Overnight Buns

Since the weather has turned gray and rainy around here, I’ve pulled out the Christmas music and have been working to its holly jolly tunes.  The recipe I’m sharing today always reminds me of Christmas.  My mom wasn’t a bake-bread-every-week kinda woman, but you can be sure these yummy melt-in-your- mouth dinner buns would be on every Christmas table spread.  It’s a sweet dough recipe, so it also works perfectly for caramel rolls and cinnamon braid as well.  If you have a Christmas morning tradition of waking up to sweet rolls (like my husband’s family did), this will help you get most of the work done the night before.  It’s a bit of an unusual process~

overnight buns with text

You mix the dough at 2:00 in the afternoon.  After it doubles (around 5-6:00 pm), you punch it down and let it rise again.

At 9 pm you plop the big hunk of dough on your counter to shape into buns.


This recipe makes 6 dozen dinner buns, so I cut the dough into 6 sections.  You can, of course, make it all into dinner buns, but I like to switch it up a bit.  This time I made crescent rolls, cinnamon braid, mini caramel rolls, dinner buns, and (twice as big) sandwich buns.  Once the buns are all formed you set them out on the counter,

on the counter

and tuck them in for the night by covering them with towels.

cover with towels

When you go to bed at night they will look about this size:

cinnamon buns pm

And in the morning, they will look like this:

cinnamon buns a.m.

Then, you  pop them into the oven and bake them off.

If only I could somehow insert the smell of these baking buns… So yummy (especially mixed with the first pot of coffee dripping away…)

caramel buns

The part I love the best?  Being FINISHED before 8:30 a.m.!!

Overnight buns1

tray of buns ps

Here’s the recipe:

4 cups boiling water

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter or margarine (I use butter)

1 tbsp. salt

4 beaten eggs

1 pkg. yeast (I use Fleishmann’s Traditional in the jar for this one.  I package equals 2 and 1/4 tsp.)

1/4 cup lukewarm water, sweetened

12 cups flour (or more)

Boil water and sugar 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add butter and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.  (Don’t cool it too much, though!!)  Add eggs and yeast dissolved in sweetened water (1 teaspoon sugar).  Add enough flour to make a really firm dough.  If you don’t add enough flour, you will find that the buns will rise too much, with consequent loss of flavour and texture.

Make dough about 2 p.m.  Let rise until double ~ 5 or 6 p.m.  Punch down.  Let rise again until 9 or 10 p.m.  Shape into buns and put into baking pans, leaving plenty of space between.  Cover with towel.  Bake first thing the next morning. (I started at 7:30 a.m.)  (Do not make buns very large, for they rise so much.)  Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Yield:  6 dozen buns.

{P.S.  I’ll be back tomorrow to share how I rolled out the crescent rolls, caramel rolls, and cinnamon braid.  This post was just getting too long!!}

Linking to:  Happy Hour Link Party, Meal Planning Magic’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats



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  1. 1


    Delicious! And guess what? We have the same exact dish towel! The red one… I confess when I found them I bought a number of them because they match my kitchen so well. I shudder every time I think about them possibly wearing out… haha! :)

  2. 5

    Patrice says

    This seems to be a fairly simple recipe, especially for someone who is just starting her working with yeast adventure. I want (plan) to try this recipe, but I have a fairly small household (just the 3 of us). Does this dough freeze well? If so, at what point is it ready to go to the freezer? Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 9

    Lindsay says

    This is my Grandma’s recipe too! Im curious, when you mix all of the ingredients with the flour do you use a stand mixer or do you do it all by hand? Is there ever a problem of “over kneading” the dough? Thanks!


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