I have a large food processor that can handle this dough, made with 4 1/4 cups of flour. If you have a smaller food processor it probably can't knead this large quantity at one time. If you're making the dough in a small food processor, measure half portions of the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls at the same time, then make the two batches of dough back to back. Remember that it takes only 30 seconds for the dough to knead, and you don't have to clean the bowl between mixings. If making the dough in two batches, continue to keep them separate. Letting them rise in separate bowls will speed things along, too.
You can either use the cream cheese frosting provided here or use a glaze. A good glaze recipe is on my Glazes & Icings Page. The first glaze recipe, the confectioners glaze, is the best for this.
1 package (2 & a 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
6 tablespoons of honey
2 large eggs, plus 2 large yolks, at room temperature (soak eggs in warm water if cold)
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
4 & a 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1 & a 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Cinnamon Nut Filling
6 tablespoons of light corn syrup
3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup of pecan or walnut pieces (optional), toasted and finely chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 ounces of cream cheese (6 tablespoons), softened
1 & a 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. For dough--food processor method: Pour yeast into 3/4 cup warm water in a medium bowl and let it stand until dissolved. Stir in honey, eggs, yolks, and butter.
2. Place the flour and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add the yeast mixture, then process until a soft, sticky dough mass starts to form, adding additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough doesn't come together. Continue to process until dough is soft and well kneaded, about 30 seconds.
Standing mixer method: Mix yeast and 3/4 cup warm water in mixer bowl and let it stand until dissolved. Mix honey, eggs, yolks, and butter together in a medium bowl. Add to the yeast mixture and mix using paddle attachment. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl, then stir 3 cups of flour mixture into yeast mixture, beating on low speed until fully blended. Switch to dough hook and gradually blend in 1 cup of remaining flour over low speed. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour if dough is sticking to bowl's sides. Mix at medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and not stick to bowl's sides.
3. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl (I use a bit of melted butter brushed inside the bowl with a pastery brush, if you used a standing mixer, you can use the washed and dried mixing bowl), cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 & a 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on dough and room temperature. Do not put it near a draft.
4. For filling: Measure the corn syrup in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts, if using.
5. Line a 13-by-9-inch metal baking pan (or the bottoms of two 8-inch cake rounds) with parchment paper so that it extends over the two long sides. Without punching down dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Halve the dough, setting one portion aside.
6. Stretch the dough into an 18-to-20-inch-by-6-inch strip, making sure that you are standing in front of a short end. Drizzle dough evenly with half of the corn syrup, then use a pastry brush to spread it, spreading all the way to the dough's far end to ensure a good seal when rolled. Sprinkle dough with half the brown sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at dough's far end.
7. Roll the dough up into a log, making sure it is thoroughly sealed. Make 5 even crosswise cuts to mark the dough, then cut dough (dental floss or fishing wire works best) into 6 rounds.
8. Place in the pan and form a plastic-wrap dome over rolls. Repeat with remaining dough half. (If using a 13-by-9-inch pan, put dough rounds in 4 rows of 3.) Let dough rounds rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
9. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the plastic and bake the rolls until puffy and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (Buns can be cooled completely, double-wrapped in plastic, and frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 300-degree oven until warm, 10 to 15 minutes.)
10. For frosting: While buns bake (or reheat), beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, then 1 teaspoon of water and vanilla. Let buns cool for 5 minutes, spread a portion of frosting over each warm bun, and serve.
*NOTE* For huge, soft, warm, gooey cinnamon rolls that are easy to make: Use honey in place of sugar, water instead of milk, a combination of whole eggs and yolks rather than just whole eggs, and butter rather than oil in the dough.
Knead the dough in the food processor (which only takes about 30 seconds).
Brush the stretched dough with corn syrup so that the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture will adhere and create a sticky-bun-like bottom during baking.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (not including rising time)
Total Fat: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 99 mg
Sodium: 343 mg
Carbohydrates: 71 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 33 g
Protein: 8 g
Calcium: 43 mg
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