Saturday, February 13, 2010
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
“I love your color scheme! Happy Valentine’s Day!” This stranger may be as close as I get to a Valentine this year, a man who cupped his hands around his mouth to yell from across 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, and comment on my everyday brown coat, deep red leather gloves, and maroon patterned purse I was carrying while accomplishing Saturday’s errands. I was doing the usual grocery shopping, taking the requisite weekend trip to my neighborhood antique store, and to the Brooklyn Flea, on the perennial search for the elusive metal (or mirrored Deco) desk, and visiting the hardware store for paint swatches to confirm my suspicions that vivid teal behind my grass green couch is a perfectly acceptable choice, my apartment’s reds and oranges and myriad patterns notwithstanding. If my Valentine’s right, I’ve got a way with color.
Last week New York City was silenced by snow. Juilliard and Marymount canceled classes, so, on my snow day, I made cinnamon rolls. I have been craving the real deal cinnamon roll for a while now, and when I saw these dreamy pictures on a blog I read, out came the mixing bowls, the yeast and the flour. I am a problem baker. This time it was expired yeast, the culprit. Yeast expires? Well, yes, it does. And you used it still? Well, yes, I did. I have conducted an experiment, and now I know: science will not be fooled. If you use expired yeast, your cinnamon rolls will not rise. They will not rise, and the resulting dense, mini-buns may taste all right, but the texture’s nothing to do with the fluffy dreaminess in the pictures.
But I don’t care about those failed buns anymore; I’ve already moved on. There’s a pork shoulder roast in my refrigerator, waiting to be brined, that holds my heart’s affection. Tomorrow I am making indoor pulled pork barbeque, North Carolina style, and I know the day of brining, slow pork cooking, cabbage slaw making, and barbeque sauce marinating will put to rest the bad memories of those difficult cinnamon rolls. Who needs a Valentine when you’ve got a slow-cooked, spicy, pulled-pork sandwich to grip between your fingers and savor between your lips? Aw, yeah...
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Note from Banu: I am reluctant to provide my recipe here, since mine didn’t turn out so well, and since I improvised more than simply using old yeast (in the interest of a healthier roll, maple syrup for sugar, walnut oil for butter), it’s possible that there were many factors that led to the rock hard buns. So, that in mind, I am providing the links here and here that I used in my adapted recipe, and from those, perhaps you will be able to make a fluffy cinnamon roll, like the one from my dreams. And, if anyone has a fool-proof recipe (healthyish recipe preferred) for cinnamon rolls, I’d love to hear about it; I'm a staunch believer in giving second chances.