December 28, 2011

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Having my dad here this Christmas inspired me to cook and bake up a storm - I just haven't been very good about actually posting any of it. Oops.

What could be better for Christmas morning then hot fresh cinnamon rolls!  I looked online for a overnight version and found this Alton Brown recipe and knew it would be good.  Boy were they ever, tender and sweet, perfect for an early morning. You gotta try these!

After the dough has gone through it's first rise cycle, roll it out to about 18x12 rectangle.  Use a brush to spread some melted butter on top and then sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

start at the long end closest to you and begin rolling tightly away from you.

Pince the seams together tightly and then use your hands to make the entire roll about the same width.  Cut into 12 even pieces with a sharp serrated knife.

Butter a 9x13 inch dish with butter and then place the rolls cut side down.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and place the rolls into a cold oven and place a shallow dish filled 3/4 full of boiling water on the wrack below the rolls and close the door.  Keeping the oven off, let sit for about 30 minutes.  The rolls will begin to look puffy.  Mine never did touch at this point but don't worry, they puff up more in the oven.

Remove the rolls and the water from the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook for about 30 minutes. The rolls will be nice and golden brown when done. While the rolls are cooking, mix up the cream cheese frosting.

Frost the cinnamon rolls right when they come out of the oven.  Serve while hot.

Recipe by Alton Brown found here



4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray


8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons


2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups


Use the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter and buttermilk.  Next add about 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and the salt.  Whisk until moist and combined.  Replace the whisk for the dough hook and add all but 3/4 cup of flour and knead for about 5 minutes on low speed.  Check the dough, you are looking for dough that is soft and moist but not sticky.  Keep adding a little flour until you reach this.  Knead for another 5 minutes on low speed.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for about 30 seconds.  In a large bowl that you have oiled well, put the dough and then lightly oil the top of the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2-2 1/2 hours until doubled in size.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, Cinnamon and salt and set aside until you're ready to use it.

Use a 9x13 inch glass baking dish and butter it well.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to a 18x12 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with 1 1/2 Tbsp of melted butter.  Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top leaving about a 1/2 inch border along the edges.  Press the brown sugar mixture into the dough.  Starting at the long side nearest yourself - begin to roll a tight roll all the way to the other side.  Pinch the seams together.  Using your hands, try to make the roll an even size over then entire length of it. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the roll into 12 even pieces.  Lay the rolls cut side down in the dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place into a cold oven that is turned off.  Fill a shallow dish about 2/3 full of boiling water and set on the shelf below the rolls.  Close the door and let sit for about 30 minutes.  The rolls should begin to look puffy. My rolls never touched and I began to wonder if they would stay this size once I started baking them but they did puff up in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the rolls in the middle rack and bake until golden brown on top.  Approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are baking you can make the icing by whisking the room temperature cream cheese with your stand mixer until smooth.  Add the milk and combine.  Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until smooth.  Spread over the hot rolls and serve right away.

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