Well, it’s How-To Tuesday! And after waking up before six worrying about things I have absolutely no control over, I decided to dive into my trusty List O’ Things To Do for some inspiration, and thought, what could possibly be better than trying my hand at cinnamon rolls?
I have been trolling around the InterWebs searching out a recipe that didn’t require me to have cream cheese for the frosting, as that was not an ingredient that made the Quarantine Grocery List cut. (Five bags of tortilla chips, however, did. What does this say about me?) I ended up settling on this cinnamon roll recipe from delishrecipes.net because it met my “no cream cheese” criteria and didn’t require an unreasonable amount of butter. (My father says there is no such thing as an unreasonable amount of butter
Now, before I go any farther, it is absolutely imperative that you understand that I am an obsessive Great British Bake-Off fan. It is my go-to show, and I’ve seen the whole series to date I-don’t-know-how-many times. (The Vulcan does not share this passion, much to my never-ending sorrow.) So I went into this Cinnamon Roll Challenge with a couple of objectives:
- Take photos of different steps in my process, because that is what you are supposed to do, I guess, when you make a recipe and post it on your blog. (Please see: every food blog ever.)
- Pretend I am on G.B.B.O. while doing it. (OBVIOUSLY.)
As everyone knows, the first step in creating your food blog post requires you to take a photo of your ingredients like so…
It’s worth pointing out that I forgot I was supposed to do the ingredient shot with every stage of the recipe and only took the picture of the dough ingredients. Notice my open butter box and the fact that, while I remembered to put a bowl in the shot (which I did mostly because I am fiercely proud of my vintage Pyrex,) I neglected to include a spoon… Additionally, I hope you appreciate my attractive, stylized backdrop featuring my knives and chopsticks. It lends that certain je ne sais quoi.
Then I combined ingredients to make the dough. It should be said that, if this were G.B.B.O. I would most certainly be the contestant who comes in last in the technical because I failed to read the ingredients accurately…as in, I accidentally put the egg in with ingredients that had to be heated in the microwave. This may or may not have resulted tiny bits of slightly cooked egg being sprinkled throughout my batter.
Because I’m so nice, I did my sleeping husband a huge favor by foregoing the dough hook on my KitchenAid and instead hand-kneading for a few minutes. I may have imagined the G.B.B.O. music in the background while I did this, except I don’t look nearly as expert at it as anyone who’s ever been on the show. (I did reflect that, between baking and yoga, by the time I get out of the quarantine, I’m going to have some serious muscles.) Then I had to roll it out to a 12″x16″ rectangle. I learned it is very hard to roll out something that looks like a rectangle with a rolling pin, but that there are few things on this earth that butter and sugar can’t fix (particularly when it’s slathered all over the top of something.)
The rolling up process was more stressful than necessary, due in no small part to the fact that I’ve watched way too many people get in trouble with Paul Hollywood for not rolling things tightly enough and leaving big gaps. Admittedly, my primary audience (the Vulcan) is not nearly as exacting, but it’s the spirit of the thing! I cut the roll into something more appropriated cinnamon roll-sized using string (another neat trick I picked up from watching the show,) covered them with foil, and put the pan in the oven to prove. This is the bit I’m worst at, because it’s just sitting around and waiting and doing really un-fun things, like cleaning up after oneself (which I did,) and possibly eating some tortilla chips while I waited, because that’s what responsible grown-ups do.
The baking itself (I did use the steam bath mentioned at the bottom of the recipe–I was taking no chances with possible dried out cinnamon rolls) was the easiest bit. The Vulcan (with his usual uncanny timing) managed to wake up just as they were coming out of the oven to fulfill his duties as official household taste-tester. Because he is a wise man, he gave them his (somewhat sleepy-eyed) seal of approval. I have to say I think they’re pretty good, myself.
So if you’ve got some time to kill (and since we’re all in some level of social quarantine, who doesn’t have some time to kill) might I highly recommend the cinnamon rolls? Not only were they not overly complicated, people think you’re a genius. If my social media feeds are any indication, everyone is making bread. Be the original in the group and make something delicious and decadent! (Just make sure not to put your egg in with the ingredients that need to be heated in the microwave…) Happy baking!
See you tommorow!