My Dad is the cinnamon roll king.
Basically, I grew up disappointed in every cinnamon roll I tried if he didn't make it.
I would try store bought ones, or even homemade ones. I tried the ones people said were amazing but usually got bored with them after a few bites.
Nothing seemed to compare to the rolls my dad made.
I also usually felt ripped off because an average sized cinnamon roll is about half the size of my dad's.
He got the recipe from his mom, but only knew how to make them from watching her.
I have spent many many hours watching my dad hand-mix his dough and learning the special tricks he uses to know just when things are right.
However, it took until I was 24 to have the courage to make them for fear of not succeeding. Such pressure!
I finally made them with my sister, Emily. We called my dad about 5 times to translate the recipe for us.
Originally his recipe says things like "1 glug of vanilla" and " add sugar until glistens" "add flower until its sticky" "a heaping tablespoon" and written next to it was "ish". "Some butter" There are very few precise measurements.
Anyway the cinnamon rolls were amazing thanks to his coaching.
Last week, I made them again with my mother-in-law. They were so fantastic, and she became pretty obsessed and ate half of them. You're welcome.
After two successful batches, my hope of passing the cinnamon roll joy on to my children has grown and I feel guilty not sharing the recipe with you.
If you feel like having your life changed by delicious baked goods, try baking them!
(Be warned, this recipe makes about 45 gigantor rolls. You can half it and still have too many. But my family makes a lot and freezes them. They are a wonderful breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack/dessert after just a quick zap in the microwave)
Darryl's Famous Cinnamon Rolls
6 c. hot to warm water
1 c. shortening
2 T salt
heaping cup sugar
level T yeast
1/4 stick melted butter
Glaze: 1 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. vanilla
powdered sugar to right consistency
Water should be hot to the touch but not scalding. Put in large mixing bowl.
Once at a temperature warmer than luke warm, between warm and hot, add shortening and yeast and mix together with a wooden spoon.
Once yeast shows (bubbles) add eggs.
Add flour, mixing with spoon, until dough can be mixed by hand.
Keep adding flour until dough is sticky enough that it sticks to your hands but can be pulled off in sections leaving sections of skin clean.
Knead all dough. Let rise in bowl with wet towel over bowl.
(Do not let it rise too long, or rolls will taste yeasty)
Punch down dough when it rises to about double. Knead. Let rise again with wet towel over bowl.
Split dough in half, and roll out using flour to keep it from sticking to counter. (My dad gets the counter top wet and spreads the water around with his hands, then sprinkles a layer of flour over the water, then plops the dough down and starts rolling it out with a floured rolling pin)
Roll out until dough is roughly 1/4 an inch thick.
Cover dough with melted butter. (My Dad spreads it around with his hands, its much quicker than a brush and you can feel what spots are missing butter easier)
Sprinkle with a coating of sugar, enough that it doesn't all melt in the butter but "glistens" under light.
Add lots of cinnamon (As much as you prefer, but cinnamon goes a long way)
take edge of dough and roll it into a log. Do not squeeze it so its tight, but dont do it too loose.
Slice log 1" thick. Let rise 20 minutes.
Bake at 350 until just brown on the bottoms.
Glaze while warm.
Repeat with second half of dough.
Makes about 45 rolls.