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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

April 3, 2010

Since it is Easter weekend and the kids are sick, I decided to make something special for breakfast.  I don’t frequently bake yeast breads/rolls from scratch as doing so with whole wheat graham flour and whole wheat pastry flour can be rather tricky.  I keep my flours in the fridge and that dries them out moreso.  I provide you this information so that if you are a more of a novice at baking than I am, you will be aware that whole wheat flours vary in the amount of liquid required in a recipe, tweaking the liquids and flour quantities will more than likely be necessary.  I find that when all else fails with whole wheat yeast breads, adding an egg to a dry dough will solve most things.  Over time, it becomes apparent how much is just right.  Unfortunately, we’ve suffered through a number of very dry yeast breads before I achieved this non-novice status!

Cinnamon Roll, yield 12 large cinnamon rolls

1 cup Whole Wheat pastry flour

2 – 3  cups Whole Wheat graham flour (depends on your flour, I used about 2.5 cups,  plus some for the rolling mat/pin)

2 packages quick rise yeast (not regular yeast)

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup whole milk, warmed (too hot will kill your yeast) (due to my extra dry flour I sometimes need 1 1/8 cups milk)

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled (if using salted butter, decrease salt to 1/2 tsp)

1/4 cup honey


1 tbsp butter, melted

1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar, to your taste or you may substitute a drizzle of maple syrup*



1/2 stick butter, melted

~ 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 – 1 teaspoon vanilla

*Dental Floss, preferably unflavored waxed for slicing the rolls*

Grease a 9×13 pan that you can cover tightly in the fridge overnight.  Williams-Sonoma makes a nice one, here, I have one in both sizes.

In a liquid measuring cup, warm the milk.  Add the honey and yeast to proof.  It will bubble.  I always proof my yeast so that if a batch fails I haven’t wasted the remainder of my ingredients.

In a KitchenAid (if you are fortunate enough to have one – otherwise do the rest by hand), combine 1 cup WW pastry flour and 1 cup WW flour with salt.  Add the proofed yeast, butter, eggs and honey.  Combine with the dough hook and scrape down the sides.  Add enough of the remaining WW flour to form a soft dough that isn’t terribly sticky and allow the mixer to run for 5 minutes.

Scrape down the hook and sides of bowl.  Allow dough to rest 10 minutes.

On a mat (I use a silpat rolling sheet), sprinkle some WW flour.  Drop your dough onto it and roll it into  a roughly 9×13 rectangle.  Brush the dough with melted butter.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.  I like a lot of cinnamon and liberally douse the dough with it.  Roll up the dough and take care to do so reasonably tightly and keeping the ends even.   Slice 1/2 to 1 inch slices with floss and place in greased pan.

Cover pan and refridgerate overnight.  In the morning, uncover, place in a cold oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until browned.  If you should desire, brush with a tiny bit more melted butter.

Allow to cool while you make the icing.

In a bowl, combine the melted butter, vanilla and enough powdered sugar to form a thick paste.  It will be a thick clump in your whisk.  Now add the orange juice to your desired consistency.  We put a dollop of icing on the side of our plates in which to dip the rolls.

*If you substitute maple syrup, use a pastry brush to thinly spread it across the dough.  As it is liquid, it can pool at the bottom of the pan, caramelizing then burning during baking.*

**These can be made the morning of, but the second rise after shaping can take 30 minutes to an  hour depending on how warm  your home is.  You then bake in a preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, until browned.**

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