Sari and I wanted to make cinnamon rolls for brunch with our parents, but yeasted pastry breads often take so long to rise it can be frustrating to make them for breakfast. But I’ve discovered that you can do most of the rising the night before, stick the rolls in the fridge overnight, and voilà! You stick them in the oven first thing in the morning, and out come piping hot cinnamon rolls! The cinnamon-sugar filling will still be gooey and the bread tender and fluffy. And slathered with cream cheese icing, what could be better?
1 package Active Dry Yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk), heated to lukewarm
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3/4 Cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 Cup Earth Balance, melted
1 Tblsp. white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
4 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and the warm milk alternative, and let it sit for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the banana with the yeast, as well as the melted Earth Balance, and sugar. Add half of the flour mixture to your mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour until a nice dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it for 10 minutes, adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands. You should end up with a fairly soft dough that is just slightly sticky. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. While that is resting, combine the filling ingredients to make a sugar cream – but leave chopped walnuts out of this mixture at this point.
Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Spread filling on liberally, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Roll up the rectangle tightly, from the long side, pinch the seam to seal, dabbing it with a bit of water if needed. Cut the roll into 12 even slices. Place the slices in a greased pan. Give them a little bit of space, as they will rise (but it’s okay if they touch during baking, then you will get soft fluffy pull-apart outsides). Cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge to rise overnight.
In the morning, pull the cinnamon rolls from the fridge and place them on top of the stove while you preheat the oven to 375ºF. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown (I like them on the less browned side).
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, you can mix together your cream cheese frosting. Cream together all the ingredients and make sure it’s light and fluffy. Spread thick on top of your warm rolls, and eat immediately!