When In Need of a Comfort Activity

A comfort activity. That’s what I needed this afternoon while I continue to wait, wait, wait for that telephone call that starts with, “We are on our way to the hospital. Sarah’s in active labor.” Alas, how to fill the time until that call comes?

How else? Bake!

Don’t ask me why but lately I’ve had a need, a wish, a craving to master – or at least try to halfway master – making yeast breads. I want to knead dough, watch it rise, punch it down, have it rise again, and then see it brown in my oven, emitting that delectable smell only yeast breads, whether plain, sweet or savory, can produce.

I have an indelible memory of that delicious yeasty scent wafting from the kitchen at the Gem Cafe, the restaurant my Uncle Doc and Aunt Dana owned in my hometown. That kitchen produced the most delicious yeast rolls I’ve ever eaten.

But today I didn’t want to make yeast rolls. I’ll save that for a family dinner. Instead, I wanted to try my hand again at a honey-sweetened cinnamon roll. I say again because I tried last week – another day when a comfort activity was needed – and those rolls flopped. Hard, no rise at all, and just plain bad. Today, I wanted a second chance to see if I could create a cinnamon roll minus refined sugar that had the rise and softness of a good yeast roll, plus all the cinnamony sweetness that makes for a delicious bun.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a tasty homemade honey-sweetened cinnamon roll. Try several years back before Mani’s Bakery closed here in LA. They were the only place that made honey-sweetened goodies that were actually eatable in all of Los Angeles, or, at least, that I knew about, and I make it my business to know about these things. Hence, my desire for success…

Let me cut to the chase.

This batch of cinnamon rolls is soft, thick, sweet and gloriously gooey.

I am feeling exceedingly pleased.

Below is the recipe I used and pictures of the process in my kitchen. Let it be said that honey-sweetened treats CAN be as good, if not better, than those with white sugar. Plus, they supply nutrients! Off the bandwagon I go, but I think pretty much anybody would taste these and say, “Hmmm. This is GOOD.” In fact, I had a taste-tester who said just that.

Mission accomplished.

Now I just need to get that phone call.

Here is the recipe, friends, for any of you who are interested. I’d love to hear how your baking fares if you decide you need a comfort activity, too.

Until tomorrow.

From Food.com

Sticky Honey Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 3 hrs Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins Serves: 16, Yield: 16 rolls

Ingredients:

DOUGH
3/4 cup water
1 large egg
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
FILLING
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
GLAZE
5 tablespoons melted butter
5 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons powdered milk

Directions
Make the dough in your machine on the Dough setting. (if you don’t have a bread machine mix ingredients together in the order stated and then let rise, then roll out.).
Roll out the dough into a 12 X 16 inch rectangle.
Combine filling ingredients and spread over dough, leaving a narrow border all around. Beginning at one long side, roll into a cylinder and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 16 1-inch thick slices.
Butter a 9 X 13 inch pan. Combine glaze ingredients and pour into pan. Lay rolls on top of glaze. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled.
Place the pan on a baking sheet (to catch any drips). Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

Here is the process from start to finish:

IMG_1540 IMG_1541 IMG_1542 IMG_1544 IMG_1545 IMG_1548 IMG_1550

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13 thoughts on “When In Need of a Comfort Activity”

  1. I love, love yeast bread, rolls, cinnamon buns, well – anything yeast. My younger self could eat a pan full all by myself. Enjoy! That call will be coming any hour, for sure…

  2. I used to occasionally make sourdough cinnamon rolls and there’s nothing like them, I feel. Alas, I can no longer make sourdough rolls or even bread. My starter died several years ago and I wasn’t able to get another one going. I suppose I could buy some starter and go at it again but baking bread and such is more work than I am able to handle. But it was glorious to get those yummy baked goods every week. Sigh.

      1. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this recipe, Len. Between brain fog and fatigue and stuff happening, I can barely remember my own name. I actually did forget it, once, but I can at least be grateful that things aren’t quite that bad now! LOL So, here goes. (I have no idea why the recipe includes a package of dry yeast. Seems like it should work without it but it’s been so long since I’ve made these I can’t remember how I did it.) ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““` Makes 2 1/2 dozen rolls. Dough Remove two cups of sourdough starter from refrigerator one hour before preparing this recipe. Replenish starter. 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour 1 pkg active dry yeast 1/2 cup sugar 2 tsp salt 1/3 cup softened butter or margarine 1 cup hot tap water 2 cups sourdough starter Melted butter Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir well to blend. Add butter and hot tap water and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add the sourdough Starter and 1 cup of flour. Beat at high speed for 1 minute. Stir in just enough of the remaining flour gradually with a wooden spoon to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl. Turn out onto floured board. Knead 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Brush each lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle each rectangle of dough with 1 cup of the cinnamon filling (following below) covering all the dough. Press filling lightly into dough. Roll up each rectangle of dough beginning with long side, jelly-roll fashion and seal edges. Cut the rolled dough into 1 inch slices and place cut side up, close to each other in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size. Bake at 375 for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. Cinnamon Filling 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine 1 cup light brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp ground cloves 1 cup finely chopped walnuts Combine all ingredients and mix well. Makes two cups. ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““ “““““` And there you have it, from a sourdough starter kit I somehow got way back in 1972 or so. I’d love to hear how they turn out for you. The one time I made them they were yummy! Maybe that’s because I rarely make anything like this, but they were good! . Blissings, Sam _http://sampatron.wordpress.com_ (http://www.sampatron.wordpress.com/) Search for Soul:Finding Meaning When Life Falls Apart Don’t believe everything you think. – Thomas Kida

      2. Sorry that didn’t format the way I wrote it, Len. Yucky! Hope you can decode it without too much trouble. If you need me to, I can send a regular email that might work better. :>(

    1. Good luck, Len. I’m sure there must be places to get starter there that are easier to come by than here. I mean, San Francisco is “just up the road!” LOL But if you want to order some, King Arthur Flour offers some. I’ve not tried it, but I have a lot of faith in King Arthur. *G*

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