1 (1/4th oz) packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened + more for spreading on dough
1/2 cup warm milk (about 100 degrees)
1 egg yolk
about 2 cups sugar + 1-2 tbsp cinnamon for sprinkling and rolling
Sprinkle yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar and let sit for five minutes until foamy.
Meanwhile, mix together the flour, 1.5 tbsp and salt and whisk together well. In another bowl, combine the egg yolk and warm milk then pour in the yeast. Stir to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and either knead by hand for 6-8 minutes or use a KitchenAid with a paddle attachment (or dough hook) and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl.
Place dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove chilled dough from fridge and roll out to a rectangle that's about 1/8th inch thick. Spread dough with softened butter then LIBERALLY sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Trust me here, don't just sprinkle---pour a whole cup of cinnamon sugar all over the dough. Without this, your elephant ears will taste a little plain.
Roll up dough like a jelly roll then cut one inch slices off. Place each slice in a mound of cinnamon sugar and roll out to a 5" circle with a rolling pin. Sprinkle MORE cinnamon sugar on top and place each circle onto a lined sheet tray.
Bake the elephant ears for 12-14 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, flip them over and serve (you want to serve these bottoms up).
2 hours and 45 minutes