Machine Shed giant cinnamon rolls | Living the Country Life

Machine Shed giant cinnamon rolls

February 23, 2010

coobookThe Machine Shed is a wonderful restaurant with locations around the Midwest. They serve amazing, home-style meals that will make you feel like you’re eating at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm. It’s that good.


A few years ago, I was lucky enough to work with my friends at Successful Farming magazine, a sister publication of Living the Country Life, to edit a special cookbook. Now That’s Cookin’ is filled with favorites from the Machine Shed restaurants, plus tasty recipes from Successful Farming, which has been sharing recipes with its readers since its first issue more than 100 years ago.  I got to choose the recipes, organize everything, and write the section introductions. It was a very fun project, and I was hungry the entire time I was working on it. 


If you’d like to buy a copy of the cookbook (it would make a great Mother’s Day gift!), it’s available through our reader shopping site: Now That’s Cookin’


One of the things the Machine Shed is famous for is their giant cinnamon rolls. They serve a delicious, buffet-style Sunday brunch, and these babies fly off the table. Not only are they HUGE, but they’re also delicious, and the folks at the Machine Shed were kind enough to give up the recipe for the cookbook. And now I can share it with you!


10 to 10 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages dry active yeast
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Recipe Butter Cream Icing (or give yourself a break and use canned frosting) 


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups flour and the yeast.


2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, 1 cup butter, sugar, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees), stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on low for 30 seconds, then on high 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.


3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape into a ball, and place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.


4. For filling, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Grease two 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dishes; set aside.


5. Punch dough down. turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll half the dough in to a 16 x 12-inch rectangle.


6. Spread dough with half the softened butter, and sprinkle with half the brown sugar mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with one of the narrow ends and pinch edges to seal. Slice roll into six pieces and arrange in baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough, butter and filling, for a total of 12 rolls, 6 per pan.


7. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place until nearly double, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until browned and rolls sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove rolls from oven. Cool for 1 minute. Carefully invert rolls onto a wire rack. Cool slightly. Invert again onto a serving platter and spread with butter cream icing.


For butter cream icing: In a large bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup evaporated milk. Beat in enough additional powdered sugar (about 1 1/2 cups) to make a soft spreading consistency. Makes 1 3/4 cups frosting.


I shouldn’t tell you that one of these rolls has 744 calories. You can pretend you didn’t know, and I won’t tell.


I started making these rolls Sunday morning, not taking the massive rising time into account. We wound up eating them for lunch, but that was OK. It was a good chance to introduce our boys to the concept of brunch. It’s a concept they liked very much.


This is what the rolls looked like when they came out of the oven. They smelled amazing!




And here’s a ready-to-eat roll. I will confess I used canned frosting. I had half a can sitting in the fridge, and couldn’t see making more frosting and letting it go to waste. This is my four-year-old, Will. I thought it would be good for you to see just how close these rolls are to the size of his head.




The rolls were good. Next time I make them, though, I’m going to double up the amount of brown sugar and cinnamon that goes inside. I like my cinnamon rolls extra gooey with lots of sticky cinnamon. And since there are five in my family and the recipe makes 12 rolls, I froze half of them. Once the dough was rolled out, filled, rolled up and sliced into individual rolls, I put them into a freezer-safe covered pan and popped them into the freezer right away, without letting them rise. When we’re ready to have them again, I’ll pull them out the night before and stick in the fridge to thaw, then set them out on the counter to let them rise a bit, and bake as usual. I love freezing meals … it was no extra work to make the full recipe, and next time the rolls will be ready quickly with no work. Sounds good to me!

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