A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni. It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods: eggs. I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog. I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen: a cast iron pan.
The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet. These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table. This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.
The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away. The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate. I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe. After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.
All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe. I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.
After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made. As dinner went on, so did their happy comments. By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.
I promised that I would make this recipe again soon. I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself. These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.
Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour.
I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls. If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe. The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough. If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise. Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.
Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl. Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.
When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture. Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms. If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly. Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition. Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil. Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce. Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet. Place the skillet over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling. Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough. If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.
When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface. Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.
Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough. Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter. Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.
Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width. Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce. Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.
Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan. As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm. Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes. Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.
Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan. The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls. Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!