Since I sit here in my small one-bedroom apartment most of the time with little or nothing to do except, well actually I do nothing but waste my days doing exactly that wasting time.
I get up in the morning and make coffee, take my morning regimen of blood pressure pills and diabetic medicines and then off to the living room where I open the laptop and see what’s going on in the world I have a few friends and some family on Facebook. I don’t know why I have them. I rarely ever chat with them though half of them I have unfollowed, and the other half rarely post anything. So I’m really bored and I decided to do something.
So, I decided to begin baking bread and other things all of which have been well rather poor. I have visited websites like King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast, Fleischmann’s Yeast, Gold Medal, Martha bakes, and many other sites and my cookbooks looking for recipes. I have read up on breads, yeast, hydration, and doughs. I’ve bought supplies Active Dry Yeast, AP flour, bread flour, High Glut flour, powdered skim milk, espresso powder, Cocoa, molasses, and honey just to name a few and the basics. Of course, I had a lot of other stuff. I had the machinery, the KitchenAid stand mixer, the loaf pans, the bowls, measuring spoons and cups and scoops. I had just about everything except THE HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT. I will just keep trying and maybe one day I will get it right.
Now I have made several different recipes of bread both white and wheat and let me tell you homemade from scratch AIN’T nothing like store bought sliced white bread. I made a couple of loaves that were well bread. I did find the way to make the crust soft and thin the way I like it. And a loaf of wheat I gave away. I made batter bread thought about feeding the birds with it but since I live in an apartment didn’t need the mice or rodents running around the building I threw away. I made two loaves from a recipe by Martha Stewart its pretty good should have let the second rise go longer but overall it was the best of the bunch. Which brings me to the Cinnamon Rolls.
To make Cinnamon rolls I read 6 different recipes I did the download thing and printed them off and then studied them. They all call for a sweet dough which consists of flour either bread flour or all purpose, shortening or butter, large eggs, sugar, milk or milk and water (water to proof yeast), salt and yeast. Now this is a slack dough or a wet dough. Meaning it AIN’T nothing like a bread dough. This stuff is wet and loose and sticky.
So, you add flour to the wet ingredients until you have something a little thicker than pancake batter and pour, yes pour it out on the counter and add flour and knead it until you have a nice smooth elastic sticky ball of dough.
Place this sticky ball of dough in a greased bowl cover it and let it rise Oh a good couple hour until its doubled in size. Now cover it with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Do you know why you cover it? Dough left out in the air dries out and forms a hard crust, it’s a real bummer something you don’t want to bite into when ya eat it, so ya cover it.
Ok so its doubled in bulk, so punch it down, the object here is to redistribute the yeast and give it something more to eat and make more bubbles for the second rise. I don’t have much room in my kitchen, so I cut the dough in half. I roll the dough out into a rectangle with the long side nearest you, until it’s about a ½ inch thick. Brush on the melted butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon filling.
Now I saw a program where they were making a Strudel and to roll it up they used a cloth. I took this idea and rolled my sweet dough out on a floured cloth. Now when I do the jelly roll thing when the cinnamon rolls I just begin with the cloth and pull it toward me and lift the cloth and fold over the dough and keep it tight and roll it up and then pinch the long edge and roll it onto the block to cut it. I cut the cinnamon rolls with the dental floss tied between two short pieces of wooden chop sticks. And place them in a baking pan, the next time I make them I am going to place them in a jumbo muffin pan.
Anyway, back to the Perfect Cinnamon rolls I let them rise a second time about 2 hours and then into a 375-degree F oven for 20 minutes.
I made my own special ICING 10x confectioners sugar vanilla extract ½ and ½ and a small amount of Triple Sec for a hint of orange flavor. Man was it yummy. I iced the warm rolls and OH god I was in heaven I looked at the Cinnamon rolls and I could feel my blood glucose rising and I hadn’t even taken a bite. I called my 3 friends in the building and split up the rolls between the 4 of us.
I ate mine and yes, they were the perfect Cinnamon rolls well to me they were. My two friends from the second floor came down and told me they were great well they would say they were even if they were ok and not the greatest in the world. But I believe they did like them. Now my friend on the first floor made a special trip down to my apartment. He told me the Cinnamon rolls were good, BUT next time I made them DON’T put the orange flavor in the icing he didn’t like it. He said he ate them anyway, but they would have been much better had the icing been plain. I thought to myself Next Time, I will divide the PERFECT CINNAMON ROLLS by three instead of by four and you won’t have to worry about the orange flavored icing.