Apple Cinnamon Rolls
(recipe adapted from Rock Recipes)
1. Combine 2 cups of the flour along with the sugar, instant yeast and salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a large electric mixer that uses a dough hook.
2. Add the melted butter, warm milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
3. Using a wooden spoon or the regular paddle of your electric mixer beat for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook at this point and begin to slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. If not using an electric mixer keep mixing in the flour gradually until a soft dough forms that leaves the sides of the bowl. You may need to use a little less or a little more flour, this is not uncommon.
4. Knead the dough for an additional 10 minutes either in the electric mixer or on a bread board or countertop.
5. Cover dough and leave to rest and rise for one hour.
6. Punch the dough down and knead it for a few minutes by hand before letting it rest for another 10 minutes.
7. Roll the rested dough out into a large rectangle about 12x18 inches.
8. Combine1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup very soft butter, 2 tsp cinnamon
9. Spread this mixture on the rolled out dough. At this point you can make plain cinnamon rolls or, if desired, you can sprinkle on raisins, chopped pecans or walnuts, chopped apple pieces or any combination you like.
10. Starting at the short side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log, pinching the dough together to seal at the end of the roll.
11. Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces and place in the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking pan.
(Note: For Sticky Buns combine 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup melted butter in the bottom of the pan before adding the rolls. Invert onto a platter when baked.)
12. Cover the baking pan with a clean tea towel and allow the rolls to rise until at least doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. (You can also let them rise in the fridge overnight and pop them into the oven in the morning, or you can freeze them before they rise and take them out of the freezer to rise overnight on the counter top before going to bed)
13. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the rolls spring back when touched in the middle of the pan. Frost with vanilla glaze if desired.
1 cup icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Whisk all three ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over the cinnamon rolls.