Soft Gooey Cinnamon Rolls recipe step-by-step picture tutorial

My mission, Soft Gooey Cinnamon Rolls! Its has taken me a few tries to get the right texture and flavor to my Cinnamon Rolls. When I was younger around 10, we would go to a little Country Store and they had great food! My favorite was their Cinnamon Rolls. When I would come home to visit my family I recall craving the Country Store cinnamon rolls. However to my great disappointment, they closed up their shop!! I was devastated because I really enjoyed that place! I still have not found another place with the cinnamon rolls I use to enjoy. So I have been on a mission to recreate these cinnamon rolls. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have, I am very proud of it!

The two “secrets” I have decided to use with this recipe is sour cream & mashed potatoes. I do not use the fake from the box or potato flakes, not that you couldent however I never buy those items, but I always have baked potatoes in my pantry. Personally there is no reason not to use the real stuff, its healthier for you and it much more cost effective. You only need one potato. I personally like baked/russet potato for this recipe because of the course texture of this type of potato, red or gold is fine if that all you have.

This is a VERY wet dough and it may take more time. I personally like to add a little bit of flour at a time and work dough gradually to get the correct soft fluffy dough. When you put to much flour into your dough that can create a heavy or dense dough. I do all my baking by hand with no stand mixer. If you have a stand mixer I am sure it will go faster and be less of a mess. BUT just know for those of you like me, you can do this by hand!

Dough
1 or 2 russet potato you need 1/8 cup of mashed potato
2 cups of all purpose white unbleached flour, plus 1 cup and 1/4 cup for dusting
1/2 tSp plus 1/4 tsp of salt
1 package of Fast Acting Yeast
1/4 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup potato water (see instructions below)?
1/2 cup milk
6 tBsp melted butter
2 tBsp sour cream
2 tSp of half & half (if need you can just use milk)
1 egg room temperature

Plan on 2-4 hours from start to finish.

Filling
1/4 cup brown sugar (brown or light)
1/8 cup white sugar
1 tBsp cinnamon
2 tBsp soft butter

Frosting
2 Cups of powder sugar
2 tSp vanilla extract
2 to 4 tSp of milk (depending on how thin)

Peal and dice your potato

Place potato in a small pan and fill with cold water, enough to cover and to measure at around 2 inches above. Heat on a medium high and you will boil until potatoes are fully cooked and soft, at least 15 minutes.

Place your package of yeast in a bowl or measuring cup. Once your potato water has reached 115 degrees, which takes about 1 or 2 minuets, remove 1/4 cup of water and then check temperature to make sure its at 110 degrees. Don’t add to yeast if its hotter then 115 degrees, you don’t want to kill your yeast. Then place water with yeast and mix together and smash the yeast chunks so it dissolves completely into water.

Place your 2 cups of all purpose flour in a separate bowl. Measure out 2 tBsp of flour and place in the water yeast mixture and mix well together so no lumps. Then let sit until it bubbles up to double or triple in size, takes about 15 or 20 minuets, depending on how warm your kitchen temperature is. If your room is warm this may happen much sooner, so make sure your water yeast mixture is placed in a container that will not overflow.

Go back to your potatoes and you will now add 1/2 tsp of salt to the water. DO NOT add salt before you have removed the 1/4 cup of water, salt kills yeast faster and this may happen if you mix the salt with the water yeast mixture.

While you wait for your potatoes to be cooked gather all the other ingredients. If you have taken your egg out of the fridge and its cold, place your whole egg in lukewarm water and let it sit for at least 5 minuets, so that egg comes close to room temperature.

Measure out 2 tBsp of sour cream and 2 tSp of half & half (or milk) and mix together in a small cup.

Once your potatoes are done, drain water out. I use a medium size mesh drainer because it serves also as a “rice masher”. If you have a rice masher you can use it. However if you are like me and don’t have a rice masher, don’t go running out to buy one just for this recipe. I used my mesh drainer and it worked perfectly!!! My mesh drainer only cost me under $3 from Walmart and its a tool you can use more often.If your don’t have a mesh drainer, no despair, just make sure your potatoes are mashed and you have no lumps at all! Best way is to make sure your have boiled your potatoes until they practically fall apart in the boiling water, and all you need is a fork to smash them.

Smash potatoes through mesh drainer with the bottom on your spoon (I used a spoon after my fork) into a separate bowl then measure out 1/8 cup of packed mashed potatoes then place back into your pan you used to boil potatoes. I had tons of leftover potatoes, and I just saved to use for another time or add to a dish as a thickener.

You will now place the 1/2 cup of milk, 6 tBsp of butter, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tSp of salt with the 1/8 cup of potatoes. On a low heat you want everything to melt and dissolve into the butter. Once sugar and salt have dissolved turn off heat and let sit to and make sure its cool or warm to the touch.

Take your room temperature egg (if you forgot go ahead and put in warm water, it only takes 5 minuets) in a separate bowl add egg and sour cream and milk and whisk together. Then you want to add 1/4 cup of your milk potato mixture to egg mixture and whisk together. This allows egg to reach the temperate to milk without the eggs getting scrambled. This is why its important not to have a hot milk mixture. After you whisked 1/4 milk mixture to your egg mixture, add rest of milk and whisk together.

Once all milk & egg mixture is combined, now add 1 cup of flour to mixture. Whisk together until well combined. Then add the yeast mixture. Once all is combined add the rest of leftover flour from the 2 cups you measured out and mix/fold together with a large spoon, the whisk will no longer help.

