Tales from the Road: The Machine Shed Restaurant(aka, Home of the Monster Cinnamon Roll)

Let me preface this post with a disclaimer.  I have never eaten at the Machine Shed Restaurant.  As a matter of fact I would have never known about the Machine Shed if it wan’t for a family reunion for my husbands family.  The hotel a lot of people stayed at and where the reunion was held was right next door to the Machine Shed restaurant. 

After coming home, Joe and I saw on TV the Machine Shed Cinnamon Roll.  We were both anamored.  Joe and I have an unspoken quest to find the best cinnamon roll out there.  Joe(the family baker) makes great cinnamon rolls, and I don’t do half bad with frozen bread dough, but this was different.  Very different.

The Machine Shed roll is huge.  When I say huge, I really mean HUGE.  At first glance it looks like a loaf of bread with a thick coating of icing.   Upon further inspection, you can see is is a swirl of cinnamon and yeast bread, thick and sweet, topped with buttrcream icing.  Yes, the same icing that tops your birthday cakes.  Each roll could easily feed 3-4 people, and has more calories than you want to know, but they are fantastic. 

These aren’t the sticky bun type roll, with a syrupy sauce.  The icing holds its shape well, and is firm to the touch when at room temperature.  We slice our roll and I like to microwave mine for 15-20 seconds just to warm it.  The roll itself is light in texture and has a good yeasty flavor.  Combined with the cinnamon and brown sugar, it is yummy!  They do offer a sticky bun type roll on their menu, but we have never tried it.  The regular cinnamon roll retails for $3.29, a steal for what you get!

The fine people of the Machine Shed have also been kind enough to make this recipe available for you to make at home.  Be warned, you may want to cut this recipe in half, it FILLS the pans.  When Joe made these on vacation this year, we ate them for 3 or 4 days!

From everything I have heard, the other food there is good as well, and the price is right.  To learn more, check out their website at:  www.machineshed.com

Machine Shed Cinnamon Rolls

10 to 10 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages dry active yeast
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Recipe Butter Cream Icing (or give yourself a break and use canned frosting)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups flour and the yeast.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, 1 cup butter, sugar, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees), stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on low for 30 seconds, then on high 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape into a ball, and place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

4. For filling, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Grease two 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dishes; set aside.

5. Punch dough down. turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll half the dough in to a 16 x 12-inch rectangle.

6. Spread dough with half the softened butter, and sprinkle with half the brown sugar mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with one of the narrow ends and pinch edges to seal. Slice roll into six pieces and arrange in baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough, butter and filling, for a total of 12 rolls, 6 per pan.

7. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place until nearly double, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until browned and rolls sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove rolls from oven. Cool for 1 minute. Carefully invert rolls onto a wire rack. Cool slightly. Invert again onto a serving platter and spread with butter cream icing.

For butter cream icing: In a large bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup evaporated milk. Beat in enough additional powdered sugar (about 1 1/2 cups) to make a soft spreading consistency. Makes 1 3/4 cups frosting.

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