Every so often, we take a day off and head to the ranch. My favorite thing about going to the ranch, is getting to use the rustic clay oven. Everytime we go, I prepare a yeast bread recipe. Our last outing, was on Easter Sunday, and I prepared these wonderful Lemon-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.
Now, I know that a lot of people are afraid to make a yeast dough recipe, because they can be too complicated, especially since the liquid involved needs to be a certain temperature. But, fear not! In most cases, you can use hot tap water. If the liquid required involves milk and melted butter, just heat in a medium saucepan until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat. In the 15 years that I have been preparing yeast dough, I have never used a thermometer, and have never messed up a recipe. So, if I can do it, so can you!
Lemon-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 envelopes instant yeast*
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine
- 2 eggs
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat water, milk and butter, just until butter has melted. Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes, at medium speed with an electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn greased side up and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest 45 minutes in a warm place.
Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle; brush with half of the melted butter. In a small bowl, combine remaining filling ingredients; sprinkle half on dough. Beginning at shorter side*, roll up tightly, pinching seams to seal. (See picture)
*(Note: I rolled up the dough from the longer end just to yield more rolls.)
Cut each log into 10 equal pieces. Arrange loosely, cut side up, on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Bake in a conventional oven at 375ºF for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Remove from oven; drizzle with Lemon Glaze. Enjoy!!!
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir until smooth.
Yields 20 rolls
*Note: You can substitute quick active dry yeast for the instant yeast. Just dissolve the yeast in the hot water and let set for 10 minutes before adding it to the flour mixture.