Chicago Tribune Giant Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

People tell us they still dream about these–giant, gooey cinnamon rolls from a recipe the Chicago Tribune ran in 1987. This recipe makes six buns, which just fit into one cake pan. Great tip from Chicago Tribune recipe developer JeanMarie Brownson: use thread, (or unflavored dental floss), rather than a knife to cut the raw dough into rolls before baking–they hold their shape better.

Makes six, giant cinnamon rolls

Dough Ingredients
4 cups all-purpose flour (about)
1 pkg. active dry yeast = 2.5 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 large egg

Cinnamon Filling Ingredients
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
5 Tbsp melted butter

Glaze Ingredients
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla


Make dough:

  1. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast into large bowl.
  2. Heat milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and salt in small pan until just warm. Stir until butter almost melts.
  3. Add to yeast mixture; add egg.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer, beat at low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
  5. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  6. Shape into a ball. Place in lightly-greased bowl; turn to grease surface. Cover.
  7. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk; about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  8. Punch down; turn out onto floured surface. Cover.
  9. Let rest 10 minutes.

Make filling:

  1. Mix sugars and cinnamon.
  2. Brush 9-inch round cake pan with 1 Tbsp melted butter.
  3. Shape rolls: Roll dough on lightly-floured surface to a thin rectangle 12 x 20 inches. Brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Roll up jelly-roll-style, starting at one 12-inch end. End up with a fat log, about 12-inches long.
  4. Cut rolls in 2 inch intervals, using dental floss or button thread: Slide the thread underneath the finished cinnamon-roll log. With one end of the thread in each hand, pull straight up and around the log, criss-crossing at the top and pulling tight to cut off 2-inch slices.
  5. Place cut rolls in the prepared cake pan, cinnamon-swirl-side-up, and drizzle any remaining butter over all.
  6. Cover and let rise 20 minutes.

Make Glaze:

  1. Combine confectioners sugar, vanilla and enough half-and-half to thin this mixture to glaze consistency.
  2. While rolls are doing their final rise, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes until puffed and golden.
  4. Remove pan to baking rack.
  5. Serve rolls warm, drizzled with glaze.

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