My grandmother was a “waste not, want not” type of person. She was a remarkable woman, strong, principled,and smart. She traveled from Iowa to North Dakota on a train, taught school in a one-room schoolhouse in Dickenson, ND, lived long enough to see inventions like telephones, televisions, automobiles and to witness the unimagined feat of men walking on the moon. She would have been one of the many women marching in the streets today against social injustice and I think some of her genes flow strongly through my body.
I have many wonderful memories of my maternal grandmother. One of the strongest comes from my grade school years when on a cold blustery winter day I walked into our home after school and was greeted with a cup of hot chocolate and the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. My grandmother had anticipated my arrival home from school, the cold chill in my bones, and while I studied at school, she pushed, pulled and pummeled sweet bread dough into cinnamon rolls… one of the many expressions of love that are non-verbal in nature but speak volumes in the maternal instinct department.
Perhaps my inner desires to become more adept at bread making stems from this distant yet distinct memory from my childhood. I only know that today, I am turning to making some cinnamon rolls. I hope the end product will be close to the delicious ones in my memory.
Turns out making cinnamon rolls is not near as time-consuming as making yeast breads. The Yeasted Breakfast Bread dough recipe in the Tassajara Bread Book is simple to follow and turned out some pretty amazing looking and tasting cinnamon rolls. Nothing stingy about the ingredients that make cinnamon rolls so delicious….brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins in abundance. Oven temperature per the recipe was 375 degrees for 20 minutes. I had two ovens going and the upper oven with the rolls on a baking stone should have come out of the oven at around 15-18 minutes max. Lower oven rolls on a metal cookie sheet got a little too brown on the bottom, so next time I would bake for only 13-15 minutes and check at 13 to make sure they were not getting too brown on the bottom or bake in a 350 degree oven. Live and learn, experiment and ultimately succeed.
Next up…We are a recycling nation and what better way to recycle old bread than to examine the multiple ways it can be turned into delicious desserts or an easy feast for the winged inhabitants in our world.