2cupsmilk, scalded (heat to just below a boil), I use 2% milk
4cups(568g)all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1tablespooninstant yeast, see note for active dry yeast
8-12tablespoonssalted butter, softened
¾cup(159g)packed light brown sugar
¼teaspooncardamom, optional but delicious
2ounces(57g)cream cheese, softened
½cup(113g)salted butter, softened
2tablespoonsmilk or heavy cream
1 ¾cups(200g)powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl to mix by hand), add the sugar and oil. Pour in the scalded milk and mix. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes or so until it is warm but not blazing hot.
Add the 4 cups flour and sprinkle the yeast on top of the flour. Mix until no dry streaks remain and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. The dough will be loose and wet-looking. Cover the bowl and let the sponge rest until puffy and doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough looks smooth instead of rough and shaggy. It may not necessarily clean the sides of the bowl but it should for a pretty cohesive mass. Add additional flour only if it is too sticky to handle or a small piece of dough won't form a ball in your hands (it's ok if it leaves some doughy residue on your fingers).
Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl or container, cover, and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
On a lightly floured counter (I use about 2-3 tablespoons flour), roll or pat the dough into about a 18X12-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter evenly across the top. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon (and cardamom, if using) in a bowl and sprinkle evenly across the top of the butter. Pat down very lightly.
Starting with one long end, start rolling the rectangle into a log without pulling and stretching on the dough (but still rolling as tightly as possible). Roll the seam to the bottom and pat the log into an even thickness - it should be about 20 inches long or so at this point.
Cut the log into 12 even pieces. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined half sheet pan, tucking the loose end of the roll underneath, if you want. The rolls should be about an inch apart so they have room to rise. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until noticeably puffy and almost doubled, about an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-25 minutes until lightly golden and baked through. Let cool until warm before frosting.
For the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a medium bowl. Whip with a handheld (or stand) mixer until creamy. Add the salt, milk or cream, and vanilla. Mix again. Add the powdered sugar and whip until light and creamy.
Spread the slightly warm rolls evenly with the icing. Serve immediately or let cool completely and serve at room temperature (or warm lightly before serving).
Yeast: if you only have active dry yeast, proof the same amount of yeast in a couple tablespoons of warm water and a pinch of sugar until the mixture bubbles and foams, 3-4 minutes. Add it to the recipe per the instructions (when the instant yeast is added).Doubling the Recipe: this recipe doubles great (I've only doubled it in my Bosch mixer, not the KitchenAid).Flour Amount: usually with a yeast dough recipe, I give a big ol' lecture about going by the texture and feel of the dough vs the exact flour amount. With this recipe, the flour amount is important - the dough will probably be softer and slightly stickier than you may be used to - try not to add additional flour. Use the pictures and details in the post to get an idea of how the dough should look and feel. Add additional flour a little at a time only if the dough is too sticky to work with.Freezing: Just like Gloria's recipe, these baked cinnamon rolls freeze amazingly well. After they've been frosted and cooled, I'll scoop the rolls one by one into a quart-size ziploc bag, seal and freeze. It gets a little messy with the frosting, but once they are lightly warmed, no one notices - they taste as fresh as the day they were made! It helps to take them out of the bag still frozen and then microwave for a minute or so on 50% power until warm and gooey.Make-Ahead:this post details how to make sweet rolls ahead of time.Convection Bake: if using convection bake, set the oven to 325 degrees F.