And now back to the rolls . . . .
We are seeing some friends for dinner tonight - friends that I promised cinnamon rolls the last time we saw them before Christmas. The nice thing about making cinnamon rolls - or any other kinds of yeast bread for that matter - is that even though it's a long process one can get lots of other things done while the dough is rising.
I made our Christmas rolls using my Kitchen Aid mixer - I'd never done that before. It worked great - until it came to finishing the kneading of the dough. I've always kneaded by hand, and didn't realize how very much I depended on the feel of the dough in order to determine how much flour to add. I always kneaded in the last 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour because sometimes it takes more flour than others depending on the weather and the temperature in the kitchen. When I used the mixer to knead the dough I couldn't tell just by looking. Maybe it was my imagination but I didn't think those rolls were as good. They seemed a little bit dry from too much flour.
So today I went back to my old fashioned method. I mixed up the butter, sugar and eggs in the Kitchen Aid - no reason not to do that. But when it came to kneading I turned the dough out onto my breadboard and used my hands. I could immediately tell that the dough was too wet so I added some extra flour. Sweet rolls don't take nearly the kneading that bread does - the gluten doesn't have to be developed as it does for bread. I kneaded for about 5 minutes adding more flour as needed. Because the dough picks up flour from the breadboard it's important to reserve at least the last 1/2 cup called for in the recipe for flouring the breadboard.
I've cranked up the heat in the bathroom to 85 as we keep our house at about 65, and that's where the dough is rising. I put a tablespoon or so of oil in the bowl and rolled the dough around so it was covered with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let the magical yeast do it's work.
Now I have an hour to an hour and a half to do whatever else I want to do. Let's see - the bed is made, I've had breakfast, I'm dressed - hmmmmmm - I think I'll head to the sewing room!
1. A healthy, growing grandson who should be here soon!
2. A healthy, growing granddaughter who has started to walk
3. A spoiled old dog who's decided he loves having me home
4. The feel of bread dough in my fingers as I'm kneading
5. A cup of hot tea with milk