- Yield: 8
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
My Cinnamon Rolls
Nothing says 'Good Morning' like the smell of a freshly baked Cinnamon Roll on a Weekend morning. It just makes everything extra special. Over time, I went through numerous recipes for cinnamon rolls, from all over the internet, cookbooks, TV shows and what not. And while each of them had their merits, I never was quite happy with either the result, or the effort, or the duration to make them.
To speed the process up, there are several ways. One is cutting down proofing time for the dough. To me, this is not an option, because it's crucial for the flavor of your baked good. A long and slow proof yields the best results when it comes to flavor or crumb texture. However, you don't want to start your rolls at 4am, just to have them on the breakfast table by 10. In comes Alton Brown and his recipe for Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. Why didn't I think of this, I'm using the same technique for other stuff. Just do the work after you finish dinner the night before and have them slowly proof in the fridge while you get your beauty rest. The time to rolls the next day is just one hour and that's totally fine for something like fresh baked cinnamon rolls.
My recipe is influenced by Alton Brown's and several others I went through over the time. I'm fairly happy with the balance of dough to filling. I don't want the rolls to be under-stuffed but they also shouldn't be the cause for a heart attack or artery clog in the morning. If you prefer more, just add more, if less, just add less. The same is true for the frosting.
- For the Dough
- All Purpose Flour - 2 1/3 cups, 350g
- Granulated Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Whole Milk - 2/3 cup
- Eggs - 1 whole + 1 yolk
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tbsp, 55g
- Instant Dry Yeast - 1 1/2 tsp, 7.5g
- Salt - 1 tsp, 7g
- For the Filling
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tbsp, softened
- Light Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup, 125g
- Ground Cinnamon - 2 tsp
- Salt - Pinch
- For the Frosting
- Cream Cheese - 2oz, room temperature
- Whole Milk - 2 tbsp
- Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
- Powdered Sugar - 1 - 2 cups
- For the Baking Form
- Butter - 1 tbsp, soft
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Add 2 cups of the flour and the sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, combine, and make a well.
- Whisk the egg and the yolk together with the milk and pour into that well.
- Add the butter in small pieces around the well.
- Sprinkle the salt in on one side and the yeast on the other so they don't touch right away.
- Use the dough hook and knead the dough until it comes nicely together. Keep adding the remaining 1/3 cup of flour until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. You may need less or even a bit more, depending on the climate.
- Once the dough comes together, knead for another 10 minutes on medium speed.
- Lightly flour your work surface, knead the dough by hand for about 30 seconds and form it into a ball.
- Lightly grease a bowl, add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Put dough onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a rectangle and then roll to about 12 x 9 inches, 1/2 inch thick. Make sure the short side faces you.
- Use the softened butter for the filling and - using your hands or an offset spatula, spread over the dough rectangle, leaving about 1 /2 inch at the top.
- Mix sugar, salt, and cinnamon and spread evenly over the buttered surface. Gently press filling into butter.
- Roll the dough up, starting from the side that faces you and make sure to get a tight roll and no air inclusions. Pinch the seam so it closes well and lay on a board, seam side down.
- Using a serrated knife, cut into 8 pieces of uniform thickness. Place into a buttered baking dish leaving about 1 inch space in between the rolls. I usually use two pans with room for 4 rolls in each, bake one right away and cover the other one with plastic wrap and freeze it for later use.
- Cover the rolls in the pan with plastic wrap and proceed, depending on your method
- Instant Method: Let the rolls rest for another hour at room temperature until they're nicely puffed up and ready to bake.
- Overnight Method: Put the rolls into the fridge overnight. The morning you want to bake, take off the plastic, put them into the oven with a shallow bowl of boiling water, close the oven door, and let rest for 30 minutes. They should be nice an puffy and ready to bake.
- When your rolls are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. 25 minutes yield softer rolls, 30 minutes chewier rolls. Pick whichever one you and your breakfast crew like best.
- While the rolls bake, make the frosting. Combine the cream cheese with milk and lemon juice. Gradually work in the powdered sugar. You should sift it to avoid clumps. If you're like me, you just stir it together, dump it into the small cup of a Nutribullet and let it run for 1 minute and you get super smooth frosting.
- Pull the rolls from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then spread a generous amount of frosting over them and serve right away with any extra frosting that might be left.