How to: The Ultimate Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

created at: 10/18/2011

Over the weekend, my friend Laura, a M.D.-to-be in her intern year, came for a visit, and we did what we always do: we baked.

Normally, I cook a lot, but I do savory food: go to the market, see what’s in the fridge, saute/roast/grill, season, go. It’s more intuitive, tasting as you go, adding/subtracting, etc, etc. But not baking. That’s science, friends. It’s chemistry, not really open to interpretation unless you really know what you’re doing. Neither of us do it regularly without the other.

But, when we’re together, it’s time. Music + crossword puzzles + coffee + good times.

And this weekend, we nailed it with this fresh cinnamon rolls.

Of course, this is the kind of thing you wanna eat on special mornings with the people you love, especially fall ones where the warm, spicy flavors work exactly with what’s going on outside. But they’re what you wanna eat when you wake up, not after a couple hours of measuring, mixing, cleaning, then waiting for yeast to rise.

So, I found the perfect solution in (no surprise) Alton Brown’s overnight cinnamon rolls recipe. You spend an hour or so the afternoon before, let it rise for a bit, roll ’em, put them in the fridge overnight, then proof and bake in the morning.

created at: 10/18/2011

Along the way, I read the reviews and comments, and would adjust the recipe just a bit:

  • Instead of just buttering the pan, add a bit of parchment or a baking mat to the bottom. These guys are sticky, and you don’t want to waste those crusty bottoms by having them adhered to the pan.
  • Double the cinnamon! These are cinnamon rolls, after all. He suggests 1 Tbsp., but I say go a full 2 Tbsps…but, also:
  • The bread is perfect, the icing is perfect, but a lot of the filling seeps out through the bottom. I vote for increasing the filling to 12 oz light brown sugar, 2.5 Tbsps cinnamon, and roll tightly.

Overnight Cinnamon Roll Recipe []