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This is the closest thing to the real deal that will ever come out of your kitchen!
Making the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and then allow the mixture to sit and proof for 5 minutes.
Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in the remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 15-20 seconds. Set aside.
Into a small bowl, add buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk ingredients together until egg is incorporated with the other two ingredients. Pour the egg mixture into the water and yeast mixture. Stir for another 20 seconds using the mixer. Pour 2 cups of flour into the dough mixture and stir on low until incorporated. Sprinkle the remaining flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched.
Once it has reached this stage, turn mixer on knead and mix for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, grease the bowl and put the dough back into the same mixing bowl (since it’s practically clean anyways.) Turn the dough over to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Let dough rise for 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
For the filling and assembly:
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
Punch down the dough. Flour a large clean table liberally with flour. Lightly flour dough as well. Roll dough out into a 20×30 rectangle (or as close to that as possible) while moving dough around to ensure it’s not sticking to your work surface. If it’s a little short or uneven, feel free to cut off the edges to even it all out. FYI—I cut off some dough on one side and filled in a spot that needed more dough on the other side to make a more even rectangle.
Spread the softened margarine over the dough, being sure to go right to the edges but leaving a 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough. Dump brown sugar mixture onto the middle of the dough and spread it out with your hands, creating an even layer over the top of the margarine. Make sure to leave that 1-inch strip of dough untouched. If you have any filling that falls off the sides of the dough, use a bench scraper to replace it. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the margarine using a rolling pin.
Roll the dough up into a tight log, making sure that you finish with the plain side of the dough on the bottom. This will seal the entire thing together. Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log. Score the log every 2 inches and then slice your rolls using those marks.
Place the rolls into parchment paper lined, margarine greased pans. Put 12 into a 9×13, and put the 3 remaining rolls into a loaf pan or 8×8 pan. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let rolls rise another 1-2 hours or until they are touching and have risen almost double. My rolls always spread out more than growing upwards.
Preheat oven to 350 F as you near the end of the rise time. When rolls have finished rising, put them into the preheated oven for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Watch them carefully!!
For the frosting:
While the rolls are baking, whip together the cream cheese and margarine in a medium sized bowl. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and lemon juice. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again. Pour in powdered sugar and stir slowly until it starts to incorporate. Then mix on high for 5 minutes or until frosting starts to lighten in color. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.
Once rolls have been removed from the oven, frost them using half of the frosting. Then after they have cooled a few minutes, frost them again with the remaining frosting. The first frosting will melt down into the rolls and the second layer should stay put. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes: Click on the related blog link to see step by step photos and more details that I neglected to mention. Also, if your frosting isn’t quite ready after you pull the rolls out of the oven, cover the rolls with foil so the tops don’t dry out and get crispy.