Cinnamon Rolls

I make these every Christmas, preparing the dough the night before and popping them in to bake as soon as we wake up Christmas day. Its such a delight to start the day with while opening presents. Aside from that, this is such a show stopper and if you can put in the bit of effort required, everyone will love you if you show up to a party with this! I've decorated it a few different ways (pistachios and freeze-dried raspberries at Christmas) but just with a plain cream cheese glaze is my favourite. 





Makes 8-10 Dough 65g butter ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp salt ½ cup milk 10g or 2 tsp instant yeast (check the expiry!) 2½ cups flour 2 eggs, whisked Filling 65g butter, at room temperature ½ cup brown sugar 2 Tbsp cinnamon Glaze ¼ cup cream cheese or 2 Tbsp milk ½ cup icing sugar, sifted Grease or line a circular cake pan or spring-form pan with butter or baking paper (measuring about 27cm in diameter). Preheat oven to 180°C when ready to bake cinnamon rolls. Heat first measure of butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small pot on low heat. Once butter has melted, remove from heat and add milk. Dip your finger in the mixture, if it is about body temperature then add yeast, stir and set aside for about 5 minutes. If it is too hot the yeast will deactivate and the dough will not rise. Sift flour into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the milk mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Alternatively beat with a paddle attachment on your mixer until smooth. Add whisked eggs, half at a time, beating until smooth before each addition. Once dough is combined, dust a clean surface with flour and turn out your dough. If using a mixer, switch to a dough hook at this stage. Knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is soft but not sticky. Do not add more flour to the dough as this will make it dense, instead dust your hands with a little flour as needed to avoid them becoming sticky. Place dough into a greased bowl, covered with damp paper towels (making sure the dough has room to rise) and set aside somewhere warm to rest, preferably overnight or for a minimum of 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. In a small bowl, beat together all filling ingredients with a wooden spoon, until smooth. When ready to bake, dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough into an even rectangle, measuring about 30 x 20cm. Evenly spread filling over the dough, leaving a 2cm gap around the top and bottom edges. Roll up tightly into a log and slice log in half repeatedly, until you have 8-10 rolls. Place one roll in the centre of prepared tray, cut-side-down and place remaining rolls around it in a circle, leaving space between each one for them to rise. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until golden and cooked through. While cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare glaze. Beat cream cheese or milk with icing sugar with a whisk or in your mixer, until smooth. Spread glaze over hot cinnamon rolls. Leave to set for 5 minutes before serving.