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Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

One of the best and most unexpected consequences of becoming a mother is the community of local moms that I have found through a new parent support group. They have been an unending font of support, advice, information, experience and friendship. We are constantly going for walks, out to lunch, hanging out at a café and over each other’s homes for play dates. What do playdates look like when then kids are all under one? Lots of babies on the floor, adjacent to each other. I used to think that the playdates were really for the benefit of the moms to have adult company, but when Kayla had her daycare trial day, the teacher remarked, “She is so good with other kids; she must have lots of cousins,” Nope, just lots of baby friends. I guess the babies benefit, as well.

I have been using my playdates as an excuse to try out new recipes, and this week I served Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. The recipe is straight forward and the dough is soft, supple and easy to work with. I’m not sure why I did not get a great 2nd rise from the dough, but it did not seem to affect the final product. I love that I was able to make these the night before and pop them in to the oven the next morning.

The cinnamon rolls were tender and flaky. The warm cinnamon smell permeated the whole house and I loved the cream cheese icing. I saw another blogger use this recipe as a basis for her sticky pecan buns, which I may need to do next time. After all, caramel and nuts can only make this even better.



Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Ingredients:

Dough
4 Large Egg Yolks, room temperature
1 Large Whole Egg, room temperature
2 Ounces Sugar, approximately ¼ 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 2¼ teaspoons
1¼ Teaspoons Kosher Salt
Vegetable oil or Cooking Spray

Filling
8 Ounces Light Brown Sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Salt
¾ Ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1½ tablespoons

Icing
2½ Ounces Cream Cheese, softened, approximately ¼ cup
3 Tablespoons Milk
5½ Ounces Powdered Sugar, approximately 1½ 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.

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 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.

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