We were given a bread machine for our wedding 10 years ago. I don’t care for the shape or crust of the bread it makes, so I have only really used it for making dough all of this time. I use it weekly, if not more, especially for pizza dough or focaccia, but lately I have been using it more for homemade cinnamon rolls.
I have tried many recipes I found online, but most of them had too much dairy, which is a no-no for my husband, are too sweet, which my son and I don’t care for, or have too much filling or a glaze, making them sticky to hold. Two of our kids are extremely fussy about messy or sticky feelings on their hands, so that is a no-no for us too.
Yeast doughs are really made from just a few of the same ingredients: flour, salt, water, oil or butter, yeast, and something to feed the yeast, like sugar or honey. My cinnamon roll dough is the same, with just the inner cinnamon roll filling tweaked.
I think mine are just sweet enough and not too high in calories. Using my bulk Sam’s club flour, yeast, salt, and brown sugar, I estimate it costs me $0.50 per batch.
Homemade Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup water, warmed to 110 degrees
1 TB olive oil
2 TB honey (I usually add to the warmed water to help dissolve)
3 cups bread flour (bread flour has a higher gluten content and I think gives a better rise, but all purpose will do), plus small handful to use during rolling
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp yeast
2 TB unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2- 3/4 tsp cinnamon, to taste
Set over to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients into bread machine in the order given and place on the dough cycle. When dough cycle is complete, place melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well, making sure there are no brown sugar lumps.
Place a small handful of flour on a clean counter and remove dough from machine, placing it in the flour. Turn dough over a few times to coat each side with flour and make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter. Start rolling the dough with a rolling pin into a long rectangle about 14-15 inches long and 6 inches wide. Use your hands to stretch the dough. Make sure it is not too thin or it will create holes and the filling will leak.
When the dough is long enough, empty the contents of the bowl onto the dough and spread from edge to edge. Make sure you reach each end, or your end-pieces will not have any filling. This filling can be runny, especially if you decide you want more butter. Once filling is spread, start with the top end and roll the dough like a jelly roll, pinching the raw edge into the body of the dough when fully rolled. Cut the log into 14 one inch pieces and place on their side onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. It will be a little messy and you will have to keep the rolls pinched together as you place them on the cookie sheet, but once baked they hold together well.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350, being careful not to burn. If the filling gets even a little overcooked and starts burning, they just won’t taste right! I once had to pitch a batch that started to burn.
According to a My Fitness Pal calculator, each roll is about 156 calories.
These freeze very well, just put on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple hours. They will be hard as a rock and can be transferred to a freezer bag. I can usually fit two batches in one gallon-sized freezer bag. I thaw inside the bag in the fridge overnight and bake the next morning as usual. It will taste fresh!