How many times have you started your morning off by yearning for a sweet, gooey, ultimately horrible for you Cinnamon Roll? And how many of those misty mornings did you spend kicking yourself because, darn it, you want that Roll Of Goodness now, not 3 hours from now.
I know your pain. I truly do.
Those who know me know that I am a bakery buff. I heart all things baked. And one of my favorite things is to spend time seeking out recipes that can be crafted and tooled around with, and made yummier.
I came across a version of this recipe while on an online hunt for something to make for an upcoming brunch. I read through it and decided that this just happened to be an awesome basic dough recipe that could be used to make a huge assortment of rolls. Easily. (Maybe a little too easily). And the fact that it required almost no work on my part was a huge bonus. I made a few batches of it, playing with the filling as well. Turns out, this dough can play host to any number of delicious variations.
Here's the basic recipe for the dough.
Basic Overnight Sweet Roll Recipe
1 cup warm milk
(the higher the fat content, the tastier these will be, FYI)
1/3 cup butter,melted
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast
Add all ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order listed. (Check your user manual to make sure your machine works this way, some have you adding dry ingredients first.)
Select Dough cycle and step back; you've got about an hour and a half to go do as you will. Sit for a moment (you ARE making cinnamon rolls, you know. You deserve a break. Go read a book. Take a walk. Resist the urge to fold that load of clothes. This is Cinnamon Roll making time; it's special).
When cycle completes (don't you feel rested?), leave it in the machine for another 10 minutes. Then punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll it out into a large rectangle, getting it as wide as you can. You don't want paper thin here, maybe an 1/8- 1/4 of an inch thick? Once you've done that you are ready for your filling. I've made a few that I will share; what you use is up to you.
Classic Cinnamon Roll
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBS cinnamon
Brush prepared dough with butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over dough.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 cup (give or take) cup Nutella softened
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped chocolate (I've used semi-sweet & milk chocolate with great results. Chocolate chips are fine for this).
Spread softened Nutella over the dough. In a small bowl, combine chopped chocolate and cinnamon, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle chocolate/cinnamon mixture over the Nutella.
Orange Blossom Rolls
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup white butter
Rind from 2 large oranges (I've not tried it, but you could also try a lemon in this for a more citrus-y joy.)
Brush dough with butter. In a bowl, combine sugar with rind, mixing well.Sprinkle over dough.
(I've also made Potica Rolls with this when I was making Potica and irritated by how much filling didn't make it into the loaves of bread; that extra filling was just enough for one batch of these rolls. And it was yummy, rivaling the Potica itself).
Okay, your dough is rolled out, you've chosen your filling, and hopefully applied it. Now roll the dough, starting from the long side, jelly roll style. You should have a long log of dough sitting in front of you. Before moving on, get a baking sheet and spray it with non stick spray. Have it near your workspace.
Using a sharp knife, begin cutting 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch slices for each roll. Place them on the greased sheet.
(If you have any ends or straggling pieces left, put those in a greased mini loaf pan--they bake up well, right along side the larger pan of rolls).
Here's the great part. (Are you ready for it?) Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place the pan in the fridge. Let it sit overnight. (Goodnight, little rolls of joy).
In the morning, grab your cup of coffee, (there are priorities here, my friends), remove plastic wrap from pan, then put it into a COLD oven. No preheating here, people. Set your oven to 350 degrees, set the timer for 20 minutes.
Check for over browning around 15 minutes, and doneness around the 20 minute mark. I've had batches need foil covering and another 5 minutes of cook time. Crazy art, this Cinnamon Roll making thing.
When done, allow to cool for a moment. You can either glaze or frost them, your choice. If glazing, brusht it on right now, fresh out of the oven. They'll be shiny and look professionally made (impressive, huh?). If you want to frost them, wait till they cool a bit before applying. If you make the Orange Blossom version, try adding some lemon or orange juice to the powdered sugar for an extra punch of flavor. Need a recipe for it? I've included my "formula". I don't measure, I just toss it all in a bowl until I get something I'm happy with. Yeah, I'm a rebel that way.
Put 1-2 cups powdered sugar in a bowl. I like to add a TBS or so of softened butter & a bit of vanilla for extra flavor. Add milk, 1 TBS at a time, stirring until it's as thick (or thin) as you want it. Too thick? Add more liquid. Too thin? Add more sugar. You can also add some Maple extract for a maple frosting or glaze.
The wonder and joy of this roll recipe is that you go to bed with them already made, waking up to the simple need to pop them into the oven. These are fantastic for large groups because you can make several batches--even different batches--and not want to pull your hair out with stress.
My inner baker grins with contentment with these oh-so-easy rolls. I hope yours will too.