It all started last Saturday. I was talking with my friend Amy about arranging to get her daughter back to her after she had spent the afternoon here, tie-dying shirts with my daughter. (We won’t discuss the tie-dying any further than that, maybe in another post. No, really, it wasn’t too bad.) Well, of course we had to talk about a few other important things, like food! She told me about a recipe she had just tried for cinnamon rolls. The secret ingredient was intriguing, and I wanted to try it. Next Friday would probably work out, then we’d eat them for breakfast Saturday.
She got the recipe from an ebook titled Bountiful Breakfasts, written by Sheri at Graham Family Ministries . (You know she’s one of the helpful people I’ve introduced you to on this site, right?) I knew I had some of her books and decided if I didn’t have it I’d buy it. So, in the interest of not being overly organized, I bought the book Friday, right when I needed it.
It was 4:00 and I had just finished teaching a small cooking class in my kitchen (see previous post) and making pizza dough for supper. A friend was coming over to pick up her daughter and to have me help her pin up a costume for her other daughter. (No, I’m very much not a seamstress.) I figured I had plenty of time, just mix up the dough and let it go right?
Well, maybe, if you actually have some flour. Now, in my defense, I did check. Normally we keep flour in a canister but it doesn’t all fit so the rest of the bag stays in the pantry. When we used up the white flour making muffins, I knew I needed to check the pantry for a new bag. Oh good, there’s a bag of flour, we’re cleared for take-off.
I got the wet ingredients ready and went to add the 4 cups of white flour I needed. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t a new bag, it was one of those open bags, containing 1 2/3 cups of flour. That meant I would have to use more than 6 cups of whole wheat! I’ve never made bread with that high of a ratio of wheat to white. Oh well, all we can do is try, right?
So, in goes the fresh whole wheat I sent through the grinder for the muffins. (and diligently put the grinder away). Guess what? There’s not enough! Oh yay, my friend will be here in minutes, my son is asking for food, and now I need to grind wheat! Okay, how long can this take?
The rest of the dough making went without any further drama. I covered the bowl with a damp cloth and put it in the warmest room in the house and closed the door. It was supposed to rise for an hour.
The pizza was yummy. (Read; more than an hour has passed.)
The roll dough is still not double in size.
At 8:40 I decided that double or not, I’m making rolls.
Then suddenly I found myself helping with a bath that my little boy desperately didn’t want to take. And then rocking him to sleep.
9:20, baby went in his crib wide awake and I went downstairs to decide what to do about these rolls. It wouldn’t have been too bad if I could just roll them out and get them baked. The problem came in when the reality hit me that they needed another rise after being shaped. There’s no way I’m staying up that late to make cinnamon rolls.
But, what to do with this dough?
Here’s what I decided to do. I took half and put it in a freezer bag. The other half I went ahead and rolled out and added the butter and cinnamon & sugar mixture. (Oh, did I mention I could only do half as cinnamon rolls because I didn’t have enough butter for the whole batch?) I actually stopped just before cutting the rolled up log into individual rolls. I wrapped the whole log in a plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. My plan was to cut and cook them in the morning.
As I was heading to bed I needed something in the fridge. I noticed that my dough was experiencing an identity crisis. You see, I had waited for hours for that dough to rise in a nice warm place. Now that it was sitting in a cold refrigerator, guess what! It’s rising! Right out of the plastic wrap! That’s okay, I’m going to bed.
This morning I got up at 7:30 to get these lovely rolls going so we could have breakfast. I remembered that I wanted to see how they do from frozen, so I only cut half of the “log” into rolls and stuck the rest in the freezer. Yes, you read that right. In the freezer. Did I cut it into rolls first? Nope, one would have to be better rested to think of that!
An hour later I actually baked some cinnamon rolls.
Flash back to the other half of dough which did not turn into cinnamon rolls because I didn’t have enough butter. I made some of it into smaller rolls using Smart Balance (the first pan came out huge just like Amy said they would) and some of into a loaf of bread for lunch.
Well, the bread fell instead of rising and the small rolls are minding their business in the freezer.
The rolls I baked this morning were yummy, even with such a high ratio of whole wheat. The bread made yummy grilled cheese sandwiches, cute too, since it was only 2 inches tall! And I’ll have to tell you about cooking cinnamon rolls from frozen next week. I think it will turn out great.
What about the log sitting in the freezer? Someday I’ll take it out, let it thaw, cut it up, let the rolls rise, cook them, and have a yummy snack.
So, even with all the chaos, poor planning, and the overnight stay in the fridge, we still ended up with really good cinnamon rolls. And the moral of the story is, cooking isn’t an exact science. It’s a process. It can come with it’s own set of trials but it’s usually forgiving. (sounds like I’m describing a dog.) And incase you’ve ever wondered, “can I make cinnamon rolls one day but cook them the next? The answer is, yes. Yes you can. And if you’re just wondering if you can make anything that starts with yeast and flour, I say, yes you can, and probably with a lot less drama!
Oh, the secret ingredient? Well, I wouldn’t feel right sharing someone else’s secret. But you can get the recipe and a bunch of other yummy breakfasts here http://www.school4jesus.com/store for only $3.00. (good luck limiting yourself to only one of her wonderful little books!)
Don’t be afraid to try things. And don’t worry when it doesn’t go as planned. Just make a new plan and enjoy!