In times past, Wednesday was reserved for Baking....breads, rolls, coffee cakes, whatever you wished to stock your store room with for the week. The housewife would make her own yeast by grinding up potatoes to assist in attracting airborne bacteria, and would keep the yeast alive by adding potato water and never allow the yeast bowl to get cool. In addition, it must be fed daily. For more particulars OR if you'd like to try to make your very own yeast starter, click HERE.
Here is a story of my baking experience with cinnamon buns - I posted this before but for those of you who have recently joined as followers, or may have missed it, my skills in producing lovely light breads and rolls had an interesting start! Read on:
Today's featured project is Cinnamon Buns! I have been wanting to try making some goodies with yeast...and this week, the Good Lord knows I've tried! I bought Quick Rise yeast. Went through 3 packages, wasted a 5 lb bag of flour and various other ingredients. This was a costly learning experience, let me tell you!
Mr. Wonderful was so comforting. His words? "That's what they make the dough in the little round tubes for! Buy it, pop it open, stick it in the oven, and there you go!" Hmmm. Sounds good, but there's something about making them yourself....the pop and bake kind are okay, but not really the same when you want that true home-baked goodness. And so, after my many failures, I consulted: THE PROFESSIONAL!
Mom has always loved to bake tasty breads and rolls. I have fond memories of my brother and I cutting a hole in the bottom of her freshly baked bread and scooping out the soft yummy centers! We'd replace the bread on the cooling rack, and when dad would go to cut himself a slice, BOOM! All that was there was the CRUST!!! We had succeeded in hollowing out the bread and getting all the tastiness for ourselves!!! Yep - we were little scamps!!! (and made a great team!)
My own dough never did rise, despite my following the recipe to a T. It was a hard heavy ball and never budged an inch upwards, until I put it in the garbage...and the next morning, it smelled yeasty and had raised up about 1 centimeter. SO - Mom read the recipe. And we talked. Seems that the recipe called for 4 cups of flour. I added it all at once, like you might do with making a box cake mix. CINNAMON BUN FAIL!!!
We started from the beginning, testing the liquid with our wrist, pouring in the yeast packet, and following the rest of the recipe, adding 1 1/2 cups of flour to get a dough ball, and then adding scant amounts as the dough was kneaded. And please note: We did NOT use the entire amount of flour called for in the recipe!
And just look at the result!!! Loaded with cinnamon and baked to perfection!!! I took them home frosted with cream cheese frosting, and Mr. Wonderful was AMAZED that it only cost him $50 for 12 cinnamon buns! HE was "frosted"!!! Imagine THAT! But, NEXT time, the cost will be much much less - guaranteed!