My first Learning to Bake project was Cinnamon Rolls for the very best reason – we love them. We can’t buy them in bakeries because we prefer them not frosted. We discovered yummy frozen cinnamon rolls from Robinhood Free Meetinghouse that we can bake and leave unfrosted, but while incredibly delicious, they are not home-made.
I Googled and found this recipe, which sounded good. Always a tweaker, I knew I’d be adding some chopped pecans to the filling. I started by mixing yeast with warm water and sugar. I’ll write separately about yeast, which I had to research a bit. It’s alive! Who knew? I had two kinds. I went with the “Rapid Rise” and put it in 110 degree water with a teaspoon of sugar. A few minutes later, the yeasty water had become foamy. Then I added melted butter, eggs, sugar, salt and a LOT (8 cups) of flour. So much flour that I thought “This is never going to work. I must have counted wrong.” But the flour blended in eventually, and my dough was, as this recipe poster wrote “not sticky, but not floury, either.” I brushed some oil on top, covered the bowl with a clean, lobster-patterned* dish towel and left it to rise. It was supposed to take an hour, but my daughter had a choir rehearsal, so my dough had two hours to double. I wondered if I’d come home to the dough that ate the kitchen…. But it looked great. (To me, anyway.) And we were off to rolling the dough. (Why do I own a rolling pin? I have no idea!) As you’ll see I had an 11-year-old’s help for a few minutes. She got bored. I, meanwhile, was amazed. Check it out.
The dough rose! I ♥ yeast!
The rest was fun and took me back to our Playdough Fun Factory days. I made three big rectangles of dough and spread soft butter on them and sprinkled them with cinnamon, sugar and pecans, then rolled and sliced them up. The recipe said to slice them with “floss.” I hope she meant dental floss. I was baking each of the three batches separately. Right about now and I thought, “How many cinnamon rolls am I making?” I looked at the bottom of the recipe and discovered that I was making 36 cinnamon rolls. Have I mentioned that I live with my daughter? We both could stand to gain a few pounds, and we both love cinnamon rolls. But I was thinking we may be freezing and/or gifting a few of these.
The first dozen (I think it was 10, actually) were beautiful. The second dozen – also beautiful. I wish I could send the smell over the Internet. My baking ego had risen higher than the dough. I got busy. I was such a cinnamon roll baking expert I didn’t even set the oven timer for the third batch. I could have sworn I took them out of the oven.
Then I went upstairs. I returned downstairs, oh, probably 40 minutes after they should have come out of the oven… ooops. So we didn’t have such a Cinnamon Roll Overstock, after all. (Not that two people need 24 cinnamon rolls; our neighbors benefitted from the excess.)
Now that I’ve eaten at least six of these rolls. I still find them yummy. Maybe not Robinhood Free Meetinghouse yummy. Certainly not Good Table yummy. (For any locals, Lisa will leave off the frosting if she sees Harriet coming.) But yummy nonetheless. The dough is very dinner/crescent roll-like. (Which makes sense, given the recipe is for either.) Lots of cinnamon rolls are kind of puff pastry-ish. The Robinhood Free Meetinghouse cinnamon rolls, I think, have cream cheese in the dough. Anyway, there are probably a million Cinnamon Roll recipes out there for us to sample. But these were a good place to start since I got to try out yeast, kneading, rolling, baking, burning….
There were a few OOPS in this recipe: No. 1 – I did not break the egg right. This was mostly the result of me trying to break the egg one-handed (showoff) while photographing it for this blog. Fortunately, years of cooking with my kid has taught me to always break eggs in a separate bowl, so the stray bit of shell was easily removed. No. 2 – The burnt batch! Lesson learned: Use the oven timer. But all in all, two out of three of my cinnamon rolls were more than edible, they were yummy. And they provided the photo for the header for this blog. Onward!
*Regarding the Lobster Towel: I live in Maine. I’m making the Lobster Towel my official dough-covering towel/good luck charm (hey, it worked this time!) … until I can’t find him in the laundry.