Ingredients3/4 cup (180ml) milk (I recommend whole or 2%)
1 packet Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon (55g) granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg
2 and 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour spoon & leveled
5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, very soft and at room temperature
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1 and 1/4 cups (150g) confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup (or use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
InstructionsMake the dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm-- no need to use a thermometer, but to be precise: about 95°F (35°C). Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer OR no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). With a spoon, manually stir in the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. This is called proofing the yeast. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh active yeast. On low speed, beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour until combined. The dough will be wet. While continuing to beat on low speed, add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency. I always need 2 and 3/4 cups flour total, no more no less. **If you do not have a mixer, you can stir the dough by hand with a wooden spoon in this step.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes, line a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker with greased parchment paper. (I heavily spray it with non-stick spray, but brushing oil all over it works too.) If you have a larger slow cooker, that's ok- just space the rolls out more.
Make the filling: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14x8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly, then cut into 10-12 even pieces and place them inside the lined slow cooker. Place a paper towel right under the lid of the slow cooker-- this will help keep condensation off of the cooking rolls. Do not leave that step out and do not use a cloth towel-- a paper towel
Turn your slow cooker on high speed and cook for 2 hours, or until the rolls are fully cooked through. It's always 2 hours for me, sometimes 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once they're done, remove the rolls from the cooker right away by lifting out the parchment paper.