Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls from The Works Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

I absolutely love Cinnamon Rolls. I can't imagine anyone that wouldn't. My wife was raised on them, on a Mennonite Farm in Kansas. Her mother made her Grandmother's Cinnamon Rolls and my wife continues the tradition and the recipe, so I think she makes the best Cinnamon Rolls.
In the early 70's my friend Jay and I packed up our things and moved from Chicago to Colorado.
We had big dreams of becoming ski bums. It was a passion that we shared. We had to figure how we were going to survive and afford it.  We came up with the brilliant idea to open a Hot Dog Restaurant at the base of the mountain. We kept it simple. Hot Dogs with "the works". We served the best organic Ice Cream, Soda's and Milk Shakes, along with Hot Dogs and a Hot Dog Bar for all of the "works" to put on them...... and then we decided to add ....... Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. What a brilliant idea!  It was the perfect choice for skiers, early in the morning, to start with a boost of sugar and a hot cup of coffee. The rolls were  huge and became a huge hit. I kept the original recipe and here it is.
As I look back at the recipe, it's very Hippy!
We made some of them plain, no cinnamon/sugar, no raisins, no glaze. We called them Sweet Rolls and served them to dunk in Hot Coffee.
When I say to "make a lot " of something, you have to realize that our recipe was often tripled or quadrupled because we made tons of these rolls at a time. We created a restaurant quantity recipe.

We had restaurant measurements for the huge batches that we made so I've adapted it for the home baker.

The instructions are a bit shaky as I look at them now, but I'll try to make sense of them here.

Cinnamon Rolls from the Works Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado:

1 C Warm Water
3 packets of Yeast
2 C Scalded Milk
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
A pinch of Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
Enough Flour to create a heavy dough ( this is the sketchy part) I guess I figured it out in the end..... because the rolls were amazingly large and yummy.
Cinnamon, a lot of it! (We made a Sugar/Cinnamon mix..... the ratio is 1 C of Sugar to 4 TBS of Cinnamon.) Make a lot!
Raisins, a lot of them!

Glaze recipe to follow.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
You'll need a Sheet Pan lightly greased with Vegetable Oil or Crisco.

In a small bowl:
Warm Water
Allow it to soften in the water. Don't stir it, let it do it's thing.

In a large mixing bowl:
Combine the following ingredients:
Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add the yeast and work it in.
Add enough Flour to create a heavy dough.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a large, lightly greased (vegetable oil or Crisco again!) bowl.
Allow to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. at least 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Punch down the dough, shape it into a ball, cover with a towel and allow to rest again for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough into an 18"X10" rectangle about 1/2" thick. The longest side should face you.
Cover the entire surface with a lot of the Sugar / Cinnamon Mix.
Cover the entire surface with a lot of Raisins.
Roll the dough from the long side facing you to the opposite side into a log , as tight as you can.
Cover the log with a towel and allow to rest again for 30 - 45 minutes.
Slice the dough  into 1" rolls, place a dozen of them onto the prepared sheet pan and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack.
While they are still warm, cover them with glaze.
Allow to cool completely, well, sort of...... we served them warm!

Glaze: Make alot of glaze too.
4 TBS Butter, melted
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
3 - 6 TBS Hot Water

In a bowl:
Combine the Butter, Sugar and Vanilla, Whisk well.
Add hot water 1 TBS at a time until desired consistency.
Pour the glaze over the warm rolls and allow to cool completely, or not!

Peace in the Kitchen!

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