Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cinnamon Rolls

Mary had the hankering for cinnamon rolls yesterday. And I'm never one to turn them down. My favorite are mom's (of course). She makes a simple cinnamon roll, with nuts and raisins and cinnamon sugar. And they're baked with a caramel glaze - no nasty frosting. But mom was a hundred miles away in Portland, so even with a best-case scenario, they'd be cold by the time we got them.

What's a guy to do?

I called mom and she was able to recite the recipe from memory - what a mom.

So I began my first excursion into the world of making cinnamon rolls.

I'd made bread before (though it's been a few years), and the rolls are really just a rich bread (eggs and sugar) with extras.

I didn't have any brown sugar for the caramel glaze, and it calls for a little Caro syrup. So I used sucanat, which I'd always been a bit wary of. It doesn't smell like brown sugar, and it's drier than brown sugar. But it's sweet and Mary has used it a lot. And instead of the Caro, I used some grade B maple syrup. I knew I was playing with fire because mom's turn out so tasty, and I didn't have the required ingredients.

I baked the rolls a little too long, the outside ones were a tiny bit too brown, and when I turned the rolls out on a plate (to expose the caramel yumminess), the caramel sauce was dark brown (as opposed to the normal golden color). I got a little worried until I tried it - YUM! An actual improvement over mom's recipe.

Now I'll share this improved recipe with you. Try at your own risk - they're super tasty, you might eat the whole batch.

For 2 loaves of bread, or about 3 dozen cinnamon rolls.

1/4 C water (warm)
2 pkg yeast

proof the yeast in the water for 5 min
with a touch of sugar

1.5 C water (or milk)
1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C sugar
1 Tsp salt
3 ea. eggs
7-8 C flour

mix all together, kneading until it's done

let it rise until it doubles in size (1.5 hours)
punch down, shape, let rise again (45 minutes)
bake at 350 for 45 minutes until golden brown

if you're making cinnamon rolls, roll the dough out,
spread soft butter, cinnamon sugar, chopped walnuts,
and raisins.

roll the dough up into a log, cut into 2 inch rolls
and place in two 9x13 pans, *each* of which have a mixture

1/3 C melted butter
1/2 C brown sugar (sucanat)
1 T Caro syrup (maple syrup)

I'm making a second batch right now. I'm hoping the rolls turn out even better because I've already finished the first batch. And my stomach is rumbling.

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