Adventures in Baking: Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from Pioneer Woman

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I did it!  I made cinnamon rolls from scratch!

My husband is in love with me all over again.  It seems to happen every time I cook. There is something true about the way to a man’s heart is his stomach statement.  I did not believe it until I started cooking.  After you’re married for awhile, a cinnamon roll might be the most exciting new move you have, right?

Last week I made The Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Rolls from scratch.  We ate these delicious rolls at Thanksgiving.  As a result, I may never be allowed to purchase a bag of rolls again.

The only problem with baking bread from scratch is how much it makes.  I made 24 rolls for seven people on Thanksgiving Day and then I came home and made an additional 20 rolls and after almost 50 rolls, I still had half of the dough left.

These recipes must be for people who live on a farm with large families and several ranch hands working in the fields or something …

The other half of the dough sat in our second refrigerator for just over a week before I dared to approach it again.   After all, I don’t want to make anyone think fresh bread is something they can expect on a regular basis.

This morning, I decided to take the Pioneer Woman’s advice and make cinnamon rolls with the other portion of the dough.  I did not have any milk or any maple flavoring, so I had to improvise.  I basically followed her icing recipe, substituting the milk for half-n-half with a little water added and vanilla flavoring for the maple.  I skipped the coffee, but  in hindsight I think it would be really good with a vanilla-coffee icing.  Next time, I will keep the coffee in the icing.  I might even try the maple.  I did cut the icing recipe in half because I only made one pan of rolls and froze the other ones.  If you want a step-by-step baking experience, head on over to ThePioneerWoman.com.

I said this last week, and I’ll say it again … kneading dough relaxes me.  As I stand there, punching out and kneading the dough in my Spanish-style kitchen, I am transported back to a time and place when LA Brea Bakery (now available at Costco) and Oroweat were not producing bread for the masses. A time when getting up and whipping up bread was just something you did to feed your family.

I think about my great-grandmother, Mamaw Wines.  I wish I had a picture of her to insert here.  I imagine I do, somewhere in the picture box, but it alludes me right now.

Mamaw Wines had eight kids and gave birth six times.  I’ll do the math for you, she had TWO sets of fraternal twins (my Mawmaw was a twin).  There were no Crock Pots, convenience foods, or ready-made meals in your grocer’s freezer section — there was no easy way to get from point A to point B.  While we have a dizzying array of options (one of them being never to cook), they had only a few, and Pillsbury was not one of them.  They simply got up, started working and kept going until their day was done. They were not finished until everyone had eaten and their chores were complete.  So, as I stop and blog this novelty moment in my life about getting up on a lazy Sunday morning and “playing” a pioneer woman, she actually was a pioneer woman.

I am humbled and no longer as impressed with my pioneering skills, but my husband thinks they are the best cinnamon rolls he has ever had, and in 2010 I cannot ask for more than that.

Go ahead, try some new moves.  Make cinnamon rolls.

Thank you Pioneer Woman and Mamaw Wines for the inspiration.

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