Cinnamon is absolutely, hands down, one of my favorite smells, and tastes, in the entire world. You probably already know that I’m gluten free (it’s a health thing), but even though I can’t taste these, I love the smell of them baking.
Challah (pronounced holla), is a light, sweet, fluffy egg dough and it is amazing as a cinnamon roll. I love cream cheese frosting on my cinnamon rolls, but then they require refrigeration, and when I send them to work with my husband (you guessed it!) they never refrigerate them! Ugh.
So I decided to glaze these beauties with my favorite doughnut glaze. Oh my – they are awesome! In case you don’t believe me, here’s a photo of the luscious interior. .
Oh yum – these are so soft and fluffy!!
You can also freeze them on parchment not touching and reheat on defrost for 1 – 2 minutes (depending on your microwave). I plan on making a bunch of these before school starts so my kids have some options in the morning.
Speaking of early mornings and school, I also like to cook my bacon in the oven. Here’s that info so you don’t have to track it down on my site:
*I prefer to cook my bacon in the oven on a half sheet pan (with a rim) lined with foil for easy cleaning. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place bacon strips next to each other in an even layer (don’t stack them) and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease. Eat immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 days wrapped in foil.
I know this recipe is super long, but I wanted to give clear instructions so that you will have success. Also, unlike your typical filling recipes out there, I created a spreadable filling so that all that yummy goodness doesn’t fall out on the counter while rolling. I hope you love them as much as my family does!!!
Challah Cinnamon Rolls Adapted from Baking with Julia
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Melt in a large microwave safe bowl, swirl butter around to coat the bowl and set aside.
1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, sugar, and warm water until combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons honey
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
In a medium pot, whisk together the sugar, butter, milk, honey, and salt until very warm. Continuing to whisk so the mixture does not burn. Take the mixture off the heat as soon as the butter is melted.
I like to touch the milk mixture to make sure it’s not too hot before adding it to the yeast mixture. If you are not comfortable doing this, you may let it sit for 5-10 minutes so you are sure it has cooled down a little. You do not want the mixture to be too hot and kill the yeast.
When you are ready, pour the milk mixture into the yeast and whisk until combined.
4 large eggs
Add the eggs one at a time, whisking completely in between.
6 1/2 cups bread flour (approximately)
With a wooden spoon, stir in a few cups of flour at a time. When the dough starts to thicken into a stiffer dough, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed.
This is a good time for me to tell you that the finished dough is still quite tacky, smooth, and soft, which lends itself to a soft, light, and tender roll. Do not add too much flour!
Place the finished dough into the reserved buttered bowl and turn it over to coat both sides with the butter. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bowl to seal in the air and cover the plastic wrap with a clean dishtowel.
Let the dough rise until doubled 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I never time my dough, I just check on it, releasing the air out of the plastic wrap now and again and resealing it. When the dough has reached the top of my bowl, I deflate it, and cover it again.
Prepare two 9 x 13 inch pans, and an eight inch pan, by spraying them with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with parchment. Then pour 1/4 cup of melted salted butter into the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
Then once the dough has risen to the top (another hour or so), turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and gently knead it a few times. Then pat the dough into a rectangle and roll it out about 1/3 of an inch thick and cover it with cinnamon sugar spread (recipe below), sprinkle with 1 – 1 1/2 cups roasted pecans if using, then roll it from the long end up and gently move the finished roll closer to you and cut about every 2 inches.
Place cut side down into prepared baking pans. Make sure to leave room in between the rolls for the dough to spread. I was able to fit 6 rolls in each 9 x 13 pan, and 4 rolls into the 8 inch pan.
Cover each pan with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour or until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the rolls have risen, remove the plastic wrap and place them in the oven for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. I turn my halfway through baking so there is even browning.
When the rolls are done. Let them set in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then carefully invert them onto a wire rack, and then flip them again onto another wire rack so that they’re right side up again.
Set the wire rack onto a large half sheet pan (to catch excess glaze) and pour the doughnut glaze over each cinnamon roll, making sure to cover the entire roll.
Serve immediately, store at room temperature for 3 days, or freeze and store for a few months! Reheat slightly before eating for a fresh from the oven taste.
2 cups salted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, and cinnamon until nice and creamy. Add in the corn syrup and beat until combined. Run a nylon scraper through the mixture to see if it’s easily spreadable. If so you’re done, if not, add another Tablespoon of corn syrup and beat until combined.
Doughnut Glaze Adapted from Glazed, Filled, Sugared, & Dipped
4 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a large pot, combine the butter, water, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, whisking until smooth and combined. Let the mixture heat long enough to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, whisking occasionally to prevent burning. Then when it’s semi-clear, strain it through a sieve into a pour spout pitcher for glazing. It’s now ready to use. While still warm, glaze the cinnamon rolls.