Has it really been more than a week since my last post? Now that I’m back to working for my butter, I haven’t had as much time to bake, blog, or even visit other blogs. For the latter, I wholeheartedly apologise.
Work, for those who have been wondering, has been very interesting. So far, I have worked with methylcellulose, marvelled at the abilities of Versa-Whip, tasted a brand of chocolate I’m not familiar with, discovered a nemesis : the Vitaprep, and walked into a glass door. All brand new experiences for me. I have also learned other new things, especially from Dan, which I might incorporate into a dessert or two, to feature here some day.
Inbetween, I have been trying to make the most of my days off. Sunday has become cinnamon-roll-day in our house. A handful of these (trust me, you’ll eat more than one; they disappear so quickly, straight from the oven), a cup of coffee and football on the telly : this has become the thing I most look forward to, at the end of a long week.
It all started when we watched a movie one Saturday evening. Kamome Diner is about a Japanese woman trying to run a diner in Helsinki, Finland. Like most food-related movies, it turns out to be a story celebrating life, friendship, and the connective powers of food. Being the suggestible person that I am (I still ‘stroke the pork’ in my bowl of ramen, after watching Tampopo), I was soon craving tonkatsu, soy glazed salmon, onigiri, and cinnamon rolls with coffee. As he is a very hungry person himself, B managed to make the first three dishes happen, by taking us to Jugemu & Shimbashi for dinner. That afternoon, I baked cinnamon rolls and he brewed coffee. The only thing we disagreed on was the way in which one should eat the rolls. B just sinks his teeth into the whole bun, while I like peeling the layers off, which he thinks only serves to dilute the bun-eating experience.
The recipe for these Finnish delights comes from Beatrice Okajangas’ baking book. She calls them cinnamon ‘ears’, but I somehow managed to misread the instructions (how this is possible, considering there are diagrams in the book, is beyond me) and my ‘ears’ did not turn out as ‘audibly’ as expected, so I’m calling them :
Cinnamon Rolls :
(makes 24; from Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Okajangas)
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, 40 – 46’C
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
4 1/2 to 5 cups plain flour
for the filling :
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
for the glaze :
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, the eggs, salt, cardamom, and 4 1/2 cups flour until dough is smooth. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
Sprinkle board with some of the remaining flour. Divide dough into 2 parts. Turn out onto the lightly floured board, and roll each part out to make a rectangle about 12 inches by 24 inches long. Spread each half with half the butter and sprinkle with half the sugar and cinnamon. Roll up, starting from a 24-inch side. Cut each roll diagonally into 12 pieces. Each piece will be about 1/2 inch on one side and 3 inches thick on the other. With two thumbs, press down the middle of the side of each roll. In so doing the two cut edges will be forced upward. The rolls will resemble two “ears”.
Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease them. Place cinnamon ears on prepared baking sheets. Let rise until puffy. Mix the egg and milk to make a glaze. Brush rolls with the glaze and sprinkle with the pearl sugar.
Preheat oven to 204’C. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until just golden.