Foolproof Bread Cinnamon Rolls
Warm water: 3 cups (water temp should be about as warm as you can stand on your wrist from your tap; too hot will kill yeast)
Flour: Start with 4 ½ cups; add an additional 2-2 ½ cups when prompted in recipe (6-7 cups total)
Yeast: 4 tsp.
Salt: 1 T
Oil: 2 T
Apple Sauce: 2 T
Honey: 1/3 cup
1 cube butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup shredded pecans
1 ½ cups raisins
Combine 4 ½ cups wheat flour and warm water. Using the dough hook for your mixer, mixing flour and water to paste consistency. Mix in yeast and then add salt, honey, and oil and apple sauce. Turn on mixer. As the motor bears down, turn up the speed. Add additional flour, one cup at a time, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl (careful not to add too much flour). Let knead 10 minutes.
Remove the dough once it’s kneaded, and roll it out on a lightly oiled surface into a large rectangle about 16X36 inches and approx. ¼ inch thick. Melt ¾ cube butter and spread it evenly over the dough. (I often melt the other ¼ cube and put a bit in the bottom of the pans before I put the cinnamon rolls in). In a separate bowl mix 1 ½ cups brown sugar with 3 tsp. cinnamon. Spread mixture evenly over dough. Spread 1 cup shredded pecans and 1 ½ cups plumped raisins evenly over dough. Roll up dough to form a roll starting with the long side. Seal the seam by pinching dough together. With seam side down, cut into 1 inch slices using fish line or floss. (Slide string under the roll, cross it over the top, and pull apart.) Place rolls on a non-stick baking sheet. Let rise until double in size. Bake: 350◦ 13-18 minutes. Yield: 32 rolls (or more).
Prepare the rolls and put them in the pans; do not let them rise. Cover with plastic and refrigerate. In the morning, remove the rolls and let them rise until they’ve doubled in size (this takes about 45-55 minutes from the time you take them out). Then bake as directed.
Orange Roll Variation:
Instead of cinnamon, use the zest of 3 oranges mixed with the brown sugar. I also use the zest of another orange plus the juice of that orange and add it to my favorite cream cheese frosting to put on top.