Cinnamon Rolls

Once upon a time I promised a cinnamon roll recipe that was super duper delicious and oh so divine. 

And then I didn’t deliver. 

Am I too late?  I think not.  It’s never too late for a delicious recipe! 

I got this recipe from a blog that I follow called 71 Toes.  I already had a recipe for cinnamon rolls that I loved and adored but when I saw this recipe I just knew I had to try it.  Boy, am I glad I did!  I just knew it would be good because of the sheer fact that it’s got a whole cup of butter just in the dough!!  Butter makes everything better.  Just sayin….

The only thing I changed was the amount of filling in the dough before rolling it up.  Hers was pretty skimpy on the filling… so I just beefed it up a bit ;)

cinnamon rolls

cinn rolls

  • 2 sticks of butter, melted
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 heaping T. yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 7 c. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water and add just a teaspoon of sugar, set aside until bubbly and foamy. Melt butter and let cool slightly.  Warm milk slightly.  Combine butter and milk and add the yeast to the milk mixture until well mixed. Add the egg.
Add sugar and salt then slowly add flour until soft bread dough consistency.  Knead for about 5-10 minutes by hand or about 2 minutes by machine.  Let the dough rise until doubled.

Filling:

  • melted butter (to make cinnamon/sugar mixture stick)
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon

Once dough has doubled in size, roll out into two rectangles. Butter dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. 

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  And no, you don’t have to let the dough rise a second time.  It will rise plenty in the oven.

Butter-cream frosting:

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbs. milk

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add milk slowly and mix until smooth consistency.

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Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

This is the bread that K says is better than any other.  She even helps me make it now.  It’s her favorite and let me tell you, it is sooo easy!  I’ve only recently started making yeast breads again because for some reason they’ve never agreed with me before.  Either it wouldn’t rise properly or it just came out dense and brick-like.  I had come to the conclusion that I just didn’t have the right touch for making breads no matter how hard I tried.

Then one day, someone explained to me that the best way to tell if a bread dough has enough flour is that it should feel slightly tacky but not sticky.  It shouldn’t stick to your hands while kneading but it shouldn’t be so stiff and dry that you can’t knead it properly. 

So that’s the problem?!  I’m adding too much flour??

Yup!

Turns out, that theory has proven to be true.  I don’t know how I didn’t know this before.  I’m a little slow sometimes, I admit it. 

There have been no bread mishaps since I’ve resisted the urge to add more flour than is necessary.  I just always thought it needed more.  Also, I never knew what ‘warm’ meant when referring to the water temp.  How warm?  Hot warm?  Cool warm?  Somewhere I learned that it should be about the temp that would feel comfortable on your head in the shower or if you were washing your hair over the sink… warmer than I would have thought.  Seems to work so that’s the ‘warm’ I go with now.

This recipe came from my Worldwide Ward Cookbook (awesome book!).  I only adjusted the temperature and the baking time because the first time I made this it was still doughy in the middle… YUCK!  The temp was way too low and the time was too short. 

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

Combine 4 1/2 tsp. (2 packets) yeast and 3/4 c. warm water in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup of whole wheat flour and stir vigorously.  Now you need to ‘sponge the dough’ by allowing the mixture to sit for about 45 minutes, covered with a towel. 

Add 2 1/2 c. warm water and 2 c. of whole wheat flour.  Mix well.

Add 1/2 c. wheat gluten, 1/3 cup honey, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, 2 1/2 tablespoons oil.  Mix well. 

Add another 4-6 cups whole wheat flour (mine always takes 4-5), one at a time and mixing well inbetween, until it is good bread consistency (slightly tacky but not sticky).  You’ll have to mix the last bit in by kneading. 

Knead for 10-15 minutes. 

Shape loaves and place into 2 greased loaf pans.  To shape my loaves I like to roll it out like cinnamon rolls, making sure that it’s at least as wide as the pan is long.  Does that make sense?  It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfectly rectangular.  Roll it up like cinnamon rolls (not too loose or too tight, just firm) and tuck under where needed to fit properly into pan. 

Allow to rise until double in size (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). 

Bake in preheated 350* oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from pans onto cooling rack.  My whole family LOVES this bread.  We haven’t had to buy a loaf from the store for about a month now.  

 

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Cheese Rolls!

We went to the circus last night.  WOW!  I can’t believe what people do for entertainment’s sake.  It was insanely fun and crazy! 

I tried ‘real’ kettle corn at the circus, too.  Again… WOW!  I’m pretty sure I ate half the bag myself.  The other half was split amongst the other eight people.  I can’t be sure that I ate half all on my own.  I was too engrossed in the show to realize that I was actually eating it at all.  The only thing I’m sure of is that the bag (they are giant bags by the way) was on my lap the majority of the time and that there was a distinctly happy sweet yet salty flavor in my mouth for the duration of the first half of the show. 

Before I knew it, the bag was empty.  Whoops!

And then my sister bought cotton candy.  I can’t resist cotton candy.  Straight shot of sugar… I’m addicted!  Darn her! 

Then after the show, my bio dad (he actually bought all our tickets and the kettle corn) decided that each kid needed a ‘souvenir’.  They all chose snow cones in large tiger cups.  As if they needed any more sugar.  Ah well, what can I say?

The whole experience and atmosphere of the circus really put me in the mood for carnival/fair food.  Is that weird? 

But that’s not what this post is about.  We’re talking about cheese rolls! 

—————————————

My high school cafeteria had the best cheese rolls in the entire world.  They were like gigantic cinnamon rolls (except take out the cinnamon roll filling because I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t go well with cheese… gross!) but with CHEESE!  My friend and I would run to the cafeteria between classes to buy them just about every day.  We would also grab a condiment cup full of ranch dressing to dip them in.  They were divine! 

My mouth is watering just thinking of those days.  Mmmmm! 

So a while back, as I was watching a daytime show here in Utah called Good Things Utah, they had someone on from a certain school district in our area to demonstrate the making of CHEESE ROLLS!  She said they made them for every school in that district and it just so happened to be the district I was in. 

You can’t even begin to imagine my joy and excitement!  This was it… I could enjoy my high school love all over again.  I printed the recipe and it sat…

But just the other day, I decided to give it a go. 

I looked at the recipe and I was sure that I was smarter than the recipe.  It didn’t call for any rising of the dough. It’s a yeast bread, it has to rise.

Uh, yeah, so apparently I’m not a rocket scientist.  Don’t let it rise.  It does it’s own rising in the oven. 

They were just as delicious as I remember but I made them about half the size.  Seriously, the ones at the school were gigantic! 

Hope you’ve got a lot of cheese on hand… here we go!

————————————————-

**Preheat your oven to 350*

First you’ll need 1/4 c. warm water (baby bath warm), some yeast and some sugar.  Stir together. 

rolls1 

See that?  THAT is some happy yeast!

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Combine the rest of the warm water, sugar and shortening in a large bowl.

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Add yeast mixture and stir. 

Add flour one cup at a time until dough is soft but not sticky.  It should pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Roll it out like cinnamon rolls on floured surface (I used half the dough). 

Sprinkle cheese.

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Roll it up like a cinnamon roll.

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Cut into pieces about 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick.  (I use the dental floss method to cut it.  Just grab a piece of dental floss a bit longer than you might use for your teeth, slide the dental floss underneath, cross your floss {switch hands} so it’s an X shape.  Pull… you should have a perfect slice without smooshing your rolls.)

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Place in greased pan and do not let rise!  I made that mistake with the first batch

Put in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. 

I ended up having to reroll the second pan because I had let it rise also.  I gathered up all the rolls and rolled it out again with my rolling pin… cheese and all. 

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So, maybe the cheese was a little displaced but look how yummy they look! 

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rolls12

 

Cheese Rolls

1/2 c. sugar

2 T yeast

4 c. warm water

1/3 c. shortening

1 T. salt

9 c. flour

4 c. cheddar cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix 1 T. of the sugar with 1/4 c. of the warm water and the yeast.  Let it get bubbly for a few minutes. 

In a large bowl, combine the remainder of the warm water, sugar, shortening and salt.  Add yeast mixture and stir. 

Add flour one cup at a time until it is soft but not sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  You may have to use your hands. 

Roll out into a long rectangle like you would for cinnamon rolls.  Sprinkle cheese on top, roll it up (long sides), cut into pieces and place on baking sheet or in baking pan. 

**optional – you can brush the tops with an egg wash if you’d like

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. 

 

Hope you enjoy them!  We sure did!

 

 

 

 

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Cream Cheese Bread {Guest Post… kind of}

bread31Let me just start by saying that this bread is absolutely SINFUL! 

Now let me introduce my guest… my mom

I know I’ve been talking about her a lot lately but she’s only in town until Wednesday and she’s doing some amazing things that I just have to blog about. 

She’s not really guest posting though.  I’m writing the post, she’s making the sinful bread.  Does that count as a guest post? 

