I stayed out of the kitchen for a few days because, like most of America, I wasn’t feeling well. Luckily, I did not have the plague/flu but at the same time, I did not want to pass it along to my family. It all means that I was itching to do something. When you live at home, you want to contribute in some way, you know? So when my mother suggested breakfast for dinner (she wanted to make homemade pancakes), I figured homemade cinnamon rolls was a nice companion.
The perks of working at a living history site means historical recipes. I recommend checking out the Buckeye Cookery and Mrs. Owen’s, both are on Google Play Books for free and are easy to use with some fabulously lovely yummies. We are given a little ‘house’ cookbook when we are hired on with basic historical recipes and the cinnamon rolls was one of them. It comes from the Detroit Free Press in 1881.
It starts off by saying to make a light dough, as if for bread… which means some dry, active yeast (a must in any kitchen in my opinion), milk, water and a sugar for the yeast to love. I used just honey since later the recipe calls for more sugar and I have to watch my sugar intake. Typically, with bread, I mix sugar and honey in the beginning and it’s really nice. Let that foam up (if you use sugar and honey, it foams up a little better for some reason).
Then mix in some shortening (it doesn’t say how much, so I put about 3-4 tablespoons), one egg and some sugar (I ended up with about 1/6 cup when all said and done) and because I’m a little hesitant with shortening (can’t even say why), I put 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix that with enough flour to make the dough (don’t knead it too much), then roll it out like for a jelly roll. The recipe calls for you to spread butter and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar. Roll it all up, then slice and put into pans like you do for rolls.
Now, it makes a lot of dough, which I forgot, so I ran out of room in my little dish, so I was pressed and ended up using cupcake tins. The rolls were too big for those, so they kinda collapsed on themselves and when you let them rise, they made little muffin shapes which was kinda a nice surprise.
So you let them rise in a warm place and before baking, the recipe says to put a lump of butter on each one, and sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar. I baked them for about 20 minutes on a medium hot oven. Just watch them… and note that they really puff up, hence my cupcake ones turning into muffins.
To top them off, I made a simple icing and then ate them. It’s a nice, fluffy roll instead of the more pastry style that comes from a can. True be told, I rather like this fluffy, bread-like ones. They’re more filling and a little less sugary, perfect breakfast muffin.