I have been so embarrassed to say....I gave up on the sourdough from scratch. But you already know that, don't you?
I just couldn't get past the..... the hooch, actually. the stuff that gathers on the top of the sourdough that you are supposed to stir back in.
Anyway, my plan was to make the sourdough starter and to keep it alive for years to pass on down to my grandchildren. Forgive me future grandchildren (and current grandchildren Camron and Evalynn), I just couldn't do it.
So, instead, I made some cinnamon rolls from yeast...the way God intended for me to make them. But I thought I could at least experiment with some different recipes, to see which ones are my family's favorites.
Until a few weeks ago, my family (at home) consisted of myself and my loving husband, Richard. Rich for short. And I do have to tell you....we eat more than any 2 people should when I am on a "finding the best recipe" kick. We are really going to have to stick to a walking regiment and walk off this weight.
It's a hard thing when you like to cook and bake, to not eat too much.
One of our adult sons moved back home a few weeks ago...he's in a transition period.... so at least he is around to take some of the calories away.
And come to find out, my picky, picky grandson Camron loves cinnamon rolls. So, whew... I wasn't forced to eat 12 cinnamon rolls all by myself.
This recipe I used is from Peter Reinhart's "The Baker's Apprentice".
I don't own this cookbook... but I printed it off from somewhere and have it stuck in my cooking notebook, so I thought I'd give it a try.
And it was a hit. It was a little bit different, as it had lemon zest in it. But it was really good. One thing that was different, was that there was no "melted" or "softened" butter to spread on the dough before sprinkling with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. I ended up spreading a cube of softened butter on the dough.... it would have been too dry otherwise. I think. Obviously, Peter Reinhart didn't think so.
They were really good.
6 1/2 T. of granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 T. shortening or unsalted butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp lemon extract or zest
3 1/3 cups unbleached bread, or all purpose flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, room temp
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
Cream together the sugar, salt and shortening on medium-high speed in an electric mixture with a paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium,mixing for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky, but not sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to cover with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until dough doubles in size
Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough, with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick, and 14 x12 inches for large buns. 18 x 9 for smaller buns. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the surface and roll the dough up into a cigar shaped log, creating a spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8-12 even pieces, each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.
Line 1 or more sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the buns approximately 12/ inch apart so that they aren't touching but are close to one another.
Proof at room temp for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown together into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the fridge for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the fridge 3-4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the middle shelf.
Bake the buns for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cook the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then glaze the tops. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.
The stuff I used. Minus the cinnamon...which is a REALLY important ingredient in "cinnamon" rolls.
In the moment.... not too big of a mess. Yet.
Mixing it up.
Rolling it out. (yes, I added nuts...to half of it. None for Rich)
In the pan and ready to go...Yummy!