Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

So, the other day, I am flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. When I flip by Food Network and see Paula Dean. Hmm...I wonder what she is cooking. It was cinnamon rolls and they look delicious. I started thinking to myself "Flour, sugar, butter, yeast....I think I could make cinnamon rolls for work tomorrow." This is where the twist comes in, I can not take credit for the recipe it is not mine, nor is it Paula Dean's. I stole this recipe from the great Alton Brown. Let me introduce you to his "Overnight Cinnamon Rolls".

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 7.5 Tbsp of butter
  • 6 oz of buttermilk
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 package of instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 8 oz of light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp of milk
  • 1.5 cups of confectioner sugar
Let's start by cracking some eggs. We are going to need 1 whole egg and 4 egg yolks. Save the white's for another day's healthy omelette.

Go ahead and follow that by dumping the buttermilk into the bowl with the eggs.

In goes the 1/4 cup of sugar.

Add 6 Tablespoons of melted butter.

Add 2 cups of flour.

On top of that goes the package of instant yeast.

Stir that up and add the salt.

Start working in another 1 1/4 cups of flour. If you have a stand mixer, put the dough hook attachment on and kneed for 10 minutes on low. If you are like me, and don't you are going to need to get your hands dirty. Take the dough out, place on a cutting board and go to town on it. Once the dough is soft and moist, but not sticky, dump it back in the bowl. Put a little oil over the top (so it doesn't dry out) and cover with plastic wrap.

In about 2-3 hours, your dough should have doubled in volume and should now look like this:

And, from the side:

Turn the dough out on a extra large cutting board or on your counter top. Whichever you choose, make sure you sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.

Gentle shape the dough into a rectangle. Get yourself a rolling pin (or a floured wine bottle if you are short of a rolling pin) and roll into an 18" x 12" rectangle. Try to get the thickness of the dough even.

In a small bowl, or mixing cup, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Melt a tablespoon and a half of butter and brush it along the dough.

While you are at it, go ahead and butter up your 9" x 13" baking dish.

Sprinkle your cinnamon mixture over the entire surface, save a 1/2" on the top-most horizontal edge.

Start rolling up the dough from the bottom to the top. I worked slowly here trying to get a tight roll and keeping things even. Then I tried to squeeze it down to get an even roll. It helped, but it was far from perfect.

Once it is all rolled up, get a serrated knife and start dividing it up into 1 1/2" segments. I used a serrated knife and applied very little pressure as I sawed through it so I wouldn't squish the rolls.

Throw all your rolls into your pan and cover tightly. Throw them in the refrigerator and let sit overnight. They will rise again and take up all the space in the pan. Try and pinch those loose ends together so the insides won't fall out.

I am a terrible morning person, so I made the icing the night before as well. It starts with 1/4 cup of cream cheese.

Add the 3oz of milk.

Then dump in all the confectioners sugar.

It doesn't look like it will mix in, but believe me it will. So, get that whisk out and get to work.

Now, previously I had mentioned that I am a terrible morning person, so I forgot to take pictures of the proofing process. Basically, all you have to do is boil some water, throw it in a shallow pan and place it in the cold oven with the cinnamon rolls for 30 minutes. This will help them puff up some more and let's face it, nobody wants little cinnamon rolls. Take the water and the rolls out, then preheat the oven to 350°. Once ready, throw in the rolls for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them the last 5-10 minutes though.

Then as they are cooling, dump all that beautiful icing all over them. They are far too hot to eat now, and they will actually absorb the icing while they cool down to an edible temperature.

I took these to work and my co-workers LOVED them. Needless to say, they did not last long. Thank you Alton Brown for making me look good, yet again. PS. Alton Brown's original recipe: Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.


  1. wow - that looks yummy! Wish I worked with you. :)

  2. Really! I would have gone to work had I known what was there. Let me know next time you make those.