Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Freezer Cooking 2014: My Favorite Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Hello Fellow Homesteaders!

As promised, I am keeping you updated on my freezer cooking adventures! Now, I'll warn you, I seem to tweak most of the recipes I am comfortable with preparing. Not because anything is wrong with the recipe, though. I personalize it and use what I have on hand. Sometimes I am out of eggs (actually many times I am out of eggs...hope that changes when my hens start laying) so I'll use a flax seed binder instead. Or I'll want to use wheat bread instead of white bread which means I need to add less flour. For me, that is easier than doing the math to add more liquid and leavening. Perhaps the recipe calls for shortening or margarine, which I no longer use, nor keep in the house. Perhaps I choose to switch out some of the oil with applesauce. Sometimes I simply mess up and it turns out good anyway! Whatever it may be, I just want everyone to know, just because I change something doesn't mean it was broken to begin with. I'd never want to step on someone's toes like that!

So, with that said, I want to introduce you to my favorite Cinnamon Roll Recipe from Money Saving Mom. No, I'm not being paid to advertise for her unless you count all the money I have saved with her suggestions. Her site is one of a handful that inspired me to start my own blog. She helps so many people and that really appeals to me. So, without further ado, here's my personalized tutorial.

The main differences I have are: 
I use whey instead of milk, simply because it's another way to use it up and I usually have lots of it.
I use coconut oil or butter instead of regular oil.
I use 2 eggs instead of one egg and 2 whites. I usually don't get around to using the yolks before they go bad and I hate wasting them. Or, I will use the flax seed binder which is what I used in this tutorial because, yet again, I let us run out of eggs.
Sometimes I substitute honey for the sugar, just keep in mind your dough will be more sticky and possibly need more flour.
I use all wheat flour or close to it. I finally emptied my 50 pound bag of wheat flour so I used 3 cups wheat and 1 cup white this time. I just add a bit less flour at first, maybe 1/4 cup less, then add as needed. In this case I forgot, so when it mixed up dry, I just added a touch of whey until it looked right.
I made the rest just as she says, even doubling the filling! I agree, we love our filling! And this is one of the few recipes that had enough icing for me. (Lord help me, I love my sugar!) 

So, here is the dough freshly mixed and raised in the bread machine pan. Notice the flecks of flax seed?

I punched it down and turned it out onto the floured surface. I will usually use white flour for this since wheat flour absorbs more liquid and may dry the dough too much. A couple more things I should mention about wheat dough, I do indeed use "whole" wheat flour, I just get lazy writing and typing "whole" each and every time. Also, I will try to let the dough sit for a few minutes right after mixing to let it absorb the liquid in order to see if I need to add more or not before letting it rise.

Time to roll out the dough! I have to say, this is the best rectangle I have ever made and I'm pleased it happened on the day I wanted to share with you! I put a bit of flour on the top of the dough as well to keep it from sticking to my rolling pin.

Nom nom butter and filling! I was actually out of butter, so I used coconut oil instead. This is what happens when you cook more than normal without advance planning...you forget to compensate on shopping day and end up running out of everything! Hey hey, I know I'm not the only one!

Roll and cut! I'm not sure if you can see my ugly seam here, but thankfully, it gets hidden when it's baked. Somewhere along the way I read about cutting cinnamon rolls with dental floss and it works well! Plus it's a great way to reuse something! I'm kidding! Though I'm sure it would be tasty to floss with after cutting cinnamon rolls with it. (Ignore the ugly chipping nail polish. Seriously, I think I've painted my nails twice this year...lol!)

Tada! Notice they aren't all even. That's ok, they are very forgiving when they bake. Plus if you count, I cut them into 16 pieces vs. the 10-15 she recommends. Really, it's just easier for my simple mind to divide it up that way, plus I have an even number to divide into the pans. I think I also roll them smaller. That's the great thing about these, you can adjust it to whatever works for you!

Here they are all divided up! I forgot to turn the ends pretty side up, but I did that right after I took a picture. When these bake, they will fill out the pan, no need to let them rise.

Now, normally I'd bake and add icing, freeze one and eat one as she suggests. But this time I decided to try something new. What if I freeze the dough then bake later? So that's what I am going to try. Perhaps they won't get pulled from the freezer so soon that way. ;) Here I have written instructions so that my hubby can prepare while I nurse our newborn, or I have a quick dish to grab out of the freezer for a friend in need. Though I would probably go ahead and make the icing in a separate dish in that case. I thought about making the icing and freezing it too, then realized I was out of butter, so that got me off the hook. I have not tried it with coconut oil yet. Notice here the recipe is for half the icing. Also, I add more milk than what is called for and mine seem to take longer to bake. Perhaps that's the fault of the wheat flour.

Here's a batch I made the day before with bread flour. Ironically, I didn't like them as well as the wheat! Don't get me wrong, they were still fabulous and they are all gone by now. The other dish went to a friend with a newborn, along with some homemade chili. Yummy comfort food for the happy and tired parents!

Well, after you wipe the drool off your screen, I hope you venture out on your own cinnamon-roll-making quest! They are so inexpensive to make and a bread machine really cuts some time out of the process. Though you can certainly do this by hand! I usually don't on this particular recipe because I normally have another project going. That's one of the many reasons why I love this recipe! We would not eat cinnamon rolls nearly as often if I had to do it by hand each and every time. Though, perhaps that would be better for my waistline. Ha ha!

Happy Baking!

Jen Hen

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