06 August 2008

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Zach and I were up in New Jersey visiting my parents this past weekend and as an added bonus, D- my best friend from high school and her boyfriend came to visit as well. After a weekend spent shopping, visiting the State Fair and hiking it was time to head back to the grind. I wanted our last breakfast to be a bit of a treat (not that the entire weekend wasn't) so I decided to make cinnamon rolls from a recipe I saw Alton Brown make on the Food Network. I did cheat a little bit by using the bread maker to mix and knead the dough, but I think that was ok considering it gave me more time to focus on the game of Squatter, the Australian sheep farming game, which we were playing.

I was so focused on my severe financial distress after having to pay income tax two turns in a row, that I failed to completely read Alton's instructions and ended up dumping all 20 ounces of flour into the bread machine, instead of reserving 3/4 C. to be added only if the dough was too wet, as the recipe called for. Luckily my dad is rather handy with the bread maker and kept adding spoonfulls of buttermilk and water until the dough reached the right consistency while I went back to sheep trading. By the time the dough had risen and it was time to roll out and shape the rolls, I had lost nearly all of my sheep and money and decided to abandon the game for baking as it was clear that I had absolutely no "aptitude for a rural career" as it states in the game instructions.

Then I realized that there was no ground cinnamon in the cupboard (I hadn't even though to check- it seems like one of those things that everyone always has on hand, doesn't it?) so my dad came to the rescue again by taking out his old coffee grinder and grinding up a few cinnamon sticks for me (why he had sticks and not powder on hand, I don't really know) and the recipe was saved. I rolled out the dough to the 12x18in rectangle called for in the recipe (I even used a measuring tape on it), spread the melted butter over it, than patted on the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Rolling the dough up wasn't as bad as I expected and I cut it into 12 mostly even pieces. The dough rose overnight in the fridge and then the next morning I 'woke' the dough up by placing it in an oven with a small pot of boiling water for about 20 minutes, then baked it at 350 until the rolls were a deep golden and we were all salivating from the cinnamony smell wafting through the air.

The rolls came out looking so good I took a picture right away and liked this photos of the naked rolls even better than the ones I took after their topping of cream cheese frosting. The rolls came out much better than I had expected (given the extra flour I had put in) and I might even say better than those at a certain chain whose smell always seems better than their taste. The roll itself was slightly less tender than the chain ones, but the overall taste had just the right balance of sweet to cinnamon to warm bread and judging by the immediate silence which fell over the table when we started eating, everyone else liked them two.

Since I made Alton Brown's recipe exactly (with the help of the bread machine) I won't post the recipe here but you can get it from the
Food Network website.


kat said...

We've been wanting to make these too, I just keep forgetting to start them the night before ;)

Dee said...

Cinnamon rolls are on my To Bake list, but I keep procrastinating. Yours turned out great. So the rolling out wasn't too difficult (that part scares me a little)?

Jen said...

Kat- I had nearly forgotten to start them too which lead to me in the kitchen after 11 o'clock at night... I think that you could rise them on the counter for 2 hours or so but I've heard (but don't necessarily believe) that an overnight rise deepens the flavor of the dough.

Dee- Well, as you can see, my rolls didn't all turn out perfectly the same size or anything but Alton Brown gives really good directions and I think the key is to roll the dough into a rectangle before putting the filling on, that way you can roll it up really evenly.

kittie said...

Mmmmm... I love cinnamon rolls... and I think having my mum down visiting this weekend could be the perfect excuse to try em!
(Though it does mean I will have to prep them tonight after cocktails - eek!!)

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Sue said...

Those are yummy looking! Every single morning I think about cinnamon rolls, because I have Philosophy's Cinnamon Buns Shower Gel in the shower. It has a recipe on the label and I always mean to make them. Maybe I’ll skip the shower one day and head straight to the kitchen.