Secrets to Cinnamon Rolls
STEP #1 Form the risen dough into a rectangle: Working on a lightly floured counter, press the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Be sure to use a ruler as it is important to get the rectangle the right size or you will not end up with the right number of rolls or rolls that are the right size. Brush the dough with melted butter.
STEP #2 Add the filling and leave a border: Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough leaving a ¾-inch border along the top edge. If you don’t leave a border, it will be harder to get the dough to stick together when you form a cylinder and it may unroll. Press the filling to adhere it to the dough.
STEP #3 Form a tidy, even cylinder: Form a tidy, even cylinder: Carefully roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Do this slowly and with great care since an uneven cylinder will yield squat, misshapen rolls.
STEP #4 Seal the dough cylinder tightly: Once the dough is rolled tightly, pinch the dough together to close the cylinder and create a secure seam. Roll the cylinder over so that it is seam-side down.
STEP #5 Stretch and measure: Gently stretch the cylinder until it is 18 inches long with an even diameter. You may have to work with the cylinder a few times, stretching and patting the ends until it is exactly the right length. Pat the ends of the cylinder when you are done to even them.
STEP #6 Slice and arrange: Use a serrated knife to slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls. If you try to use any other sort of knife you will mash the soft dough. The rolls are fragile, so use a light hand and arrange them cut-side down in a greased 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan.