Herren’s Cinnamon Rolls
Herren's Restaurant operated in Atlanta at the corner of Luckie & Forsyth Streets, from 1934 until 1987. It was opened by prizefighter Charlie "Red" Herren, then bought by Guido Negri in 1939; the Negri family operated it until it closed in 1987. I was fortunate enough to eat there a couple of times before it closed. A basket of these cinnamon rolls came with every meal. Cinnamon rolls are a wonderful gift at this time of year and these are great.
1 cup milk
¼ cup butter (cut into slices)
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
2 packages yeast
¼ cup warm water
4 cups flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
Boil milk in a heavy saucepan. Add sliced butter, ¼ cup sugar and salt and set aside to cool. Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. In a small bowl, add yeast to water, then stir into the milk mixture. Add flour, about a cup at a time, and beat well (dough can also be mixed by hand). Let rest for 15 minutes. Knead until smooth. Place dough in a large buttered bowl, cover with a clean dishcloth, and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
In a bowl, combine the 2 cups sugar with cinnamon. Lightly butter two 13x9” baking pans and sprinkle with some of the sugar mixture.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick and about 8 inches square. Lightly brush surface with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture generously over entire surface. Starting at one side of the square, roll up dough into tube. Continue rolling back and forth until it’s about 12 inches long. Cut into wheels about ½ inch wide and place flat in the pans, so that there’s just a little space between them. Do not overcrowd pan. Brush the tops with butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to rise.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute, then promptly remove rolls to prevent sticking.
Makes 60 rolls.