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Sunday, May 23, 2010

House of the Rising Bun

There is a house in Hillsboro, they call the rising bun.  At least I called it that this morning while finishing our cinnamon buns.  House of the Rising Bun is the name of an Alton Brown TV program where he demonstrated the making of three kinds of overnight buns: cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, and citrus ginger ring.  My wife and I watched the program and then I went to the site and printed all three recipes.

Last night I made mixed the dough and formed the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, which took about thirty minutes of preparation time.  Earlier in the day, I had stopped at the store on the way home from exercising and picked up the necessary buttermilk and eggs.  When I arrived  home, I set out five of the eggs, six-ounces of buttermilk, three-ounces of unsalted butter, and 2 1/4-tablespoons of yeast to warm to room temperature.

After dinner, I started by separating the yolks from four of the eggs (I used the whites for scrambled eggs).  I mixed the four egg yolks, one full egg, and two ounces of sugar in our KitchenAid stand mixer for several minutes using the whisk attachment.  Then I added two cups of the flour, yeast, and salt and then mixed until everything was wet.

I removed the whisk from the mixer and installed the dough hook, then added all but 3/4-cup of the remaining flour to the mixing bowl.  Mixing on low speed, I had to stop and scrape the dough hook several times as the dough kept climbing the hook and not mixing.  After five minutes, I checked and the dough was still a sticky, so I added about another 1/2-cup of the flour and mixed for another five minutes.

When the five minutes were up, I checked and the dough was soft but not sticky, so I turned it out onto our floured rolling mat.  It was kind of fun to kneed the dough for about thirty seconds so it was an integrated mass of dough.  I formed it into a ball and placed it into my lightly oiled metal bowl to rise.  A quick check of the recipe and I saw that I was to lightly oil the top of the dough ball, so I poured a small amount of oil in my hand and rubbed the oil over the top of the ball.

I took the covered bowl of dough to our upstairs where it was a nice 71.5 degrees and left it for 2 1/2 hours to rise.  My wife and I went for a nice hour-long walk and returned in plenty of time for me to finish this recipe for the night.

I prepared the filling for the cinnamon buns by measuring one-cup packed brown sugar, one-tablespoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1 1/2-tablespoons of melted butter into a medium sized bowl and mixing it all together.  Oops, the melted butter was supposed to be spread directly on the dough and then the sugar/cinnamon mixture spread on that.  Oh well, I decided to proceed with my sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture.

I also placed about a cup of raisins in a small saucepan on the stovetop to boil for a few minutes.  This helps to hydrate the raisins so they don’t burn during baking.  Once the raisins started to plump, I drained them and let them cool for their next step.

The dough had just about doubled in size when I punched it down and turned it back onto our floured rolling mat.  I used my fingers to shape the dough into a rectangle then started to roll it with the rolling pin.  The desired size for the dough was to be 18 x 12 inches and I got mine pretty close to that size.  I realized that I had rolled out the dough the wrong direction on the mat and it was now extending over the edges of the sides.

My cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture worked just fine when I spread it over dough.  I did leave a 3/4-inch edge across the top for finishing the log once it is rolled.  I spread the raisins over the dough and then started to roll from the bottom of the dough.  I rolled it up and then used the bare dough area at the top end to fold into the log and make a seam all the way across the log.  I was surprised that it actually worked very well and didn’t release.

Now I had to pull and stretch to even out the log so it is the same thickness all the way across.  That worked well and I had a (fairly) even log of dough.  I buttered my large glass Pyrex baking pan and then sliced the log into twelve (roughly) even pieces with my serrated bread knife.  I placed the cut rolls into the baking pan, covered it with plastic wrap, and slipped the pan into the refrigerator for the night.

In the morning, I removed the pan from the refrigerator and was surprise at how much the rolls had risen even in the refrigerator.  I used our hot pot to boil about five cups of water, which I poured into a roasting pan and placed it on the bottom rack our oven.  On the rack just above the roasting pan, I placed the pan of cinnamon rolls, closed the door, and let the buns rise for thirty minutes.  The kitchen has a nice warm yeast smell.

At the end of the thirty minutes, I removed both pans and turned the oven on to preheat to 350 degrees.  When the oven was hot, I placed the pan of rolls inside and set my timer for 20 minutes.  When the timer went off, I inserted our oven temperature probe into the center of one of the rolls and set the oven shutoff temperature to 190 degrees.  It only took about another five minutes to achieve the desired temperature, the oven shut off and I removed the pan of rolls to cool.  They look and smell wonderful.

I mixed the icing that consists of cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar and spread it over the top of all the rolls.  The only thing left to do was to eat one – well ok, one and a half rolls.

These rolls are very light and fluffy inside.  They taste better than most of the cinnamon rolls available in stores.  We surprised a neighbor when she came over later that day and sent her home with a couple of the cinnamon rolls she could share with her husband.

I was thinking that if I rolled out the dough in a little different shape that is narrower and would make a thicker roll, I could cut it into six slices, still use the same pan, and have monster cinnamon rolls.  Hmmm.

Find the recipe at:

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell


  1. I just happened to stubble across this entry in your blog and found it very entertaining! I'm working on these rolls right now for brunch tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yea, I also had done that on my second try by accident; but I had enjoyed making it with your steps as well.

  3. I like the way you show us, I have an easy recipe if you try this let me know what you think..please stir together 1 package yellow cake mix, 5 cups all purpose flour,2 packages yeast,add 2 1/2 cups warm water and mix well.Let rise about 15 minutes roll out into a rectangle spread softened butter sprinkle a mixture of sugar & cinnamon then roll up into a log and slice 2 inch slices. Let rise again,mix 1 stick of butter, 4 tbs white sugar,4 tbs brown sugar pour over rolls and bake at 350 for 20 minutes