My Duel with Dough

Happy December, everyone! Don’t you just love that WordPress let’s me have an option for it to snow on my blog? That’s about the only snow close up that I enjoy. 🙂

This week, you may or may not know, is our department Christmas party. I forget whose idea it was, but it was decided by those that decide these things that we would have Brinner (breakfast for dinner)…or what one of my superiors likes to refer to as “Eggs in the Evening”. Either way, the end result was a sign-up sheet with several categories and each person in our department looked on said sign-up sheet as an opportunity repreSENT (if you know what I mean). I–rather ambitiously, I see clearly now–signed up for cinnamon rolls. After all, there were no cinnamon rolls on the list and I figured I would fill that obvious need.

My heart was in the right place, but when I realized what I had committed to and further realized that I would need to make some sort of bread in order to MAKE cinnamon rolls, I started to freak out a little bit. So what did I do? I called Super Mom (da-da-daaaa!) and asked her to give me her cinnamon roll recipe.

What I got back was not what I, personally, would call a recipe. It was more a listing of ingredients. I called her back, sure that she had just forgotten to put in quantities. After all, I reasoned, baking is a science. It will require exact measurements to turn out the way it should. Turns out, Mom didn’t neglect to put in quantities. Instead, I heard phrases like: “Just cover the pan with the listed ingredients” and “It depends on how gooey you want them to be”. As my Type-A personality started to twitch, I read through the directions again. I won’t belabor the whole list here, but it did contain the words “dabs of butter”. I submit to you, is there a less scientific word than DAB? I think not.

I did what any normal girl in my position would have done. I bought a Hot Roll mix at the grocery store and determined to do my best. After all, the office was counting on me! As I drove home tonight to make said dough, I started to panic a little again. After all, everyone knows that one of the main ingredients for dough MUST be yeast or else things won’t rise correctly. If you don’t put warm enough water in, the yeast won’t be activated and the dough won’t rise. If you put TOO hot of water in, the yeast will die. To me, this seemed like a lose-lose situation. So, I cursed the fact that my Mom lives in two timezones ahead of me and was already in slumber land and used my “phone a friend” pass to dial my friend, Renee. She’s a fabulous cook and I knew she would be able to answer my question and gently guide me in the best path possible.

With her advice ringing in my ears and various ingredients scattered about, I spent a few hours putting together my cinnamon rolls. Time will tell if they taste like Mom’s. I’d say probably not. But even as I sit here covered in an odd flour/brown sugar coating, I am keeping the hope alive.


4 thoughts on “My Duel with Dough

  1. Leslie says:

    Water should be between 90° & 110° for yeast to activate without killing it. Generally, I let my tap run as hot as it goes, and that’s right around 110°. And also, for next time, if Renee didn’t already tell you, Pioneer Woman has a cinnamon roll (or “role” as I originally typed) recipe that’s apparently to-die-for. Let’s see if I can find it for you… Ah yes, here it is:

    No matter what, I hope yours are delicious!

  2. Susan says:


    I share your fear of yeast. I always buy bridgeford frozen dough (comes in a 3 pack in the freezer aisle of *some* grocery stores – I could never find it in NY). If your phone a friend tips helped you out, please share. If you like gooey caramel rather than the traditional white icing, I have a recipe for you. In fact, I’ll e-mail it to you whether you want it or not (the delete button isn’t too far away…) Though I must say that maple glaze from the recipe Leslie shared looks *amazing*.

  3. stef says:

    I’m thinking of making cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning…I’ve never done it before so maybe you can give me some pointers!

  4. Beth Mack de Swardt says:

    I always buy the dough from the bread section at the grocery store and then use the Cinabon icing recipe. Its new for most South Africans. They love love them and they think I’ve spent hours making these amazing rolls… My mother-in-law kept asking me for the recipe and I never gave it to her because it was so easy and I wanted to keep up the pretense of hard work.

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