So many options...

Monday, January 9, 2012
For our holiday supper club last month, I was delayed in responding to the group email to sign up for something to bring-- meaning I didn't respond in 3.5 minutes. All the usual categories were taken so I decided to made homemade yeast rolls.  This was a big step for me since the last time (it was the first and last time) I made them, it was for Easter Supper.  I was working that Sunday, and it was a pleasant spring day.  The recipe said "let rise in a warm place" so that's what I did... in Andy's car. Next thing I know, I have a picture text from Andy "are they supposed to look like this"?  Gah, I wish I still had that text!  It was hysterical and no they weren't supposed to look like that!  I tried to resuscitate them but in the end, they were dubbed by Andy's aunt "Mississippi Easter Rolls" --a cleaver way to disguise failed yeast rolls.

Thankfully this time around, they were a success.  So much of a success that I decided to try the dough for cinnamon rolls and pigs in a blanket for Christmas Eve Breakfast.  Also a success. Actually, I think one of the best culinary achievements of the year.

Note:  The recipes below for the cinnamon rolls and pigs in a blanket each use 1 recipe of yeast rolls.  Since Andy and I already have a problem with portion control, I use one recipe of yeast rolls and do half a recipe of each.  Works just perfectly.

Yeast Rolls

½ cup water
½ cup warm skim milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
7 Tbs butter, softened
⅓ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3¾ cups all-purpose flour / 16 oz + ¼ cup reserved
1 package dry yeast (2¼ tsp)

Combine milk and water and warm to 110 degrees F (about 40-45 seconds in the microwave on high) Add the sugar to milk & water mixture and stir to combine. Add the yeast and allow to bloom.

Sift together the flour and salt. In a stand mixer bowl with the dough hook attachment, add the egg, water/milk/yeast mixture and butter. Start the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture. Continue to mix until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Slowly add the reserved flour if needed. Place the ball of dough (it will be sticky!!) in a greased bowl and let it rise in a warm place.

After it's about doubled in size, roll out the dough and form rolls.

Place balls of dough in greased baking dish and let rise again.  At this point, you can cover the rolls and put them in the fridge.  Just take them out and allow about 2 hours to rise before you're ready to bake.

Bake at 375 degrees for 16 to 20 minutes.  Don't over cook.  Brush top of rolls with remaining butter.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 recipe yeast rolls, above
4 Tbs ground cinnamon
¾ cup sugar
2-3 sticks butter, softened, very soft
2 Tbs flour
2 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs milk
1½ tsp vanilla

Make the yeast rolls recipe through the first rise.  Meanwhile, mix together the cinnamon, sugar and flour in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 2 Tbs of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Cover and set aside.  Butter two 8" cake pans and sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar on the bottom of the pan-- this is a little tip that my aunt kept secret for a few years until we figured out why her cinnamon rolls were always crunch and caramelized on the bottom!

After the dough has risen, divide it into 4 sections.  Form each section into a ball and roll out into a rectangle. I didn't measure my final rectangle but it was probably 8x14. It took me a little bit to get the hang of rolling out the dough.  If it's being fussy, let it be and move to another section. They seem to calm down after relaxing for a bit.  Spread each rectangle with butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Using the long edge, roll up the dough so you have about a 14" roll.  Slice it into 12 pieces and place it into the pan.  You can fit 24 pieces in each pan.

Cover the pans and allow the cinnamon rolls to rise for 2 hours or until they're about doubled in size.  Or you can place them in the fridge at this point and let them rise the next day.

Bake them at 350 for 18-22 minutes until they're browned on top.  Drizzle (with a heavy hand) the icing on top and devour!

Pigs in a Blanket

1 recipe yeast rolls, above
32 little smokies sausages

Make the yeast rolls recipe through the first rise. After the dough has risen, divide it into 4 sections.  Divide each of those into 16 little pieces (so you'll have 64 total).  Wrap each piece around a little smoky and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover and allow to rise for about 2 hours or until double in size.  Again, you can place them in the fridge at this point and let rise the next day.

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.

4 comments on "So many options..."
  1. Looks delicious and I am dying to know... who was the lucky person that got the middle roll?

  2. I can verify that the both dishes were amazing as that was my breakfast on Christmas Eve. Amazing! Good job Cameron!

  3. Hmmm.. it might have been a fight between the siblings as to who got the middle one! I'm an oddball and prefer the crispy, caramelized edges!

  4. Those look AMAZING!!!!! I will have to try to make those...