Just imagine waking up to the smell of cinnamon in your house, and knowing that these are headed for the oven. Layers of brown sugar and cinnamon separate soft rolls of pastry with a crisp crust on the outside. The good kind of pastry, full of eggs and sugar and butter and yeast. There just is nothing that can compare and no “healthy” substitute that will be the same.
Want some? I thought maybe.
They are one of my husband’s specialties. They are not the easiest breakfast treats to make in the world, but they are the best. When he makes them, to say it’s a treat is a dramatic understatement. He made them for a brunch last weekend, and well, they are gone.
Here’s what you need for the dough:
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
2 oz white sugar (1/4 cup)
6 Tbsp. butter
6 oz buttermilk (or use plain milk and add a splash of white vinegar)
20 oz or 4 cups AP flour
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
For the filling:
1 cup brown sugar (I don’t list the weight here because it doesn’t really matter for the filling)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
For the glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Enough milk, cream or half and half to make your desired consistency
Start by mixing together the eggs, sugar, butter and buttermilk in the bowl of your stand mixer. Next, add half of the flour and the yeast. Mix to combine, and then change out the whisk attachment for the dough hook – or, if you are using a hand mixer, stop using it and grab a wooden spoon. Add another 1 1/4 cup of flour and knead it into the dough, until the dough pulls away and leaves the sides of the bowl clean. You may need to add more flour from the remaining 3/4 cup. Knead for a total of 5-7 minutes. The dough should not be sticky when you are finished, but it should be pliable.
Move the dough to a mixing bowl that has been greased with nonstick spray. Cover and allow to rise for 2 1/2 hours.
At the end of the rise time, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt from the filling in small bowl and prepare a 9×13 baking dish by spraying with nonstick spray. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll until it makes a 12×18 inch rectangle. Brush the rectangle with the melted butter, leaving a small border around all of the sides. Sprinkle the filling onto the dough. Starting with the edge near you, gently roll the 18-inch side of the dough into a tight-ish spiral, finishing with a seam side down. Pinch gently to make sure it is sticking together.
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the roll into 12 rolls. Place them into the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and allow to rise overnight.
The next morning, uncover the cinnamon rolls and place them in a cold oven. Fill another pan (a similar baking dish or two loaf pans will do the trick) with boiling water and place on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven and allow to proof for 30 minutes. The rolls should look puffy when they are done. Remove them and the water pans from the oven and preheat to 350.
Finally, bake for 30 minutes. Stir the powdered sugar and milk together to form a glaze. Allow to cool almost completely before adding the glaze to the rolls, or wait until you serve them. It’s nice to serve them warm, but unfortunately the glaze melts! Adapted from Alton Brown.