Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Warning! I am about to make a shocking statement!!!! Ready?

Ok, here goes:

I love mornings!!!!

Let me clarify: As much as I would like to say that I enjoy getting up early and running 5 miles followed by lots of activities, my body was not made for that. Every cell in my body resists it. No, what I mean by “I love mornings” is I love waking up with the sun shining in my room, finding the dogs curled up next to me, spending the first part of my day talking and laughing with my husband. Then moving to the couch, still in my pajamas, with a nice comfy blanket and a cup of coffee and a good book and lounging for a while. And breakfast. Breakfast has to be my absolute favorite meal of the day. There are just so many good options! Pancakes, Waffles, Muffins, Eggs, Bacon, and…..Cinnamon Rolls!!!

Now, since waking up at the crack of dawn to make homemade cinnamon rolls is definitely NOT on my weekend agenda, and I have just recently discovered the concept of a slow rise, I decided to try and find a recipe where the cinnamon rolls rise overnight. A quick Google shows that there is one clear winner. All I could find was Alton Brown, Alton Brown, Alton Brown! The man knows his stuff, and for all the gushing and drooling over his cinnamon roll recipe, I just had to try it and see what all the fuss was about!

Well, apparently, all the fuss is right. These cinnamon rolls are amazing. They taste exactly like the giant cinnamon rolls you can get at bakeries. Only these are better. Why? Because you made them.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 cups flour
1 package instant dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
cooking spray

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
Add 2 cups of flour, 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, which should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Add more flour if necessary.
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 surface and knead by hand for 30 seconds.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume for 2 to 2.5 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated and set aside.

Butter a 9×13 glass baking dish.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the longest side toward you.

Roll into an 18×12 inch rectangle.
Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 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 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, score the cylinder into 1 1/2 rolls (create 12 rolls). Use dental floss to cut all the way through.
Arrange the rolls cut side up in the baking dish.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove rolls from the fridge and place in an oven that is turned off.
Fill a shadow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and let set on a rack below the rolls.
Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in a bowl 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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