Monday, February 15, 2010

Wednesdays' Chore of the Day

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!


Carmen C. said...

OH YUMMY!!!!! Have you seen the frozen ones that come in the bag, just pop in the oven then frost, they are actually very good, although I bet from scratch is still the best:)

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

Those look wonderful! And a fun story!

When I was 17, right out of high school, I worked the midight shift at a local truck stop as a prep cook. I had 4 things to do every night. I had to make:

1,000 biscuits
30 pounds of sausage gravy
cook 40 pounds of bacon
make 300 cinnamon rolls

I have tried and tried to use the same recipe tha I use there to make the rolls because they were so good. But, I just can't break the recipe down small enough and make them come out tasty.

Angela said...

You know the woman of those times were much tougher than the women of today! There is no way I could do all of the work that the pioneer woman had to do! Seriously, I just couldn't do it! They didn't have dishwasher or washers & dryers and all of these modern conveniences. God Bless em!

Have you tried to make cinnamon rolls since then?


^..^Corgidogmama said...

Oh my, what a story! Loved reading your zaniness!

Troy said...

I remember this post, it was one of the first times I ever read your blog.

The cinnamon rolls look just as good today as they did then.

ocmist said...

How interesting! I never knew how they made yeast. It is so nice to have the "Expert" around to go to when we are having problems. I really miss my Mom then.

So glad that you were able to work through and figure out the problem! My DIL made this kind of Cinnamon Rolls as gifts for everyone for Christmas... YUUUUMMMMY! So good!

And goodness! You WERE a scamp!