In celebration of the kids' last day of summer break from school, I decided to make a big batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast on this fine Labor Day morning.
Okay. So, maybe the rolls weren't so much in honor of the kids going back to school. Maybe making them was my own (subconscious) attempt to console myself as I face sending the last of our five children off to kindergarten tomorrow.
Nothing says drown yourself in sorrow and pity like a big pan of warm, gooey, icing-laden cinnamon rolls, right?
(Don't judge me.)
What makes this recipe a perfect fit for me is that since I am not a perky, cheerful, jump-out-of-bed-full-of-energy type of morning person, the night owl in me can do most of the leg-work at the time of day (translation: night) when I am, indeed, bouncing off of the walls and full of (way) too much energy. Little is required of me come sunrise to finish these ... just a tad bit of energy to turn on the oven and make the icing. Press the button on the coffee pot and voilà ... breakfast is served.
(And, a darn delicious one at that!)
A big thank you to our oldest daughter, Marah, for her help making these last night! She always has been my baking helper since she was a little girl!
NOTE: There are two options for proofing in the morning before baking. Both options are explained below within the directions. One requires 1 - 2 hours and the other just 30 minutes or so.
Ultimate Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
2 loaves frozen bread dough (thawed for a few hours on the counter)
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
12 tablespoons real butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon real maple syrup (optional)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (or more) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
The night before you plan to bake the rolls, roll out each loaf of thawed bread into a large rectangle (bring dough to room temperature first) on a lightly floured surface. Each loaf should be rolled out into about a 9" x 16" rectangle.
Mix together the filling ingredients. The consistency will reassemble a paste. Divide mixture in half and spread half on each rolled-out rectangle. I use my fingers to press the filling into the dough a little. The filling will probably not cover the dough completely. Just get it as equally dispersed as possible.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (or for up to sixteen hours).
In the morning, remove rolls from refrigerator and follow one of the following methods for proofing:
1. Allow pan of rolls to sit in a mildly warm spot in your kitchen to enable the rolls to come to room temperature and continue their final rise. Oven can be turned on to 200 degrees and rolls placed on top of oven to proof. This method can take 1 - 2 hours.
2. Place pan of rolls into a gas oven that is turned OFF. Fill a shallow pan two-thirds of the way full with boiling water. Place water pan onto rack in oven directly under rolls. Shut oven door and allow rolls to rise until they look slightly puffy (about thirty minutes). Remove the rolls and water pan from oven.
Once risen, bake rolls for 20 - 30 minutes on 350 degrees or until slightly browned.
Remove from oven.
In a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients, adding more milk to thin glaze, if necessary. Pour glaze over warm cinnamon rolls. (You may not need all of the icing.)