One thing about my blog is that it truly chronicles the domestic happenings in my life. If I show a tablescape it's because we ate a dinner like that, not because I'm setting up for a photo shoot. The food I cook, the things I sew, I show you with all their imperfections. My photography isn't always the best. Somedays things go better than others and somedays, no matter what you do, things just go awry!
Such was the case Christmas Eve. Every Christmas morning I host a Christmas brunch. I sent a message to the kids a few weeks ago, asking if they had any special requests. My daughters all requested cinnamon rolls. My plan was to make two batches of rolls and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I take them out about a half hour before baking to warm up and do the final rise. This is a nice method as it means I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to make the yeast dough! On Christmas Eve morning I got up early and was at the grocery store at 6:45 a.m. for our Christmas perishables. Upon arriving home, I unloaded the groceries and set about to getting the cinnamon rolls going. As I had a busy day planned I opted to make the dough in my bread machine (Zo). If you are familiar with this type of bread machine you know that there is a pan that snaps into the machine as well as two dough hooks that snap into the pan. I'm familiar with that but in my ultra-efficiency that morning I didn't check to make sure those two steps were done. I put the ingredients in, started the machine and set about to doing other brunch-related chores. When the buzzer went off, telling me the dough was done, I opened the lid and had nothing but dry ingredients. I had neglected to snap the pan in! Ooops! So I snapped it in and re-started it. A wise woman would've also checked to make sure the dough hooks were snapped in. Yes, you guessed it, after the end of the second dough prep cycle I lifted the lid to another pan of dry ingredients! By now, I'm starting to panic as it's mid-day and no dough has been made. Finally, the third and fourth times were the charm. I was beginning to think the kids were going to get cinnamon toast for brunch, not rolls! As it was Christmas I arranged the rolls in the shape of a tree.
I enjoy baking yeast breads but it is time consuming. The mixing, the kneading, the rising, the shaping, the second rising. Having a bread machine gives me the flexibility of allowing the machine to do all the kneading and the first rise so that I can tend to other chores in my never-ending list of chores. I prefer to bake in the oven so usually only use the machine to make the dough. Even with my snafu I had two batches of cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator within four hours. However, instead of being out of the kitchen by noon it was four before I was done! Never a dull moment around here!
Bread Machine Sweet Dough (for Cinnamon Rolls)
1 cup water
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups bread flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 cup butter (cut in small cubes)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place ingredients in the bread machine, per the instructions to your machine. Run on dough cycle.
Once dough cycle is done, remove dough from pan and place on lightly floured surface.
Roll to a 9x12" rectangle. Spread with 1/4 cup softened butter.
Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over surface of dough.
Starting with the 12-inch side, roll dough jelly-roll style, pinch seam to seal. With seam side down, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used dental floss rather than a knife, so much easier!)
Place on greased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cover lightly with damp towel. Allow to rise in warm place until size doubles, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. (Or cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight, it will have a slow rise. One half hour before baking remove from refrigerator, remove plastic wrap and let come to room temperature).
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.