- ½ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
- 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus ½ cup (1 stick) melted, plus more for brushing
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons milk, half and half or heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and salt, whisking to blend.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine yeast mixture, 4 tablespoons melted and cooled butter, milk, egg and vanilla.
Gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture, beating until smooth after each addition. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat the top. Cover with greased plastic wrap or a dishtowel, and let stand at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
Lightly spray a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet with melted butter and set aside. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Punch dough to release any excess air. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a large rectangle, roughly 18 by 10 inches. Brush dough generously with melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture, leaving a 1-inch border on one of the long sides of the dough. Starting on the long side, tightly roll up the dough, towards the clean border, into a log, pressing edge to seal. Cut into 12 rolls.
Place rolls cut side down in the prepared skillet. Cover, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake cinnamon rolls until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. To make the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, butter, milk and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls.