Packaged cinnamon roll kits from the store don’t often provide enough frosting. And store-baked cinnamon rolls from the bakery aren’t typically fresh. If you are looking for the perfect weekend breakfast, or if you have time in a regular morning (Zach got up at 3 today to make these for August for Valentine’s Day), try this recipe.
• For the filling:
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
4 tbs. of melted butter
1 tbs. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of vanilla
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well incorporated. Set aside this filling mixture for use later.
• For the dough:
4 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. of lukewarm water
1/4 cup of sugar
4 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 large whole egg at room temperature
4 tbs. of melted butter
1 tbs. of active dry yeast
Butter for greasing the pan
Pinch of sugar
Canola oil for proofing
Put the lukewarm water in a bowl with the active dry yeast and the pinch of sugar. Let it sit for 7 minutes to activate.
Whisk the cream, sugar, egg yolks, whole egg, and butter (from the dough ingredients list) in a separate bowl. Put 4 cups of flour in a metal stand mixer bowl. Add all the wet ingredients (the yeast and egg mixtures) to the flour and mix with a dough hook for 8-9 minutes, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel soft and moist, but not sticky. Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl with canola oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let double in volume for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Grease a 9″x13″ glass baking dish. Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18″x12″ rectangle. Mix the 4 tbs. of melted butter and vanilla for the filling, then brush the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border along the edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the buttered dough, leaving a 3/4″ border along the edge. Gently press the filling into the dough.
Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. 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 1 1/2″ rolls, yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut-side down in the greased baking dish. Cover lightly 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 off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set it 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, approximately 30 minutes.
• For the icing:
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of softened cream cheese
4 tbs. of softened butter
1 1/2 tbs. of heavy cream
While the rolls are cooling (but don’t let them get too cold), whisk the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add cream and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar and continue whisking until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.