as i stood in my kitchen cackling with complete and utter giddy glee, and maybe i had some cream cheese icing smeared across my face while i did so, i won’t lie to you. but i finally FINALLY finally baked up a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls that were everything a homemade cinnamon roll should be: super soft and fluffy, buttery, with a cinnamon/brown sugar/butter filling that cooked into a caramel-y pool of sweetness. every cinnamon roll prior to this were dense and rock hard and just … the suck. completely. but, thanks to the blog Our Best Bites, i have unlocked the secrets to perfect cinnamon rolls. my ever-widening butt will thank it later, i promise. and the best part about it is that you can start the dough and form the rolls on saturday night, then after an hour’s worth of rising time on sunday morning and a quick bake, they’re done.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
recipe from Our Best Bites
a Tablespoon of yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
a stick of butter (plus 2 Tablespoons), room temp
3/4 cups brown sugar
a tablespoon cinnamon
*in the original recipe, she asks for 4 1/2 cups of flour. i was afraid of drying out my dough, so i used about three cups of flour, not counting the 1/2 cup that gets whisked into the yeast and water at the beginning. add your flour a cup at a time and make your judgment according to how the dough looks. in my past experiences, using too much flour makes the rolls dense and not soft and fluffy. if the dough is semi soft but still kneadable and not overly sticky after just a couple cups of flour, that would be fine, i think. and also remember that i bake at a high altitude here in wyoming, so while i almost never bake with high altitude specific recipes, sometimes i have to adjust the amounts of certain ingredients to achieve the effect i want.
in the stand mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. whisk it together until smooth, then whisk in 1/2 cup flour. cove with saran wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes. add in the eggs, butter, salt, and remaining cups of flour to the mixture and beat it together until it’s smooth. cover again with plastic and let it rise for a couple of hours in a warm spot.
to make the filling, beat the stick of butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon until it’s fluffy. set it aside.
butter a 9×13 baking dish. plop your raised dough onto a flour dusted countertop. roll it into a 15×10 inch rectangle. spread the filling out to about an inch from the edges. it’s thick filling, so i had to use a spoon. roll the dough up lengthwise. score the rolls according to how big you want them. i got 10 medium sized rolls out of this batch. cut them on their scored marks using a piece of dental floss or thread. you’ll be able to make cleaner cuts without smooshing your dough. place them cut side up in the pan next to each other. melt the leftover 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush this on top of the rolls. cover with plastic wrap and pop them in the refrigerator.
in the a.m., set the rolls out for about an hour until they’re puffier. heat the oven to 350. pop them in and bake for about 35 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned. let them cool before you try to get them out.
the original recipe uses a glaze, the recipe for that you can find on the links above. i had a package of that lower fat cream cheese to use up so i mixed the softened package with 1 1/2 (one and a half) Tablespoons of powdered sugar (i don’t like my roll frosting to be super sweet) and a teaspoon of vanilla.