Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I've only made homemade cinnamon rolls one other time in my life - about two years ago when I first moved in to my apartment. I thought it would be nice to have my parents over for breakfast so I made parmesean & chive eggs (so good!), fruit salad and homemade honey pecan sticky buns. They were good and nice and sticky, but they weren't good. Do you know what I mean? They were sweet and delicious, but I thought they could be better. Since then, I was always weary of trying to make them again since one batch always makes so many (and I really don't need cinnamon rolls in my house that are screaming "EAT ME!") and, who wants to get up three hours before everyone else to make them for a special breakfast surprise. Not me. Even though I still tend to wake up before everyone else does, I definitely don't want to wake up even earlier. A girl needs her beauty sleep.

In comes overnight cinnamon rolls. I was slightly skeptical at first, but thought, be brave and give it a whirl. Plus, since cinnamon rolls are on my fall baking to-do list at #12, I had to make them. I found the perfect recipe in one of my William-Sonoma baking cookbooks, and although there are a few more steps than I thought there would be, this recipe is easy to follow and is a winner. First you need to  let a little yeast, water and flour "bloom" for about half an hour. You'll know when this is ready when you see it bubbly (picture later). Then you mix in the rest of the ingredients and knead- I used my Kitchen Aid for this - until smooth and then let it rise for about two hours, or when doubled in volume. You might need longer. You might need shorter. Just make sure it's about doubled! Once you have gotten to this part, you are almost there. The hardest part might be waiting for the dough to rise and then waiting to eat them once you put them in the fridge!

Once the dough is ready, you will roll it out in to a big rectangle and then sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar. Roll it up, slice it up and then place the slices of cinnamon roll into a buttered container. Cover with plastic wrap and then put in the fridge until you are ready to eat these scrumptious things. Just remember to take them out about an hour to an hour and a half before you are ready to bake them. They rise slightly in the fridge, but this extra hour before baking, outside of the fridge, is key. Don't forget that. After about 30 or so minutes in the oven, you will have brown and totally delicious cinnamon rolls ready. Your house will start to smell all cinnamony delicious after about 10 minutes of these being in the oven. Let these bad boys cool for about 5 minutes (if you can wait that long) and top with all the ooey gooey icing. These cinnamon rolls turned out pretty darn good for one of my first tries with them. In fact, my mom even said these were the best cinnamon rolls she'd ever had. I don't know if she was just saying that because she is my mom or if she was serious. Although, they were pretty darn tasty. If you love cinnamon rolls, pretty please promise me you will try this one. So easy and so delicious. 

WARNING: LOTS of pictures. Let the drooling begin!

only a few ingredients for this one. I bet you have all of these in your kitchen already.

cover the yeast and flour mixture and let bloom for 30 minutes

here's what it looks like after 30 minutes

kneading that butter into the dough!

cinnamon roll station!

dough has about doubled

roll out!

hello butter, cinnamon and sugar

roll up!

cut up in even pieces. Make them as large or as small as you want

put in one large pan or two smaller ones. make sure those pans are buttered!

after baking.

with icing and ready to eat. GET IN MY BELLY!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (from William Sonoma's Baking Cookbook)

For the dough: 
1 Tbs. (1 package) active dry yeast 
1/2 cup warm water (105°F) 
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed 
4 eggs 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
2 tsp. kosher salt 
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature  

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 
1/2 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon 

For the vanilla glaze:  

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted 
2 Tbs. milk 
1 tsp. vanilla extract   

To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot, about 30 minutes.

Add the eggs, granulated sugar, salt and the remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the room-temperature butter and continue to knead, adding a little flour to reduce stickiness if needed, until the dough is smooth, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or two smaller dishes. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a 15-by-10-inch rectangle. Brush the rectangle with half of the melted butter, leaving a 2-inch-wide strip uncovered on one long side. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the butter. Starting at the long side covered with sugar, roll up the rectangle snugly and pinch the seam together. With the seam facing down, cut into 10 equal pieces. Place the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared dish. Brush the rolls with the remaining butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour or an hour and a half. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

While the rolls are baking, make the vanilla glaze: In a small bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, milk and vanilla, then stir into the sugar mixture to form a smooth paste. Spread the glaze over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Makes 10 large rolls. 

After I made these, I used two small round foil pans for ease of clean up and baking. Of course you can use whatever pan you have at home, but this also makes for easy freezing if you want to make a whole batch, but save half of the cinnamon rolls for another time. If you do this, make sure you wrap the extra tin in lots of plastic wrap and then place in a ziploc. You don't want that pesky freezer burn getting to your cinnamon rolls! Next time I make these, I will for sure be adding thinly sliced apples. There is a restaurant in Winters, CA that I swear has these in their HUGE cinnamon rolls. If you live close to Winters or are in the area, definitely go check out Putah Creek Cafe. You won't be sorry you did. You'll be sorry if you don't!

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