She was a neat lady, actually my Great Aunt. She taught Home Economics for 40 years, and so she really knew what she was doing. Yesterday, I made her rolls, and because all y'all have been read on to the special compartmented BAKING classification, here's her recipe.*
Dissolve 1½ cakes of yeast (a cake is the same measure as an envelope of dry yeast) in ⅓ cup of warm water, with half a tablespoon of sugar.Two things to point out: the amounts here are half what her recipe calls for. Aunt Charlotte made a lot of rolls. Also, I only used half this (made 15 rolls), and saved the other half of the dough for Cinnamon rolls:
Scald and cool 1¼ cups milk. When cool, add the yeast mixture.
To this mixture, add ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ stick melted butter, and 1½ teaspoons of salt.
Add one beaten egg (optional; recommended for the Cinnamon roll variant).
To all this, add 3 cups flour, a bit at a time.
Spank (her description, not mine) and knead the dough until it just barely does not stick to the board.
Let rise in a warm place (45 minutes).
Knead the dough a second time - as she described it, "to see if it is still enough". I don't know what this means, but the dough should never be particularly stiff.
Repeat the rise and knead sequence twice more.
Form the rolls and let them rise until light. Optionally, baste with an egg wash for better browning. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 425° oven.
Roll out the dough until it's a square roughly 12 inches on a side.There you have it. You'll never eat a Cinnabon again. And remember, if you use Aunt Charlotte's original quantities, you'll have two dozen dinner rolls and two dozen cinnamon rolls!
Sprinkle with brown sugar (you'll need at least a cup).
Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to taste (remember, a little allspice goes a long way)
Roll into a log
Slice into twelve 1" rolls
Put on a baking sheet and let rise one last time before baking. I like to let them rise overnight in the refrigerator. Just remember to pull them out 30 minutes before baking.
Bake 10-15 minutes at 425°
* Remember, this is classified, so don't tell anyone.
UPDATE 25 November 2011 10:45: Here's what they look like.