A Very Large Cinnamon Roll
packs instant yeast
warm whole milk
2 ½ tsp
butter, mostly melted
light brown sugar, packed
A little bit of milk
Save for an extra-small version of a typically large thing, there are few things that impress more than an extra-large version of a typically small thing. This cinnamon roll demands a large amount of its few ingredients, yes, but it is guaranteed to wow guests at your next cinnamon roll-appropriate event. Craft it with love, patience, forgiveness, and derring-do.
- Sprinkle yeast in a cup of lukewarm water and set aside for about five minutes.
- Melt the butter and stir in sugar to combine. In the largest bowl you have—personally I used a large soup pot—mix the butter and sugar combination, warm milk, yeast, salt, and eggs. Slowly begin to incorporate 10 cups of flour. (If you have a hand mixer this might be easier, but I do not, and it was fine, though you will have to use your hands, and it will be messy.)
- Cover and let rise for about two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- After the dough has risen, add another two cups of flour, or however many it takes to make the dough not very wet, and the baking powder.
- Roll out the dough on a well-floured, very large surface. I used my Ikea INGO / IVAR kitchen table and the dough rolled out to roughly the size of the entire tabletop. Maybe you have the same table?
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- To make the filling, combined mostly melted butter (so it’s easier to spread), brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a spatula, spread this on the dough and then wait for about 15 minutes until it’s a little less, um, wet.
- This is the hard part. Cut strips in the dough, each one slightly bigger than the next. (They should begin at about four inches and then increase gradually by a half inch each.) Roll the first strip. Then roll that strip into the second strip, making sure the surface of the dough, with each strip, is well-floured for stability. (This will either come from the flour on the table or from you patting on a little extra flour.) Keep going—quickly but carefully—until you’ve rolled all of the strips into each other. This is going to be a huge mess, you’re going to be covered in flour, and you’re going to think, “I fucked it up.” Maybe you did, but also maybe you didn’t! It’s going to look like a mess either way.
- Plop the roll upright on a well-oiled baking pan. Feel free to futz with it a little, so it looks prettier than it looks now.
- Place it in the oven for about an hour. Then cover it in tinfoil, so the outside doesn’t get overdone. Then put it back in the oven for another hour.
- At some point during the second hour of cooking, mix up everything for the glaze on the stove. You’re going to really need to mix it up with a whisk so the cream cheese doesn’t look piece-y and disgusting, but I believe in you.
- Take your roll out of the oven.
- Pour on your glaze.
- Enjoy and impress.
Kelly Conaboy is a writer who lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in many websites that no longer exist, and some that still do.