It’s true, I haven’t been here for quite some time. But unlike my absence from the shallow blog (in case you don’t know) where I made the case that it is, in fact, difficult to be shallow during a pandemic, I can’t use that excuse for this one. Au contraire. We know by now that the pandemic, beyond everything else it has done, has turned all of us (pretty much) into expert home bakers. So it would be foolish of me to even try to use the pandemic as an explanation for my tardiness. Leaving me with the only plausible reason I can give you for seeming to have abandoned this blog. My freezer. It’s full. That’s right. I no longer have room in my freezer for the overflow of baked goods that come out of my kitchen. You see there are only two of us in this abode and we’re both of an age where a few extra pounds are a little difficult to shed. Coupled with not being able to have anyone in house, and no houses to go to, the number of people we can share treats with has been severely limited. Hence an abundance of baked goods. And when that happens, the only way out is to stop baking. Hence the lack of baking blogs. Seems quite logical to me.
Ok. I’ll be honest. The freezer doesn’t get all the blame. There could also be some procrastination involved. You see, even at the best of times I bake more than I write which means I have quite the backlog of baking blogs residing somewhere on little posted notes scattered around my house. So now that I think of it, maybe I can blame the pandemic. You see, with nothing much to do and nowhere to go, it just seems like there is so much time to get to what we have to get to. Which means we often do things we really don’t need to be doing to fill in the time we could be using for the things we should be doing. Because when you have lots of time to do something, what’s the hurry? So I will recant. It’s not just my freezer. It’s also the pandemic. Given a few more minutes I’m sure I could come up with more excuses but, as you can see, I’m here now so I won’t waste anymore time talking about why I haven’t been writing about baking and start writing about baking.
Let me start by telling you that I pride myself in being a rather orderly and methodical baker. Typically when embarking on a baking project I map everything out, take extensive notes, monitor my time to a fraction of a second and take copious photographs of each and every step all in an effort to pass on my real baking experience in this blog. I gather all of my ingredients on the counter to ensure I don’t leave anything out. I put each item away once used so hoping there will be nothing left when I am done. Because, unlike my Auntie Fanny (may her memory be for a blessing) I would be horrified to find two eggs sitting on my counter after placing my coffee cake in the oven. But not my Auntie Fanny! Z”l. Without a blink of an eye when that happened in my kitchen of old, she grabbed that cake, cracked those eggs, mixed everything up and put that cake back in the oven. Now that’s a baker! I’m not. So I check not once, but twice, sometimes three times to make sure what’s supposed to go in, goes in. In the proper order. If I were to find an ingredient left on the counter once all was supposedly done I would, well I don’t actually know what I would do. Which is why when I decided I needed to try my hand at cinnamon rolls I found the whole thing just a little bit overwhelming. Because to be honest, it turned out to be quite a messy situation.
I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say, things didn’t go exactly as planned. Even though everything was in place. Phone. Pen. Notes. Ingredients. All right where they should be. My first hint that this wasn’t going to be smooth sailing was when I realized that my batch of dough was not going to rise, no matter how many tea towels I wrapped around it. Ever the optimist, I decided that perhaps if I just left it a “little” longer I would find a bowl full of light and airy goodness. So I went to bed despite the voice in my head telling me leaving would play havoc with my prep times. Alas, the morning sun brought with it one small and very rock like ball of dough which, I decided, meant I was back at square one. A brand new package of yeast seemed to do the trick (I always said yeast scared me). Second batch was malleable and so began the marathon of kneading, measuring, filling, rolling, cutting, and baking. Not to mention the making of the icing which is a whole other story. Suffice to say, time had taken its toll. My little posted note was long gone, ingredients were scattered across my counters, dirty bowls, mixers, utensils filled my sinks and my phone had long ago run for cover lest it find itself amongst the chaos. All of which is my explanation for why this post is not quite as informative as my others. I will say though, they were tasty. Come to think of it. I think I might pull a couple out of my freezer for lunch.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Cinnabon Copycat)
Recipe: Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 22 minutes; Rise time: 1 hour 10 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 59 minutes.
Me: I lost count after the first day.
Favourite thing about this recipe: Who doesn’t love an ooey, gooey cinnamon roll?
Least favourite thing about this recipe: I think I made myself clear about that.
What I learned: It’s true. Yeast really dies. Always check for a pulse before moving on.