Anyway, there’s only one problem with my love of cinnamon rolls. Who in their right mind has the time to make fresh cinnamon rolls that are ready to eat in the morning for breakfast? Not me, that’s who. And don’t get me wrong, I love Pillsbury just as much as the next kid, but once you try homemade cinnamon rolls, you just never go back. Trust me, you’ll be thanking yourself tomorrow morning.
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 large whole egg, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature OR 3/4 cup milk plus 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
- 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined.
Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough is soft. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.
Lightly flour a flat work surface and knead the dough by hand for about 1 minute. Clean the mixing bowl and oil the inside of the bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm, draft free place for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until it has doubled in volume.
For the Filling: Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into an 18″ x 20″ rectangle with the longer side nearest you. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling mixture generously over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge. (Leaving a border at the top of the dough will allow you to nicely seal the dough later!) Gently press the filling into the dough.
Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. I can’t emphasize how important it is to roll tightly! If you don’t, then the rolls will have odd gaps in them when you bake them later. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 12 rolls (about 1 1/2-inch each).
Spray the inside of a 9in round cake pan or a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. (Don’t forget to also remove the cream cheese and allow it to soften!) Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; about 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes.
For the Icing: While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and enjoy!