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
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

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

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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12 Responses to “Homemade “Instant” Pancake Mix and Blueberry Pancakes”

  1. #
    Sara — April 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    These pancakes look perfect! I don’t make pancakes that often, but this mix would be an easy throw together to keep in the freezer. Yum!

  2. #
    Amy Kingman — April 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Great idea to freeze the mix. I have been making our pancake batter from scratch for a while now, and it’s nearly impossible to go back to the boxed stuff! They just taste flavorless and cardboard-y. I had been reluctant to make mix ahead of time because I didn’t want it to go bad. Thanks for the idea!

  3. #
    Lauren — April 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    What a great idea to have a homemade pancake mix on hand!

  4. #
    Nancy — April 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    A good substitute for buttermilk – since most of us don’t keep it on hand, but do have milk in the fridge:

    1 TBS white vinegar with enough milk added to make 1 cup. Allowed to sit for at least ten minutes, this mixture will clot up and mimic buttermilk sufficiently for most recipes.

  5. #
    Memória — April 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Those pancakes look amazing!! Oh my goodness.

    i think it is a great idea about freezing milk, too. I buy whole milk for baking only so I need to do that.

  6. #
    SimplySweeter — April 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Wow. Those look so good I might have to whip some up……NOW.

  7. #
    Jen — April 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar in the substitute for buttermilk provided by Nancy.

    One thing to note about this recipe though. Not only is the buttermilk needed for the chemical reaction, but it also provides a great flavor to the pancakes that I don’t think you get from using the substitute. Also, buttermilk will keep for a very long time in the fridge since it’s acidic.

    AB mentioned in his cookbook that there are only four thinks he will not make without buttermilk: cornbread, biscuits, waffles, and pancakes. I tend to agree with him.

  8. #
    Kelly — April 3, 2010 at 1:24 am

    What a great idea to make your own pancake mix and then when you want quick pancakes, you can have a healthy mix 🙂

  9. #
    Kerstin — April 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Mmm, these look way better than a mix! Great tip to store the mix in the freezer too!

  10. #
    Sugar Bananas — April 6, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Yum! I love blueberry ‘anything’. Alton Brown recipes are always winners. If you’re looking for an even healthier pancake recipe, check out my ‘fluffy whole wheat pancakes’ on my blog. I mix batches of the dry ingredients and keep them in the freezer. Thanks for posting – I’m off to buy some blueberries! Oh, and I’m a new follower 🙂

  11. #
    Memória — April 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

    These pancakes look amazing!! Bookmarked!

  12. #
    Ashley — July 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hey Jen I am eating these pancakes at this very moment. They are so fluffy and filling! May I borrow this recipe for my blog and link it back to you??

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