Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

adminMarch 2, 2022

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Words like fluffy, pillowy, soft, and tender don’t even prepare you for the religious experience of these Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls. Because yes, they are heavenly.

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

The dough is dreamy, and the Japanese tangzhong method of cooking milk and flour together is the secret to its softness. I confess I almost like it more than brioche!

In addition to the tender, delicate dough, these rolls have a strong dose of cinnamon, sugar, and butter spiraled throughout. Finally, I slather them with buttery vanilla cream cheese icing for the finishing touch. Make them once, and these rolls will become part of your weekend repertoire!

For this recipe, I break it up over two days. Make the dough on day one, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then in the morning, shape and roll the dough, let it rise more time, and within the hour, you’ll be biting into a buttery, cinnamon laden roll.

What is Tangzhong?

The feathery texture in these rolls comes from mixing a cooked slurry of liquid (milk or water) and flour into the dough, called tangzhong. The technique is used in Hokkaido milk bread but is now used in many baking recipes, including this cinnamon roll recipe and another favorite, Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Rolls.



The technique pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour, which allows the dough to absorb more liquid than typical bread dough. That also translates into a longer shelf life.

Two to three days later, your rolls will still be soft, although it’s doubtful they will be around long enough for you to test that theory.

Why an Overnight Rise?

On day one, you will mix the dough and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight (up to 12 hours). On the morning of the second day, you’ll shape the rolls and let the dough rise again before baking.
An overnight rise gives the dough more time to develop flavor. It also breaks up the work, allowing you to fill and bake the rolls in the morning and have them for breakfast about an hour later. In addition, the dough is much easier to handle when it is cold.

Filling and Cutting Tricks

Here are a few tips to make rolling, filling, and cutting the rolls easier:

  • The dough is so pliable that it doesn’t need strenuous rolling. Start by patting it into a rectangle on top of a floured piece of parchment paper. Finish shaping the rectangle by rolling it with a rolling pin.
  • The cinnamon filling resembles a thick icing, which is easy to spread over the dough, avoiding the messy crumbs of sugar and cinnamon.
  • Shape your cinnamon rolls with ease—since it’s on a piece of parchment, the sheet of dough can be rolled into a cylinder evenly. Just lift the edges of the paper nearest to your body as you move the dough away from you.
  • Cutting the rolls with a knife can be tricky since the knife’s pressure can cause them to lose shape. Instead of a knife, use dental floss or string to cut the rolls. Once you’ve marked out the portions with a paring knife, slip a thin piece of string or unflavored dental floss underneath a section. Grasp the ends and pull the yarn tightly in opposite directions, so it cuts through the roll. Easy and fun!

How to Store Cinnamon Rolls?

The best way to store cinnamon rolls is to place them in a container with a tight-fitting lid after cooling completely.
You can also wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap: Lay a large sheet of foil or plastic wrap on the countertop and bring the edges up and over the rolls, trying not to smash the frosting but also making sure the packet is sealed. Wrapped as suggested, you can store cinnamon rolls for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator (after that, refrigerated rolls tend to dry out from the cold.)

To Freeze:  You can freeze them frosted or unfrosted, wrapped in aluminum foil as noted above, for up to 2 months. If unfrosted, store the frosting separately in the freezer and bring it to room temperature.
To reheat frozen rolls, place them on a baking sheet and cover them loosely with foil. Reheat in a 300ºF oven for 10 to 20 minutes, or until warm all the way through.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

  • Prep Time 30 mins
  • Cook Time 30 mins
  • Rise Time 12 hrs
  • Total Time 13 hrs
  • Servings 12 servings

These are overnight rolls, so you will need to mix the dough one day or evening and shape and bake them the following morning.


For the tangzhong

  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1/3 cup (43g) bread flour
  3. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  4. 1/2 cup whole milk
  5. For the dough
  6. 2/3 cup cold whole milk
  7. Two large cold eggs
  8. 4 1/2 teaspoons (14g) instant yeast
  9. 1/4 cup powdered milk
  10. 4 cups (480g) bread flour
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  12. Two teaspoons of olive oil (for the rising bowl)
  13. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  14. 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar

For the cinnamon filling

  1. Four tablespoons of unsalted butter softened
  2. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  3. One teaspoon vanilla
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

For the glaze

  1. 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  2. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  3. Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  4. 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    Three tablespoons of unsalted butter softened


Make the tangzhong:

In a small saucepan, add the flour, water, and milk over medium-low heat. Whisk together until smooth. Cook is constantly whisking until it thickens to a smooth, pudding-like consistency for 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the tangzhong to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

For the dough:

Add the milk, butter, sugar, and salt to the mixer bowl with the tangzhong. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated.
Add the flour, yeast, powdered milk, and nutmeg to a separate medium bowl. Whisk to combine. One cup at a time, add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl, mixing while on low speed until combined. It will be slightly sticky.
Remove the paddle, cover the bowl, and let it rest for 10 minutes before kneading to give the flour time to hydrate (absorb the liquid.)



Knead the dough:

Please switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough on low speed until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Let the dough rise overnight:

Spread the oil over the bottom and sides of a large, clean bowl. Form the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, and turn it over, so all sides of the dough are oiled.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight (up to 12 hours.) The dough will have risen in the refrigerator.

Make the cinnamon filling:

Just before shaping the rolls the following day, combine the softened butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Roll the dough into a rectangle:

Set a 12-by-16-inch piece of parchment paper on your work surface and sprinkle with flour. Turn the dough onto the parchment paper and pat it into a rectangle.
Roll the dough out to the same size as the parchment, stretching the corners if necessary. The dough should be around one 1/2-inches thick.

Prepare the baking pan:

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter. Fit a 12-by-16-inch piece of parchment into the pan so the two long sides overhang by one 1/2-inches.

Fill, roll, and cut the dough:

With an offset spatula, evenly spread the filling over the dough, leaving a border of about 1-inch all around.
Position the dough so the long side is parallel to the counter’s edge. Using the parchment as an aid, roll it away from your body to form a cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam and turn the log, so the seam side is down.
With a paring knife, mark the log into 12 even pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide. Slide a 12-inch strand of unflavored dental floss or thin string under the log.

Cross the ends and pull tight to cut the log into 12 slices. Set them in the baking pan with the cut side up. They should just fit in the pan and be barely touching.

Preheat the oven and let the dough rise at room temperature:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cover the pan loosely with plastic and let rise for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the dough looks puffy and the rolls are touching.

Bake the rolls and cool:

Bake the cinnamon rolls for 28 to 32 minutes until browned, and a thermometer inserted into the center of the rolls registers 190°F to 205°F.
Transfer them to a rack to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Make the icing:

In a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment on medium-low, mix the cream cheese and butter for 1 minute, or until very smooth and lump-free. Slowly stream in the sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in the salt and vanilla. The icing will be soft and thick but creamy and still spreadable.

Frost the rolls and serve:

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Use the parchment to lift the rolls out of the pan. Ice them while still warm and serve immediately.

If you like this recipe, then I would suggest that you should try this recipe too: Butternut Squash Bread with Pecan Streusel Recipe

For more recipes, please pay a visit to this: Recipes

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