Yesterday, we had our first snow fall of the season. Something about falling snow always makes me want to bake. My sister must’ve been thinking the same way because I came home from my trek to the store, and she was baking chocolate chip cookies. We love baking at this time of the year, and a snowy day was the perfect excuse to get a jump start.
After having seen an episode of Good Eats where he made cinnamon rolls a couple of days earlier, I was determined to make cinnamon rolls anyway. Then it had to go and snow. This awakened my inner Betty Crocker, and sent me on a trek through the snow to the store for yeast and some other ingredients for these cinnamon rolls.
So, without any further delay, here are the cinnamon rolls à la Alton Brown. Here’s the recipe link so you can follow along! 🙂 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/index.html#! This recipe is based on the assumption that you have a mixer. I don’t have one, and I’ve found that you can easily make the recipe without one.
There are 3 separate components to this recipe: the dough, the filling, and the cream cheese frosting that goes over the top. Starting with the dough, you’ll need: 4 egg yolks + 1 whole egg, sugar, melted butter, flour, yeast and salt. Divide your eggs, and save your egg whites for another purpose. Now, I’ve tried in vain to divide eggs by using the halves of the shell, so I just resign myself to getting messy and I use my hands. Strangely enough, I’ve come to like that feeling of the white slipping through my fingers, and how the yolk feels when it gently rolls off my hand into the bowl. If you’ve never divided eggs with your hands, try it sometime.
Put your eggs in the bowl, then add sugar. If you’re like me and don’t have a machine, whisk it all together. Add the melted butter and combine. It should look custard-like when combined together. If the butter was recently melted and still hot, you’ll have to temper it in just like when you make hollandaise. To do this, whisk furiously and drizzle in the hot melted butter. The whole purpose of doing this is so you can avoid curdling the eggs. If the eggs curdle… well, I hate to break it to you, but you better go ahead and make scrambled eggs to eat… and start over with new eggs.
Once your egg mixture is combined nicely, add about 2 cups worth of your flour, and all of the yeast and salt. Switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon (or start using your hands, if you like), and bring everything together. The dough will start to look yellowish. Bring it together until you don’t see any more flour. Once it’s all brought together, add the rest of the flour save for ¾ c. of what remains. Bring it all together and get in there with your hands if you haven’t already. It’s ready to turn out on a floured surface when it feels moist, but not sticky. It will also feel mostly smooth with a bit of roughness. Put it on a flat surface with flour and knead it out for a minute. Seriously, only about a minute.
When it’s kneaded, form it into a ball, and put it in a bowl with vegetable oil in it. Let it rise until it doubles in size for around 2-½ hours.
Roll it into a big rectangle (which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be!), and spread melted butter on the rectangle except for on the top ¾ of an inch of the rectangle that is furthest away from you. Put brown sugar and cinnamon in all on the buttered crust save for that top portion and roll it up. Cut into 12 rolls, and let sit in the pan you’ll cook it in for up to 16 hours. Overnight is more than sufficient. Be sure to butter the pan before you put the sliced rolls in it.
Once your time has elapsed, boil some water. It should be enough to fill ⅔ of a pan that you will fill with this water. Make sure it has high sides. Put the rolls in an oven that is turned off, then put the tray or pan of boiling water underneath. Shut the door to the oven and let it stay in there for 30 minutes. It helps the dough proof and puff up a second time.
After the 30 minutes is up, take out the rolls and the water, then turn your oven on to 350℉. Once it’s preheated, put the cinnamon rolls back in the oven and let them bake for about ½ an hour, or until golden brown and delicious looking. When I brought these things out, the brown sugar was bubbling and sizzling in the bottom of the pan; it was freaken delicious! I should’ve recorded it just so you guys could hear that sound; it was the sound of deliciousness and awesomeness.
While they’re cooling, you can whip up this quick icing. Take cream cheese, 3 Tb milk and 1.5 cups of powdered sugar. Whisk together and spread atop the still warm cinnamon rolls.
Eat and enjoy!
My final verdict on this recipe? The roll itself wasn’t too sweet, and it had a slight crunch on the outside (which is probably because I had an end piece). The icing was plenty sweet, which was a good compensation for the roll that wasn’t super sweet. I actually liked the fact that it wasn’t super sweet since the icing was on it. Long story short: I loved it. I would make it again. I would recommend this recipe to a friend.
Try it and let me know what you guys think of it.