2 1/4teaspoonsinstant dry yeast*I like Red Star Platinum Baking Yeast
2largeeggs(at room temperature)
1/2cupsalted butter(Melted, but make sure it isn't super hot. Just barely melted, or even softened, is fine.)
4 1/2cupsall-purpose flour**(divided)
For the filling:
6ouncescream cheese(room temperature)
For the cream bath:
1/2cupheavy cream**(for pouring over the risen rolls)
For the frosting:
1/2teaspoonvanilla extract(or almond)
Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop.
Add the eggs, butter, salt and sugar.
Add in 4 cups (save the other 1/2 cup and add only if you need it) of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids.
Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook.
Beat the dough on medium speed, adding in up to 1/2 cup more flour if needed to form a dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl. That's ok! Don't be tempted to add more flour at this point. We generally add about 4 1/2 cups, but start with 4 cups.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double. I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there. It normally takes about 30 minutes for the dough to rise. Do not allow the dough to rise too much or your cinnamon rolls will be airy.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and strawberry jam until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Sprinkle a pastry mat with flour. Turn out the dough onto the lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24×15" rectangle. (the size of the rectangle can vary…it does not have to be exact!)
Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cream cheese filling over the whole dough rectangle. Then sprinkle the diced strawberries evenly over the filling.
Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.
Cut into 12 slices and place in a greased 10x15" baking pan.****
Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don’t make it hot…you just don’t want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through. Note…the time will vary based on how big the rolls are, what type of pan, how close the rolls are packed, etc. They could take up to 25-27 minutes. Check the rolls at 20 minutes. If they are getting too browned, cover loosely with foil for the remaining baking time.
While the rolls are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, softened cream cheese and diced strawberries using a hand mixer. At first it won't seem like the glaze is coming together, but don't be tempted to add any liquid. Allow the mix to sit for a minute or just keep mixing on low speed. The strawberries will release juices and the frosting will eventually become spreadable. If for some reason yours is not after you've given it several minutes, add a tablespoon of heavy cream.
Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*Different yeast calls for slightly different proofing methods. We follow Red Star Platinum’s temperature guidelines. Please check your yeast packet to see what temperature the milk should be at.**You can use bread flour if you'd like. The rolls will be slightly sturdier in texture, but they are great with either flour. We find we need just a touch less flour if we use bread flour rather than all purpose.***If you don’t have cream, use half and half, coffee creamer, evaporated milk, whole milk or coconut cream. Any of these will work. Even 2% milk will work, but we prefer a higher fat milk.****You can use a 9x13 pan if you'd like, but the rolls will not have as much room to rise during baking and may take longer to cook. If you do not have a 10x15" pan, you can also split them between two pans.Overnight InstructionsWe often make the sweet rolls and get them to the point of the second rise (when they are rolled out, cut up and put in the pan). Cover and refrigerate until morning.The morning you want to bake them, pull them out of the refrigerator. They may have doubled in size in the fridge overnight. If they have, let them sit for 30 minutes to get the chill off, then bake.If they did not rise in the fridge overnight, allow them to rise at room temperature. Plan about at least an hour for this. Then pour on the cream and let them bake.