I have been thinking about making cinnamon rolls for months. I would find a recipe, drool over the pictures, and then read how it needs 2+ hours of waiting for the dough to rise at different stages. The thought of getting up at 5AM to make cinnamon rolls on a Saturday seemed silly, right? Maybe if I was trying to impress someone, then I would take the time to get up early and knead dough with one eye open, but that’s not the case right now.
I found this recipe in one of my new cookboks, Home Baked Comfort, and there was a little note off to the side saying that I could pop them into the fridge before I do the last step of rising. WHAT! Why didn’t anyone tell me this before!
After you roll up the cinnamon rolls, cut them up, and put them in your pan, this is where you’ll place them in the fridge for the night. Putting them in the fridge stops the dough from rising temporarily. In the morning, take them out of the fridge about an hour or so before you want to bake them. They need to come back up to room temp and then puff up so that they look like this:
They’re ready for the oven!
The hardest part about making these the day/night before is knowing that after you spend all of your time kneading and rolling, you don’t get to eat them until the next morning. It was torture! I wanted to go to bed at 8pm so that I could just wake up and eat them already.
Oh they smelled sooooo delicious.
I had extra Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting left over from my Stout & Bailey’s cupcakes the other day so I used that on top. It really did taste quite delicious, the Bailey’s is so subtle but it adds a nice flavor. I included the Bailey’s in the recipe, but feel free to completely leave it out, it will taste just as good.
You don’t need to be an expert baker to make these, you just need a little time and patience. According to the recipe, you can do all of the kneading in your mixer with a dough hook. I tried that approach and just wasn’t getting the results that I wanted so I took it out at the end and kneaded it for a minute or two by hand on the counter top. Don’t be afraid of kneading dough, seriously! It sounds intimidating but it’s nothing crazy, just get into it, it’s fun!
Must. Make. To. Top!
For the dough
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
- 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed (110 degrees F) (microwave 30 sec intervals)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 tbs unsalted butter, room temp, cut into chunks
For the filling
- 4 tbs unsalted butter, room temp, cut into chunks
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tbs ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp of water
For the frosting
- 4 oz. (1/2 a package) of cream cheese, softened but still cold
- 1/2 a stick (4 tbs) of unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbs of Bailey’s Irish Cream (completely optional)
For the dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, and let stand for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar, eggs, 4 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed until the ingredients come together. Toss in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and springy, about 7 minutes. (If your dough isn't coming together fully, take out of mixer and knead on a floured surface for about a minute until fully combined.)
- Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, put into the oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper, then butter parchment paper.
- After the dough doubled, punch it down and then place it on a lightly floured surface. Cut in half.
- Roll out 1 dough half into a rectangle about 9x14 inches. Spread with half of the butter, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (or more if you desire). Starting at the long side clossest to you, start pinching and rolling the dough away from you, forming a log. If you don't pinch it down while rolling the cinnamon roll will likely fall apart. Cut the log into 8 equal slices. Arrange the slices in pan, 4 across. Repeat the same process with the other half of the dough.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight (or if you are baking right away let stand in a warm part of your kitchen for about an hour).
- The next morning, take pan out refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the buns lightly with the egg and water mixture. Bake until rolls are golden brown, 20 minutes. (While baking, skip ahead and make the frosting.) Let cool for about 5 minutes, then spread the frosting on them while they're still warm. Pull the rolls apart and enjoy!
For the frosting
- In a bowl cream together cream cheese and butter with a hand held mixer. Add in confectioners sugar, blend until creamy. Add in vanilla and Bailey's (if adding).
Adapted from Home Baked Comfort
Printed with love from Thursday Night Baking