Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Since my family group was talking about Cinnamon Rolls last week, I just couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. I can’t say I’ve experienced the magic of cinnamon rolls before, having always smelled the delicious scent of Cinnabon but never having coughed up the cash to try one. However, the way everyone talked about them gave me the vibe that cinnamon rolls were one of those magical foods that warms people’s hearts.
If you know me, then you know that I am a firm believer of baking from scratch. I hate baking from a box, or even using pre-made pie crust so I was quite adamant about finding a good scratch recipe. Luckily, the step-by-step guide from The Pioneer Woman seemed to provide everything I needed to make the perfect cinnamon rolls!
Probably the most challenging part for me was waiting for the scalded milk to cool. When I bake I get super-excited and impatient, so I stuck my pot into the refrigerator for a while and checked in 5 minute intervals. I kept trying to sip a little bit with my spoon to check the temperature (since I’m a cheap college student and don’t own a baking thermometer). I knew that the milk had to be cooled in order to add the yeast; too much heat would just kill off these adorable microbes. It’s actually kind of a funny story seeing how I’m currently taking a Microbiology Course and we were talking about optimum temperatures for microorganism growth. I ended up looking up the growth curve and optimum fermentation temperature for yeast, which is about 95 F. (Hooray for applying textbook to kitchen!~)
Of course I got impatient so I probably added the yeast above its optimum fermentation temperature. Oh well, adding the milk to the solid mixture probably balanced out the temperature! Then I had to wait for at least an hour for the dough to rise, so I wound up going to family group first. Then I left halfway through, came back to do the rolling with assistance from Ninja-Kitty!
This part was also a bit tricky! Cinnamon roll dough is soft, meaning it sticks very easily to the board and rolling pin so I had to lather on tons of dry flour. We also couldn’t get the proper size at first. I made three ridiculously huge ones, which turned out looking more like bread rolls used to make sandwiches… The second batch turned out tiny, resembling fig newtons. After a few tries, we finally got the right size, just like Goldilocks!
Due to the different sizes of rolls we made, the baking time was different for each batch. It was crazy trying to keep track of everything while layering on butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. In other words, our kitchen was a battlefield! We sprinkled stuff all over our counters, scrambled for ingredients, and ran around trying to make sure nothing was burnt. Adding to the stress was Chewy’s phone calls from family group, updating me on the progress. (I needed to finish before the session was over and everyone left!)
Fortuitously, they were celebrating Amy’s birthday that evening so the meeting was extended, and I was able to present some finished cinnamon rolls in honor of the festivities. I was so excited that I literally ran to Chewy’s room. It was a pretty good turnout, seeing how everyone was equally excited to try my rolls. And they loooved them!!!!!! In fact, I barely got to eat any myself after family group, friends, and my parents visited. My mom actually enjoyed these rolls more than the cupcakes I bought for her from Sweetbox for her birthday. I guess it just shows how magical cinnamon rolls, especially if you make them with love.