Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls = Messiest My Kitchen Has Ever Been

A few months ago my mother-in-law gave me a cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  It is a beautiful book, filled with recipes that make my jeans tighter just from thinking about cooking any of them.  As my mother-in-law just celebrated a birthday, she requested that I make the cinnamon rolls out of the cookbook for our family birthday celebration.  I'm not sure what I just finished cooking, but I assure you that it is not a batch of beautiful cinnamon is mostly a big gooey mess.  I should also mention that my mother-in-law has a gluten allergy, so these were made with gluten-free flour.

I should have had a clue that things would not go so well.  Every cake or bread recipe I make that says to use a medium saucepan misleads me, and you would think I would have learned my lesson.  After mixing 4 cups of milk, a cup of oil, and a cup of sugar together, adding yeast, and then somehow squeezing eight cups of flour into the pan, it was already filled to the top...did it occur to me that the dough would actually rise?  No, even though I knew it was going to do so, I just didn't think about it.  So, after about 20 minutes the dough is spilling over the top of the pan and I have to transfer it to a larger bowl, thus probably damaging the entire yeast/rise process.  Oops.  Now, the recipe makes about 50 cinnamon rolls, so I only rolled/baked half of the dough tonight.  According to the recipe you can roll it out as soon as it has risen for an hour.  Wrong!  I put my dough out on my prepared surface (I used painter's tape to tape saran wrap onto my counter!), it just spread out and stuck to everything, no rolling out at all.  So, I used a spatula to scoop it back into the bowl and stuck the whole batch in my fridge for a couple of hours.  Should have left it there overnight, but I really wanted to eat one tonight! I'm hoping that after the rest of the dough chills overnight it will be firm enough to actually roll once the filling is spread on the dough.  As it was, even after a couple of hours of firming up, this first batch rolled out just fine, but would simply not roll up once I added the filling, regardless of the amount of flour I tried to use, and I only get it to sort of squish together into a long, gooey mess of a lump.  I then used a cookie dough scoop to plop the "rolls" into the pie plates like scones.  The entire process was hilarious, as my husband can certainly confirm, and our entire kitchen was covered in flour, and almost all of my baking equipment was dirty (Chris lovingly did the dishes).

Messy, messy, messy...they aren't actually that yellow, but Chris took this with his phone.

The "rolls" just came out of the oven, and what I have is basically a pie plate with some sort of dough in it, but there are no defined rolls.  I could sort of see the line where the scoops of dough met, so I just took a knife and cut around them so that the icing, which is delicious, had somewhere to go.  They are cooling now, but I'm about to eat one, even though it is almost 11:00...

And the verdict: Pretty delicious.  I can tell that they are made with gluten-free flour, as the texture is a little different and there is a bit of a taste that I can't quite place.  But, they are moist and light, and not too sweet.  Even though they don't look pretty, they taste great!  Yay! 

Freshly Baked Cinnamon "Rolls"

Even better with a cup of coffee!

For anyone interested in the recipe, here it is: Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls.  I wish I had found this recipe on the website, rather than in the cookbook, it is much clearer online!

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