Winter Is Coming Cinnamon Rolls

My cinnamon rolls probably are not very good for you. But eating well isn’t about sticks and berries at every meal. I’ll pick chef Samin Nosrat over calorie counters and vegan extremists every time. Eating and making food is about what gives you joy and what sustains you.
It’s also about improvisation. Once you know the basics, it’s fun to cook au pif – an expression I learned as a teenager in France – to make something ‘by the nose.’ That’s another reason I dig Nosrat’s book, Salt Fat Acid Heat.

Dough rolled out and filling spread. Decided to add more pecans!

This recipe started with a Standard Roll recipe from a 1959 Fannie Farmer cookbook. By the time I got my hands on it in the 80’s, my mother’s yellow cloth covered copy was stained with sauces, dusted with flour, and had pages thumbed down for quick reference.

Feel free to deviate and if you haven’t made goodies with yeast yet, don’t be intimidated. “Warm” water for starting the yeast is easy to test by putting drops on the back of your hand. Too hot for the back of your hand means too hot for the yeast.
Have fun and don’t skimp on the butter, sugar, nuts, or cinnamon.

Winter is Coming Cinnamon Rolls


1 package (1 T) yeast. (I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise) dissolved in ¼ cup warm water. Let stand for five minutes.

¼ cup butter
2 T tablespoon sugar
2 t teaspoon salt
2 cup warm milk

Mix butter, sugar, salt, and milk together and let for a few minutes.

Add yeast and 3 cups of flour to the milk mixture and beat thoroughly (I usually do this with a wooden spoon).

Sugar, butter, etc in the pan before placing rolls

Cover with cloth, set in a warmish place, and let rise until double its size.

Stir in as much as 3 cups of flour and move onto a floured kitchen counter or whatever surface you have for kneading.
Knead well with your hands until flour is well incorporated.
Roll out until dough is as thin as a thin pizza crust. Make it roughly rectangular as this dough is going to be rolled up after the filling is spread on it.


½ cup or more butter, mostly melted
1 cup or so brown sugar
2 t or more cinnamon
¼ t or so nutmeg
Dash of salt
1 cup or more chopped pecans or walnuts – I think pecans are wwaayy better for these rolls, but it’s your call!
½ cup oats – this is optional and I’ve found it can add an interesting texture and taste

Mix filling ingredients together and spread onto dough, taking care to cover entire surface all the way to the edges. Roll dough carefully to form a long log. Slice into segments – I usually make 1 ½ inch slices.

Into the oven they go!

Prepare 13 x 9 pan (You might use a bigger or smaller pan, depending on how you slice the rolls.):

In the pan:

5 T melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 t or more cinnamon
Dash of salt
Some whole pecans

Mix ingredients together and spread in bottom of pan.
Place sliced dough/filling rolls on top of the sugar/butter pan mix.
Cover with cloth, set in a warmish place, and let rise until double its size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cooking times vary. I baked two pans of these about 20 minutes. The aluminum pan took less time than the ceramic pan. Also, I’m cooking at 7,000 feet elevation.

When they are golden brown (or sooner, for those who want doughier buns), take from oven and immediately invert onto wax paper.

One more thing: I really like to use turbinado sugar if I don’t have brown sugar. Just as good, maybe even better!


Done and cooling!

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