Add all the ingredients in the bread pan of your Bread Machine. Process according to manufacturer's instructions for a dough setting. NOTE: Do not be afraid to open the lid and check the dough. It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).
When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove the dough from the pan to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough several times and form the dough into an oval; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.
After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle. Brush the softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch sections. Slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and crisscrossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place rolls, cut side up, in prepared pan, flattening them slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
1. Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:
At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I've actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for one (1) month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.
If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I've done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.
2. Bake Immediately After Making:
Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 190 and 200 degrees.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread prepared Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm.
Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!
2 tablespoons butter, melted or softened
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Soften the butter; set aside. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; stir in chopped nuts (optional). NOTE: I like to sift the brown sugar and cinnamon together to remove any lumps.
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water
In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and hot water until well mixed and creamy. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.