These were certainly the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made: soft and fluffy dough, a just-right ratio of cinnamon, and that cream cheese glaze was quite simply the cherry on top. The dough is really special; it is of the no-knead, overnight-rise variety.
It rises overnight in the refrigerator yielding the perfect dough to work with. The filling is basic: butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Adding walnuts or pecans is optional, but why not! They are best consumed on the day they are baked, but refrigerated left-overs are not so bad after a brief stint at the microwave :)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans (optional)
Cream Cheese Glaze:
2/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, soft
1/2 tsp vanilla
To make the dough, combine all of the dry ingredients in a very large bowl. In a separate jug add in the milk, water, honey and butter. Heat it in the microwave until it is warm and the butter has melted. Whisk in the eggs quickly. Stir the wet into the dry to make a sticky dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 2 hours at cool room temperature. It will triple in size. After this, REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH FOR AT LEAST 8 HOURS, preferably over night. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before using.
When you're ready to make your cinnamon rolls, make the filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Set aside. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle approximately 1/4" thick. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a narrow margin around the edges uncovered. Starting with a long edge, gently roll the dough into a log. Don't roll it too tightly; if you do, the centers of the buns will pop up as they bake. Slice the rolls 2” thick and set them with their cinnamon face up In a deep baking pan lined with parchment space the buns in the pan. (at this point you can refrigerate to bake off the following day if you wish). Cover the pan, and allow the rolls to rise until they're have grown into each other and are puffed up, about 30-1 hour. (Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375F). Uncover the pan, and bake the buns for 40 to 45 minutes, till they're a deep golden brown. Rotate the tray during baking so they can get golden brown all over.
While they are baking make your glaze: In a bowl beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla together with a whisk until well combined. Remove the baking pan from the oven and let the rolls rest for 10 minutes. Once cooled enough remove from the pan and onto a cooling rack. Spread your cream cheese glaze generously over the cinnamon rolls while they are still hot, and serve immediately.
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