These cinnamon rolls began their life in Amarillo, Texas and will see the end of their days in Durango, Colorado. My family,all 13 of us, are spending the week in Durango. My brother-in-law’s family has about 80 acres of land just outside of the city that backs up to National Forest which means that we are completely isolated in peaceful, beautiful, glorious nature…well, I still have internet access and cell phone service. It is incredible out here and I am going to really enjoy the next 7 days of vacation.
My parents, my sister, her husband and my nephew all drove up to Amarillo on Friday evening to stay the night. I decided to make cinnamon rolls for Saturday morning before we left for Durango. I found this recipe for “Overnight Cinnamon Rolls” on the Food Network website, from Alton Brown.
I started the rolls on Friday night. The dough was nice and soft after mixing it up, and so I set it aside to double in size which, according to the recipe, should have taken between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. Not so, Alton! I let the dough sit, covered, in my kitchen for almost 3 hours and it increased a little, but not near double. I was ready to admit defeat and I was prepared to make a trip to Donut Stop on Saturday morning. I decided to keep going with the rolls and see what would happen. Maybe there was still some hope. I rolled out the dough, brushed on some melted butter, sprinkled the cinnamon sugar filling, rolled the dough into a cylinder and cut the rolls into 11 pieces (it should have been 12, but 11 would have to do). I placed the rolls into a 9×13 pan, covered the pan in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for the night.
In the morning, there was no change in the size of the rolls. Ok, so now I was REALLY thinking we’d have store bought donuts for breakfast. But I continued with the recipe, letting the rolls sit in the oven with a tray of boiling water for 30 minutes. No rising occurred in this time either. But I was determined to finish this recipe to the bitter end, so I baked the rolls for 30 minutes…a miracle! They finally spread out, rose nicely, turned a golden brown, filled my house with a warm cinnamon aroma and were practically begging for some cream cheese icing. I spread the icing on the warm rolls, and they were ready to be eaten. We did not finish the pan, so we brought them in the car up to Durango and just finished them off.
I’m not sure what happened with the dough and cannot explain why it never rose, but the final product was a success. I will have to make them again and see if the results are any different.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
- 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
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the 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 the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. 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; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.