Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls
My blog has been incredibly well behaved in this month of resolutions. For the past six posts, I have positively inundated you with healthy meal options, from fruit-and-veggie stuffed skillets, to protein-packed salads, to muffins made with quinoa. Seriously. Quinoa.
In response, many of you paid me the ultimate compliment by bringing these nutritious dishes to life in your own kitchen. Thank you! I love you, my fabulous (if invisible) friends. I would like to hug you, to award you a big, sparkly January gold star, and to pass you a jumbo one of these golden baked delights.
YUKON GOLD CINNAMON ROLLS. Fluffy, tender, and oozing with molten brown-sugar-cinnamon lava, Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls are comfort rolled up with care, baked golden with gratitude, and slathered in sweet cream cheese love.
I’d like to invite you personally into my tiny, flour-encrusted kitchen to share these rolls with me. We’ll pull up two imaginary stools and chat about our dream travel destinations, awkward first dates, and guilty-pleasure pop songs. The snow outside will be cold, our conversation will be warm, and periodically, we will find ourselves pausing, closing our eyes, and contemplating the simple, pure bliss that are Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls.
January is a month for resolutions and change, but is also a month for returning to the things that consistently make our lives more fulfilling: cheery conversations, familiar hearts, and cinnamon rolls. I am proud of the fact that I strive to cook healthy meals most of the time—a reason many of you turn to this blog for recipe ideas—but on certain snowy mornings in January, when Old Man Winter is getting into his groove, we need ooey-gooey, sweetly-spiraled Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls.
Due to its title, you may be apprehensive that this recipe contains actual potatoes. Your suspicions are correct.
Before you condemn me for the blasphemous act of adding vegetables to cinnamon rolls—a sacred source of baked comfort—allow me to explain my actions. Yukon Gold potatoes are the secret to the dough’s delicate, melt-on-your-tongue texture. Cooked until tender, then whisked smoothly into the dough, the potatoes add a richness, softness, and moisture that flour alone does not offer.
Skeptical? The next time you are in the grocery store bread aisle, keep an eye our for potato bread. Notice how its lovely golden hue and extra-soft texture stands out from the surrounding loaves. We find that same gorgeous tone and softness in this Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls recipe.
And the touch of whole-wheat pastry flour? I just couldn’t help myself! Because the pastry flour’s texture is so fine, and the recipe still calls for half all-purpose flour, the dough remains exquisitely light, plus you benefit from a little extra fiber.
In fact, Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls are so airy, were it not for the incredible cinnamon goo filling and even gooier cream-cheese frosting, you might expect these jumbo pinwheels of glory to lift right off of your plate!
Our resolutions can continue and Old Man Winter may howl, but for today, let us retreat inside with our fabulously fluffy, sinfully sticky Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls. I cannot imagine a more classic, comforting treat I’d rather share on an icy morning or a more wonderful group of readers for whom I’d rather bake it. Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls are a big, fluffy helping of my appreciation for each of you. Thanks again for all of your support!
Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough:
- 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes — (8 ounces) peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter — at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour — plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup warm water — 105°F to 115°F
- 1 1/2 packages dry yeast — (about 3 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the Filling:
- 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar — (light or dark)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 4 1/2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter — (1/2 stick) at room temperature
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese — (Neufchatel)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, — sifted
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter — at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare the Dough: Combine potatoes, 1 cup water, and kosher salt in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Continue boiling, uncovered, until potatoes are completely tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Towards the end of the boiling time, check the pan periodically to ensure the water has not completely boiled away before the potatoes are tender, adding a little water as needed. Once the potatoes are tender, roughly judge the amount of water left in the pan with the potatoes. Drain/add water as needed so that approximately 3 tablespoons (just more than 1/8 cup) remains.
Mash potatoes with the 3 tablespoons water. Add butter and continue to mash until butter has melted completely. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, continuing to whisk until the mixture is completely smooth. Let stand until barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour 1/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F) into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or large mixing bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. (If yeast does not foam, this step must be redone—the yeast is not alive or has not activated properly.)
Add potato mixture to yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup of whole-wheat pastry flour. Mix in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour until incorporated, then add additional 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, beating well. Continue to beat until sticky dough forms. Let stand in mixing bowl for 5 minutes.
If using a standing mixer, switch to your dough hook. If kneading by hand, scatter remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour onto a work surface and place dough in center of it. If using a stand mixer, simply set the 1/4 cup all-purpose flour aside.
Knead (by hand or on medium-low speed) until dough is smooth and elastic—about 8 minutes—gradually adding more flour by tablespoonfuls as you go. Incorporate after each tablespoon, only adding as much flour as is needed until the dough no longer adheres to your hands and springs back lightly when poked. (I added 8 tablespoons—1/2 cup—of additional flour total). The dough will still be slightly sticky.
Coat a large bowl with non-stick spray. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours. Once doubled, punch dough down in center, then turn over so that it is in the bowl “punch side” down. Recover and let rest an additional 30 minutes.
Prepare the Filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Using a fork (or your fingers), work in the butter until fully incorporated.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving extra paper hanging over the sides.
Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface. Roll out dough to 12x10-inch rectangle of uniform thickness, using a ruler to ensure the size is accurate. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough.
Starting the long (12 inch) side, roll up the dough, jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Using large, sharp knife lightly coated in flour, cut roll crosswise into 8, 1 and 1/2-inch wide pieces. Transfer rolls to baking dish, placing into 2 evenly spaced rows of 4. Cover baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until nearly doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. (**If preparing rolls the night before, cover, place in the refrigerator, and let rise overnight. The next day, set the dish out 1 hour prior to baking to allow the rolls to come to room temperature, then bake as directed.)
When ready to bake, lightly cover the baking dish with tin foil. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes. Uncover, then continue to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until golden. Place pan on a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Prepare the Frosting: Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Spread over warm rolls and serve.
If preparing rolls to bake the next day: Proceed through Step 11, then cover the pan, place in the refrigerator, and let rise overnight. The next day, set the dish out 1 hour prior to baking to allow the rolls to come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
To Freeze: Seal baked, unfrosted rolls tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a heavy-duty ziplock bag or wrap again in aluminum foil. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight. Reheat gently in microwave, then frost before serving.
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