This dough looks very wet, right? That’s okay!! We want this. Let dough sit and rest covered for 10 minuets. Doing this allows the flour to absorb all the moisture and it will get fluffy. Doing this also allows the proper amount of flour to be added. If you skip this stage you may over flour your dough batter. After the 10 minutes is up, that one cup of flour can be used, however only mix together 1 or 2 tBsp at a time. This may be time consuming. You may not need the full amount of extra flour, or you may actually find you need the entire extra cup. Temperature and climate play a roll in this, so this is why its important not to just add the extra cup all at once.You probably think dough looks really wet still after adding the extra cup of flour, and you know, it is! It’s very sticky and wet. However don’t be scared to get it on you fingers. I choose to lay out my dough on a well floured surface. You will probably want to measure out another 1/4 cup of flour for dusting. but only add a little flour at a time onto surface. I choose knead on my floured surface instead of in my bowl. I use the french kneading method, you lift, smack, fold, lift, turn, smack, fold. Kneading by hand the traditional method can be hard with a wet dough. So if you need to knead in a clean bowl while dusting with flour, that fine, but it is much more fun the other way.

Once your dough feels like marshmallow texture, now your may be able to hand knead the traditional way. You will knead for 10 minuets at a time, then let dough rest for 5 min (cover with a towel while dough rest). Then knead for another 5 minuets. Its very hard to over knead your dough by hand. You can with a stand mixer. Please do not use my time for hand kneading for the stand mixer. I would say you can knead with your stand mixer for 5 minuets then let rest for 5 minuets, then knead again for 2 minuets.

Once your dough feels “tight”, meaning it stays a nice full round shape, and slowly relaxes, you can lightly press your finger into dough, if dough bounces back quickly, your dough is done being kneaded. If the indent from your finger stays sunken, then you will need to knead for another 5 minutes (by hand), I even recommend you do this by hand and not use your stand mixture.

Once the dough looks like above, take a large clean bowl and oil it with canola oil. If no canola oil you can use vegetable or olive oil. You only need about 1 tSp of oil, then take your fingers or a paper towel and rub all over bowl. Then place your dough into bowl and take your oiled hand or the paper towel and rub it on top of the dough to lightly oil it.

Place a towel or cover top with plastic wrap. If its a cold day or house is cold, I like to turn my oven on to get warm, around 250 degrees. Once oven has reached 250 degrees, I turn off then place bowl of dough into oven (still covered) and close door. This will allow dough to rise faster then in a cold environment. You don’t need to to do this step, however your dough may take much longer to double in size. I only need to wait 45 minutes for my dough to double in size. I remove from oven and let sit uncovered for another 15 minutes if my dough needs to be fuller. While I wait the 15 minutes now is the time to get filling together, if you didn’t already.

For filling take 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar (brown or light) 1/8 cup of white sugar & 1 tBsp of cinnamon and mix together until well combined.

Now take 2 tBsp of butter and place in the microwave on DEFROST for about 30 second to 1 minute depending on how cold your butter is. You do not want to melt your butter completely. I prefer to have my butter just melted a tad and then I mix butter to get a semi-melt. This makes it easier to spread on dough. If your do add melted butter to dough, that fine too, I just like a thicker coating.

Now time to shape the dough. I do NOT use a rolling pin. I did once, however I found this made my dough to flat/thin. I rather lay out and shape with my knuckles/fingers. Punch your dough down and lay out onto counter. Take your fingers and just start pressing down to break up the bubbles. You want as many bubbles removed as possible. I lightly flatten out dough a little then take each top and side and fold in then bottom.

I did not use the rolling pin, just there for a visual. Just keep a rectangle shape, sometimes your need to lift dough lightly to stretch out the sides. To keep shape always press down from the middle and go out and up. You want a thicker shape, about 1/2 inch up. Once I measured out my dough it was roughly measuring 9×15.

Now take soft butter and spread all over dough, just leave about 1 inch clean at the bottom, but do all other sides. Then take your filling and dust and spread out, again leaving the bottom portion clean. I like to pat my filling into butter to get it damp, plus helps so filling want fall out as easily once your fold.

Now you need to roll from top to bottom, starting the fold at the top and go from the middle and then out one side then even up the next side. I like to get it tight enough so once it puffs its not as loose. Once you get to the end, you want to crimp the ends, just squeeze together from one end to the other.

Once crimped, roll so seam is on the bottom. Then cut dough down the middle. Then take each half’s and cut down middle, keep doing that until your measurements are about 2 inches wide.

Take a 9×13 glass pan (better to bake with) and oil well all sides and bottom. Grab one roll at a time, I grab from the sides, lift then squeeze around so sides meet up, then crimp together.

Try to evenly space apart, allow around 1/2 inch apart. I was able to have 3 rows of 5 rolls. Equaled about 15 pieces. I did have 16 however I gave the extra one to My Cupcake to play with.

Once done, cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area. I like to place mine on top of a upside down cast iron pan, that sits on top of my stove. Let dough rise for about 30 minuets. If your rolls have not puffed up, let sit longer. I like to turn on my oven at 350 and while it pre-heats my rolls get fuller. Then rolls will fill the gaps in pan and get taller. Picture below was before I turned my oven on to let rise fro another 15 minutes. I forgot to take another picture before placing in the oven.

Place rolls into the pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 17 minuets. While you wait for rolls to bake get glaze ready. Take 2 cup of powder sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Add 2 tsp of milk or half & half. I like mine much thinner, so I add about 4 tsp of milk. But that is up to you. Please note that you want fresh powder sugar, at times powder sugar can have a strange flavor if it has not been stored properly or it is old. So have fresh powder sugar anytime you make a glaze for the freshest flavor.

Once rolls are done, they will have a slight golden color ontop, however if you look at sides and bottom of pan, there will be a golden color, your rolls are done (why a glass pan is much better to use).

I like to let my cinnamon rolls sit for 5 minutes then add the glaze while rolls are still hot. You don’t have to, you can wait longer, like 10 or 15 minutes.

My little cupcake loves to help!

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