Since I had this past Friday off from work I woke up a little later than usual, went for a run and then started on my baking frenzy, which lasted two whole days almost. I was the only one home so I turned up my favorite baking music – Sam Cooke and Ella Fizgerald, and put on my pretty flower apron. The weather was cool and breezy. It felt nice to have the oven warming the kitchen and the sweet smells wafting around the house.
I had tried this cinnamon roll recipe – meant to be easy peasy, no waiting around for the yeast to start working- once before but picked up the baking soda instead of the baking powder. Although they turned out fine, they left a funny acrid taste in your mouth. So I’d been waiting for an opportunity to try them out again. I made the dough carefully following the directions checking that the jar I picked up said baking powder at least three times, until I realized that we might not have enough all-purpose flour for both of my recipes and figured whole wheat might be a fine substitute.
My friend Hannah taught me a wonderful trick to slice the cinnamon dough log to create perfect rolls without crushing them and loosing all the magical goodness from the inside. All you need is some plain old floss! Pull yourself off a length about a foot long. Hold one end in each hand and slide the middle under your dough roll. Pull the ends up, cross them over one another so you have an X , and pull. The floss should slice right through giving you a cinnamon roll ready and waiting to go in your pan.
Unfortunately the final product wasn’t as gloriously plump as the recipe promised. That might be an effect of rolling my dough out too thin, or the addition of whole wheat so they were too dense to rise as easily. So next time I’ll try making them with all white flour, and doubling the dough recipe, so I can roll it thicker.
BUT, thats not to say they weren’t as tasty as could be! The butter and sugar created crunchy pockets of cinnamony-sweetness on the bottom of the rolls, and since they were smaller I could rationalize eating more than just one! But I didn’t want the whole pan sitting around tempting me so I took them down to the Hickory Nut Gap interns for a mid-morning snack.
Easy Peasy Cinnamon Buns
adapted from Edible Moments
makes about 15 (I found it made more like 12)
2 cups flour
2 T sugar
1 T + 1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter (frozen)
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Grate frozen butter into flour mixture, stir with a whisk to disperse butter pieces. Sprinkle mile over top and stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough, adding more milk or flour as necessary. Turn out onto lightly floured surface, and kneed a few times. Toll dough out into a rectangle.
2. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut butter into small pieces and spread out over the dough. Sprinkle sugar mixture over the dough and butter. Roll up the dough into a long narrow log.
3. Cut roll into slices, and place rolls in greased baking pan, at least 1 inch apart (to allow room to rise). Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown. Let rolls begin to cool. Mix powdered sugar with milk and vanilla. Pour over rolls. Enjoy while they’re still warm!
My second baking task for the day were donut muffins. “What does that mean?” you ask. Its not a donut, but its not just a muffin either. Its a muffin that tastes like powdered cake donut which equals wonderful! These turned our true to form and from what I’ve heard the interns at Flying Cloud Farm we’re happy to finish them off.
Donut Muffins courtesy of Bread and Honey
makes about 24 regular muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 2 T whole milk
1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 sticks butter at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 T sugar
2 lg eggs
4 T melted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pans.
2. Combine flour through nutmeg, whisk to combine well. In a measuring cup combine milk and vinegar and set aside( If you wanted you could use buttermilk instead of the milke and vinegar here).
3. Blend butter with a mixer until soft and creamy, add sugar and beat to combine, scrap down sides, and beat mixture until it increases in volume and lightens to a pale yellow. Add eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combines, remember to wipe down the sides of the bowl as you go.
4. With a wooden spoon, mix 1/4 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, add 1/3 of the milk. Continue to add in the dry and wet ingredients alternating, ending with the dry. Mix until the dough is smooth and well combined.
5. Divide dough into muffin cups of the pan. Bake about 25-35 minutes until muffins are firm to the touch.
6. Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, prepare the topping: melt butter, and our powdered sugar into a seperate, deep bowl. Using a pastry brush lightly brush the outside of each muffin with butter and then roll it in the powdered sugar. Shake off any excess. Enjoy!