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Brown Butter Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

  Can we stop the world for a minute?  Let's stop the commuting, milk steaming, 5:00 AM-ing, money saving, and school prepping for just a bit.  Because I need to talk to you about something very very important.

  These cinnamon rolls.  The best.  The best best best best best.

  We're turning this No Knead Brioche Dough from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day into the most delectable, moist, heavenly rolls you can imagine.  Major major kudos to Sarah from Sugar Hit for putting together this ingenious combination.  I died a few times.

  Not to say that this process was totally easy...I had a few screw ups in which I made double the amount of dough and had some mammoth cinnamon rolls on my hands.  I was practically chucking them at the neighbors in an effort to get them away from my hungry self.  So naturally I ran the recipe through once more, and it was muuuuch smoother the next time round.  This is a fantastic dough that you mix together the night before (no kneading though!) and then let it rise in the fridge overnight.  By the next morning it's chilled, it's risen, and it's ready to get saturated with brown butter and sugar and cinnamon.

  After another rise and a bit of time in the oven, we're ready to glaze.

  But this is no ordinary glaze.  This glaze embraces its off-white ivory self, because it's got nutty, deep, beautiful browned butter in it.  It is all the things.

  The end result is superb.  While the recipe does take a little bit of time what with rising and all, it's seriously overall the least labor intensive yeasted cinnamon roll I've ever encountered.  The brioche does tons for the texture, all it needs is a nice warm beginning and then a long, chilly rise.

  There is one more feature about these rolls that is key.  The bottoms.  While the filling does also stay nestled within the rings of the roll, it oozes out just a bit during baking and literally sugar coats the bottom of the roll.  The end result is just a bit of caramelized crunch.

  It's gotta be one of its best features, and I had several people comment on it.

  I could recommend these for Easter Brunch, most certainly, but honestly they're good anytime of the year.

  Add a little spice and brioche to your life, please.  You need these weekend treats.

Brown Butter Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 12 rolls

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 4 eggs (preferably at room temp, but if not it's cool)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Ingredients for the filling:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Ingredients for the glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Milk or half-and-half

Prepare the dough by whisking together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter in a medium bowl.  Add the flour a little at a time and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or an accompanying lid and place in the fridge to rise overnight (at least 8 hours).  The dough should, ideally, double in size.  If not, your beginning yeast mixture was likely too cold or too hot.  Yeast can be picky like that.

The next morning, prepare the filling before rolling out the dough.  Place 5 tablespoons of butter into a small pan over medium heat.  Melt it down and then continue to cook it, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns brown, foams a bit, and smells nice and nutty.  Place in a heatproof bowl right away.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Take the dough from the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Start rolling it into a rectangle that's just under 1/2 inch thick.  Roughly about 12x15 inches.  Using a pastry brush, brush the brown butter all over your dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top, leaving about a small border along both of the shorter sides and along one long end.  Starting at the long end without a border, roll the dough tightly into a log, pinching the dough together to seal.  With the log seam side down, proceed to use a knife or unflavored dental floss to cut both tail ends of your log off to even it out a bit.  Make some light indentations on the top of your log to score it into 12 pieces so you know exactly where to cut.  Starting at one end of the log, follow the marks you made and slice your log into 12 rolls.

Divide your rolls amongst your 2 prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for them to rise a little bit and to poof up in the oven.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free area to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, until they are puffier than when you started but not completely doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Set aside to cool completely.

To make the glaze, brown the 3 tablespoons of butter as per the instructions stated above for the filling.  Place in a bowl and add the one cup of powdered sugar.  Whisk together until smooth, adding small splashes of milk as needed until you reach the desired consistency.  Immediately drizzle on the rolls, allow to set for a bit, and then serve.

Sources: adapted from Sugar Hit and Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day