Simple Cinnamon-Cranberry Dinner Rolls

by Cathy Pollak
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Simple-Cinnamon-Cranberry-Dinner-RollsThanksgiving is almost here and it's time to nail down those menus. Serving homemade bread is one of the best parts of the holiday meal.

We have so many choices when it comes down to what kind of bread or roll to serve. For me, it comes down to how many people I have to serve and what flavor am I looking to add to the meal.

Since Thanksgiving has so many savory dishes, I am always looking to add a little more sweetness to the meal. I love when dried fruit is added to stuffing. It helps give diversity to the meal. Since I often add the dried fruit to the stuffing, I thought maybe I would try adding it to the dinner rolls instead. It's always fun to change things up a bit.

I did not want the rolls overly sweet, so I added a little bit of cinnamon and only a half cup of dried cranberries to my regular dinner rolls recipe. It. Was. Perfect. The slight hint of cinnamon and a bite of dried cranberry smothered in butter was the perfect way to round out the meal.

Simple Cinnamon-Cranberry Dinner Rolls
Recipe created by Cathy Pollak | Serves: 36 rolls

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
9 Tablespoons butter (6 softened, 3 melted)
2/3 cup warm water (between 110-114 degrees)
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 cup dried cranberries
coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low. With the machine still on, add softened butter gradually. Continue to mix for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is the consistency of sand. Add the warm water in a steady stream over one minutes time; scrape down the bowl. Beat in the egg for one minute more.

Remove the paddle attachment and add the dough hook. Slowly add remaining 2 cups of flour on low speed. Dough will form a ball (takes about 2 minutes). Add cranberries. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue to knead for about 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth, elastic and slightly sticky. Cover the bowl and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into thirds. Then cut each third into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Brush an 11 x 17 rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. Arrange dough balls about 1" apart on the prepared pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Cathy owns a vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer forDavis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.

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