and broke in half. Just great. Since I really needed a measuring cup, I just bought a new one on my way home from school.
It was while baking the cupcakes when I realized that my old measuring cup is completely wrong. The markings on it say that 1 cup is 200 ml. And of course, me being me, I did not bother to check if it was correct. The new measuring cup says that a cup is around 230 ml. I checked online. It's 237 ml. I've been using the wrong measurement for the first two years I've been baking. Haha.
This is actually the third time I've made cinnamon rolls. The first two times I used my old measuring cup. The dough then was a lot less stickier but it made rolling difficult. I would roll and roll but it would snap back. The finished cinnamon roll was kind of hard at room temperature. Good thing I bought a new measuring cup.
I used Pioneer Woman's recipe but I halved it since the recipe makes so much. I also used softened butter to lessen the mess melted butter makes. Oh, oh, oh, and I used brown sugar just because.
Makes 4 8-inch pans
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
4 cups (plus 1/2 cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1/2 tablespoon (heaping) salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
To assemble the rolls, remove the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, put 1 cup of the softened butter over the surface of the dough. Spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle the ground cinnamon and the sugar over the butter.
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down.
Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.