My fabulous sister has been blogging for several years at Brunch and the city and The Hill is Home. In fact, she was a driving force behind this blog. See, back in DC we lived next door and we both knew pretty much everything happening in each other’s lives. With an ocean and 5 time zones of separation, she encouraged me to do this to keep my family back home plugged into my school adventures. We were lucky to have her visit for Christmas. She and my mom and I pretty much went mad in the kitchen blending recipes and inspiration from home with techniques from school and ingredients from London. Below is her Brunch and the city post about good old-fashioned Christmas morning comfort food made from scratch. Enjoy!
I love cinnamon rolls but my fear of bread making has always prevented me from attempting to make them on my own. The thought of spending all that time to make them, only to have them come out dense or dry just made me sad. And the Pillsbury ones at the grocery store are just so darn easy and tasty. But my sister challenged me to give it a try while visiting her in London for Christmas. She’s gotten quite good at making her own bread and dough in culinary school and was confident she could teach me enough to get me past my fear of baking from scratch. She also thought it would be fun for us to do a few posts that we could cross-post in each other’s blogs. How could I say no?
I must say, the final product was really quite good and the lack of leftovers seemed to indicate that the family agreed. Hours of work devoured in minutes…but definitely worth it.
We used a recipe, which seemed incredibly time intensive, from How to Make Bread. While it took a while, it ended up not being as much work as I feared. The unique thing to the approach in this book is the method for kneading the dough. Instead of working it for 10 minutes straight, you do it in little bits over the course of about an hour. It requires staying near the dough for a while but in such short spurts that you can get plenty of other stuff done during the time. My sister also noted that it was a bit less messy since you knead it in the bowl instead of on the countertop, which was a big plus in her very tiny kitchen.
The book said to simply top the rolls with powdered sugar once you’re ready to serve, which my sister wanted to do since she is all about cutting down on sugar. But my brother in law intervened saying, “Real cinnamon rolls have icing on top. So, the question is, are you making cinnamon rolls or are you making something else?”