There is a secret family recipe for my great-grandfather's famous cinnamon rolls but I am not privy to that information so I tried this recipe and was simply amazed. Amazed, I tell you!
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
from Alton Brown
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 large whole egg, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (85 grams) butter, melted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 4 cups AP flour, plus additional for dusting
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- oil or cooking spray
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons (21 grams) butter, melted
- 2 1/2 ounces (1/4 cup) cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
See Alton's recipe if you are so fortunate as to have a stand mixer (not that I'm bitter or anything). Otherwise, using a hand mixer, combine egg yolks, egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add about 2 cups of flour along with the yeast and salt. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and knead by hand for 15-20 minutes kneading in all but 3/4 c. flour and adding more as necessary - dough should be soft and moist but not too sticky. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume 2 to 2.5 hours.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt; mix until well incorporated. Set aside.
Butter 9x13-inch baking dish. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface.
Gently shape dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter, leaving 1/2 inch border along the top edge.
Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving 3/4 border along top edge (I left one all around but will remember not to next time); gently press filling into dough.
Beginning with the long side nearest you, roll dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.
Using a serrated knife, slice into 1.5-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange cut side down in the baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator *overnight or up to 16 hours.
*I didn't have all night, so I covered with plastic wrap and left out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove rolls from refrigerator (or not) and place in an oven that is turned off. I ended up flipping over the end pieces so that the cut side faced up (opposite of the way they are shown in the picture below) and the gooey goodness would be less likely to ooze out of the roll).
Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; about 30 minutes (see pic below). Remove rolls and shallow pan of water from the oven. Cover rolls lightly with plastic wrap or damp towel. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
When oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown. 25 minutes was enough for me. Keep an eye on them - some commenters that baked for 30 minutes said they were too dry. I misted the rolls with water while still in the oven at about 15 minutes into the cooking time.