Internship has finally ended, after 5+ months of working and being in the real PR industry, it is time for a good break… Except I feel kinda lost now and have to plan things to do to so that I won’t get bored and restless and pester other people to follow me in my great big plans.
With all this time on my hands, I naturally bake more – so much more that I made two batches of cinnamon rolls in a week on two separate days just because my dad wanted to bring some to school. So yes, I am a fairly good daughter and made another batch for him to bring a box to school.
Cinnamon rolls are essentially bread rolled with cinnamon, sugar and butter. It’s pretty fantastic and when eaten warm, pretty soothing. Or as Stefith says, they are “rolls of joy”.
Usually, people may tend to stay away from bread recipes because it is quite tiring, and if you don’t know when to stop the kneading or what yeast needs (see what I did there), it gets confusing. So let me tell you some tricks.
Yeast is a living organism, and it needs sugar (its food), warmth and some form of liquid, and when it grows or rises, it produces gas (carbon dioxide) which gives the bread its signature airy texture. As such, time is needed for the yeast to breathe and produce the carbon dioxide for the bread dough to rise.
Prior to leaving the yeast to rise and breathe and doing things living organisms like you and I do, we have to knead the bread dough. Here’s the slightly tricky part especially if you are going to hand knead because you don’t have a Kitchen Aid Mixer like me (shout out to sponsors thanks). It’s loads easier and less energy consuming if you do have a mixer with the kneading handle and you can just leave the dough in there for XX minutes and it will come out fine. As for those out there who are going machine-free like I did, kneading is like arms day. Except you consume the calories you lost a few hours later.
Use the ball of your palm to work the dough in. Be mindful not just to press and flatten the dough, but more of pulling the dough so that it stretches. After all, kneading forms gluten, a form of protein, that helps to bind and add strength to the dough. Kneading will also create pockets of air so that there is some space for the yeast to breathe. But how do you know when to stop? Recipes often give a time frame, but take these with a pinch of salt as your arm strength is definitely not the same every time and is different from every person. I’ve learnt that the best way is to gently poke the dough and when it bounces back, you’re good to go!
Alright, enough of the science behind bread! I first encountered this amazing recipe from Donal Skehan, one of my all time favourite food Youtubers and have been making cinnamon rolls with his recipe since last year. I like to put them in cupcake cups as it is easier to give out and eat that way.
Try mixing in different flavours too – I tried Nutella instead of the cinnamon sugar butter, sprinkled with chocolate chips before rolling, or you can add in some raisins or dried fruit of your choice to give it an extra kick!
If you can’t find or don’t have pearl sugar at home, try mixing icing sugar with a few drops of water to a very thick consistency and drizzle them over your rolls. It’ll look prettier, and sweeter. 😀 Remember it is best to eat when warm, as with all baked goods, so do heat these rolls up (toaster, preferably) if you kept them for more than a day.
#Rahrahskitchen: Cinnamon Rolls by Donal Skehan
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
110g caster sugar
750g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
4 tablespoons of pearl sugar
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
110g soft butter
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1. Melt the butter in a large pot gently on a low heat and then add the milk.
2. When the mixture is lukewarm, remove from the heat and add the two sachets of dried yeast, whisking to incorporate.
3. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and pour the wet ingredients in. Using a wooden spoon mix until you have a rough dough.
4. When the dough has taken shape and is no longer sticky, turn out onto a clean floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes. Dust with a little flour if you find the dough is too sticky.
5. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, covered by cling film and a towel and let it rise for 45 minutes in a warm dark place.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
6. To prepare the filling, in a bowl, beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon together until you have a smooth paste.
7. When the dough has risen, punch it down in the bowl and cut it in half. Roll one of the halves into a rectangle about 3mm thick, and then spread the filling all over.
8. Then, from the long side, roll the dough so you get a snail effect and slice into approx 12 pieces. Place the slices in a non stick mini pie tray with six holes, (you could also lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper) face up and coat with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the buns with pearl sugar.
9. Reduce the heat to 190˚C and then bake the rolls in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Anyway, start making them soon to share them around. A number of my friends have asked me to deliver it to them but uh, do place an order next time and maybe at least pay for ingredients because it is 3 hours of hard work. No machines, remember?
(Alternatively, I may consider selling my bakes in the future. Whaddya think?)