Friday, December 25, 2009

Truly Excellent Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I went in search of a good overnight cinnamon roll recipe. One friend directed me toward a recipe on Allrecipes that looked promising until I realized that the overnight part was the first rise and it wanted me to allow 2 1/2 hours in the morning to fiddle around with the dough. Not what I want on Christmas morning. I have tried other overnight recipes that yielded a tough roll or ones that rose nearly out of the pan before I even managed to get them in the oven. These ones came out perfect. The dough was soft and supple, very easy to work with, and the flavor was just the classic sort of fluffy cinnamony sticky goodness that you want on Christmas morning. All sweet roll recipes are a blank canvas, ready for you to do what suits your taste, so feel free to tinker with the filling.
Notice the Ov-Glove. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am the proud owner of a pair. My kids spotted them at the store while out doing last minute shopping with daddy and insisted that I needed them. So far so good!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


1 1/2 T. active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, diced

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups scalded milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

5-6 cups all purpose flour



1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla



4 T. butter, melted

1 t. vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 t. cinnamon

2 T. real maple syrup (optional)

2-4 T. milk, depending on desired consistency


In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand about 10 minutes. Heat the milk on the stovetop or in the microwave until just boiling, then remove from heat and stir in the butter, salt and sugar. Allow to stand until the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, then stir in the egg and yeast. In a large mixing bowl, combine the liquid mixture and 4 cups of the flour. Stir in more flour little by little until it gets too difficult to mix by hand, then knead in enough additional flour until the dough forms a ball that is soft and only lightly tacky. Knead for 4-5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Lightly oil the dough ball and turn to coat, then set aside to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.


Make the filling by beating the butter, sugar and cinnamon together until fluffy and creamy. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and spread/roll into a large rectangle (24"x 12", roughly). Spread the filling over all of it in a thin, even layer, leaving one long edge with a 2 inch margin. Roll up, pinching the margin end shut, and cut into 2 inch thick slices with dental floss. Place in a large (I used the next size up from a 9x13 - not exactly sure of the size, but I'm guessing 10x15) greased baking pan, and cover with saran wrap that has been lightly misted with cooking spray. Place in the fridge overnight.  ***Please read the notes at the bottom of this post in regards to rising and pan choices.***


The next morning, pull the pan out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the tops of the rolls right after they come out of the oven.


Yields 12 very generously sized rolls

Notes from making this several more times:

-I have made the dough in the evening and refrigerated the whole glob overnight.  3 hours before serving time, I removed it from the fridge, let it rest at room temperature for an hour and a half, formed the rolls, let them rise for 40 minutes, then baked as indicated above and the results were very good.  In some ways, I actually preferred the texture this way.
-I have been able to get more consistently even baking by making thinner slices - more like 1 1/4" slices, smaller rolls (the rectangle rolled out to 8"x24"), and baking them on a jelly roll sheet pan with just a little more space in between.
-Adding vanilla to the filling and cinnamon and maple syrup to the glaze is a very, very good thing.  I just edited the post to reflect those changes.  You can leave them out, but you'll be sorry.
-I made a quickie orange roll version by beating 1/2 a stick of butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup orange marmalade until well combined and spreading that over the dough.  For glaze, I simply stirred orange juice into powdered sugar until it reached drizzling consistency.


Rachel said...

I'm going to try these!!! YUMMY!

Rachel said...

Ok, I tried these and they were SO good!

BUT the middles were a little underdone. Maybe I wasn't as consistent with the thickness of each roll...that probably takes practice.

If that isn't the case, maybe my oven cooks hot and the tops browned before the middle was done.

Anyway, they were delicious!

Nurse Heidi said...

Hmmm. Maybe it's your pan. I used a heavy metal cake type pan. I have found in the past that if I use glass pans for rolls that are closely spaced together they tend to cook unevenly. I wonder if you could loosely tent foil over them to slow the tops browning? Or cut them into thinner slices and make two pans so that you can space them out more?

Rachel said...

I'll try a different pan and see if that helps :)

Emily said...

Just had these for breakfast, so nice to have a yummy, easy, from scratch breakfast on a Sunday, and still not be late for 9 o'clock church!

Bethany said...

These are wonderful!! And the dough so nice! I used powdered milk inplace of the scalded since I found out I could and it was perfect! That glaze is addicting, we had to taste test it with our fingers (on a spoon) and couldn't stop, so good!! Never would have thought of Maple Syrup!