Dulce de Leche and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

from Pati Jinich

Share this page! · Tweet this page! · Pin this page!

Dulce de Leche & Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
(Roles de Canela y Dulce de Leche)
Serves: makes 12 generous sized rolls


For the starter:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 ounce packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar

For the dough:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more to knead the dough
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more to butter the bowl

For the filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
3/4 cup dulce de leche or cajeta
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or canela
3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. To make the starter: Place the lukewarm milk and water in a small bowl. Be careful as it shouldn’t be hot or cold, or the yeast will not react. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid along with a tablespoon of sugar. Stir and let rest until it puffs up and becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. To make the batter: Place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs, foamy yeast starter, sugar, and salt. Start combining the ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. After a few strokes, add the melted butter. Mix with energy, until fully combined. The dough will be very sticky and gooey.
3. Sprinkle your counter or work surface very generously with all-purpose flour. Turn the sticky dough onto the surface, and knead until it transforms from being sticky and gooey to soft and elastic, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add a bit more flour to the counter, if needed, and use a bench scraper to gather the sticky dough from the counter as you knead the dough, and it becomes malleable and soft. Shape the dough into a ball.
4. Butter a large bowl, place the ball of dough in it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it doubles in size.

To make the rolls: Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.
1. Sprinkle your counter or working surface generously with all-purpose flour. Place the dough on the floured counter and knead gently to begin to form a rectangle. Sprinkle a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a long rectangle of about 10-inches wide by 24-inches long.
2. Leaving a 1-inch frame around the rectangle spread the dulce de leche across the length of the dough to form a centered and long 6-inch stripe. Sprinkle the chopped pecans, the cinnamon, and the butter chunks all over the surface, except for that 1-inch frame.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 4. Working lengthwise, roll up the rectangle tightly. Brush the top 1 inch edge of the rectangle, with water, and close the roll up. Cut into 12 rolls: I like to cut the log in half first, then that half in half, and each of those quarters into 3 rolls. Place them in the buttered baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a kitchen towel, and let them rest in a warm area of your kitchen with no drafts or air currents, until they double in size, about an hour.
5. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 27 to 30 minutes, until they are fully cooked and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven.

To make glaze: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the vanilla, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk and mix with a whisk or spatula. Incorporate the confectioners sugar and mix until fully combined. Pour freely all over the rolls.
If you add the glaze while the rolls are still hot, they will turn out even better. Eat as soon as glaze has set, or at least try; it will be just a few minutes.