Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Hubby’s mom and boyfriend were coming to visit one weekend and I wanted to make something special for brunch. They were planning on rolling into town around 10am and I’m not much of a morning person so I wanted things I could make ahead of time. I decided on a quiche and these overnight cinnamon rolls. I happen to love Alton Brown and his show Good Eats. I DVR it and watch religiously. I love the science behind food. Then I saw these cinnamon rolls in Joelen’s blog (btw check out her funny story about when Joelen met Alton Brown!) and knew they would be perfect.

I was a little worried because the rolls did not do much rising during their 30 minutes in the oven with boiling water. They hadn’t poofed too much, but I threw them in the oven anyways and hoped for the best. I guess it was my lucky day because they poofed right up while they were baking. They turned out delicious and I’ll definitely be making these again.

Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – from FoodNetwork.com
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 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 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Filling:
8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

Icing:
2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 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 F.

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 F 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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13 Responses to “Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. #
    1
    Joelen — February 5, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I love love love this recipe! So super easy and no scary yeast issues from me! :) Thanks for the shout out and exposing my funny AB story! :)

  2. #
    2
    Jen — February 5, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I’m so jealous you got to meet him!

  3. #
    3
    Carrie — February 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I love cinnamon rolls, I might have to give these a try this weekend!

  4. #
    4
    Ari (Baking and Books) — February 6, 2009 at 1:46 am

    These look yummy! AB is the best, how cool that Joelen met him.

  5. #
    5
    Stephanie Wagner — February 6, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I love the nerdy charm of Alton too! And that first picture = total food porn! You shouldn’t do that to me, now I’m stuck here without a cinnamon roll to eat. Cruel…

  6. #
    6
    Scott W. — February 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Can’t disagree with Steph’s comment, food porn is good. We’ll be making these tomorrow for breakfast.

  7. #
    7
    Jen — February 7, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Sorry Wagners – Hopefully you made these and enjoyed them as much as we did :)

  8. #
    8
    finsmom — February 20, 2009 at 5:48 am

    These look very very yummy.

  9. #
    9
    Maggie — March 22, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    These look so amazing! I’ve never made cinnamon rolls and really want to.

  10. #
    10
    Playful Professional — August 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Did you cover them while they were rising in the oven? The recipe doesn’t say whether or not to and mine (I’m making them right now) aren’t rising…I guess I’ll just throw them in the oven to bake and hope it works out like yours did.

  11. #
    11
    Jen — August 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I did not cover them. Mine did rise enough in the oven while baking. Hopefully yours turn out as well!

  12. #
    12
    Zeitgeist — August 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I love AB! I think he’s geeky but he definitely knows great many things about cooking, baking, etc. So when it comes to a recipe from AB, I definitely give it a try! Especially since you’re so good at posting this recipe, I will have to make it this weekend! Your picture also convinces me that this can be done, by an amateur cook like myself!

    Thanks for posting and for sharing!

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    13
    cockade — April 30, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It’s the little changes that make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!

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