Anyway, I’ve been hearing about this bread for weeks now but never inquired about the recipe because when I asked if it was a yeast bread, she said yes.  Yeast and I are NOT friends!  I don’t know why.  I like yeast but yeast hates me.  However, after watching my mom make this and learning that it doesn’t have to rise, I’m beginning to think that I could possibly have a successful run with this one.  We’ll see. 

And now let’s make this delightful bread, shall we? 

The first thing you’ll need to do is start the dough.  You’ll need to melt the sour cream, sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan.  Once it’s melted, set it aside to cool.

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In a small bowl, mix a bit a sugar and yeast into some warm water.

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Allow it to bubble.

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Mix eggs, cooled sour cream mixture, and yeast mixture in a large bowl.

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Mix flour in one cup at a time. 

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When it gets too tough to mix with a mixer, use your hands.  {It’s kind of fun, no?}

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You want a soft dough, not a tough dough.

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Divide dough into four equal parts and roll into ovals.

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Now make the filling while the dough rests.  OH, I’m so excited about the filling!  Jumping for joy over here…

Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg, salt and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.

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Roll a piece of dough into a thin rectangle shape.  You can cut off any jagged edges. 

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Score it about 3 or 4 inches in on each long side of the rectangle to make it easier to cut evenly for the braid.

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Make cuts from scored edge to the outside… about 7-10 cuts on each side. 

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Place 1/4 of the cream cheese filling into the center of the dough.

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Top with jam or fresh fruit.  {Fresh raspberries were AMAZING!!}

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Now crisscross the dough back and forth, pressing the dough lightly into the other side so it will stay, until you get to the end. 

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Fold the ends under.  If the ends are too long, you can cut a bit off.

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Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350* for about 15 minutes. 

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And this is how it looks. 

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Look at the ooey gooey goodness!!  Mmmmm….

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This is definitely a MUST try!  If only I could get yeast to like me a bit more.

 

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bread

Dough:

8 oz. sour cream

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter

1 tsp. salt

Melt all ingredients in a saucepan.  Once melted, set aside to cool.

2 pkgs. or 2 T. yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 c. warm water

Mix together and let bubble.

2 eggs

Lightly whisk eggs in large mixing bowl and add sour cream mixture and yeast mixture. 

Add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough.  You may need slightly more flour.  You might also need to mix the last bit in by hand. 

Divide dough into 4 equal parts and roll into ovals.

Make filling.

Once filling is made, roll each piece of dough into a long rectangle, score about 3 inches in on both long sides with a knife.  Cut about 7-10 slits for braid from the scored edge to the outside.  Spoon 1/4 of the filling evenly into the middle and top with jam flavor of your choice or fresh fruit of your choice.  Crisscross the dough across the top of the filling in a braid pattern.  Fold ends under. 

Place on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350* for for 15-20 minutes or until golden. 

 

Filling:

2 – 8 oz. pkgs of cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1/8 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

Beat ingredients with mixer until smooth and fluffy.

 

Well, what do you think?  It truly is heavenly sinful.  Oxymoron, I know but it’s so true!

 

 

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Banana Bread Makeover

I don’t know about you but I happen to love banana bread.  But rarely do I ever get to make it because my children are monkeys and almost always gobble up the bananas long before they are banana bread ready.  Even when I buy ‘extra’ bananas, they are gone before I can use them. 

Well, just yesterday I had the rare opportunity to make some.  I had never made a ‘clean’ banana bread before.  If you know me, you know that Anthony and I have cleaned up our diets, and those of our kids,  in recent months.  Sure we slip up a time or two (or ten) each week but we’re trying.  And our eating habits are largely different from where they started. 

So, I decided to give banana bread a makeover.  Maybe I was a tad bit nervous.  You see, I’m a recipe follower to a T.  I’m not one of those people that is comfortable changing things up and just knowing it will turn out.  If it says 1/2 cup, I’m going to use 1/2 cup.  But recently, I have grown a wild hair of sorts and started to tweak things a little bit.  It’s not something I would say I’m good at yet.  I still cringe each time, crossing my fingers that my ’experiment’ doesn’t completely ruin the recipe.  Luckily, I’ve had luck on my side… so far.  ;)   Let’s keep that streak, shall we?

Well, I made a version of banana bread that my family absolutely loved!  And believe it or not, there is absolutely NO refined sugar or white flour in it. 

Banana Bread… All Cleaned Up!

1 egg

1/2 c. olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

2 or 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1 1/2 c.whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 c. Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice)

1/4 plus 2 T. agave nectar

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

3 T. ground flax seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 325*. 

Mash bananas in small bowl, set aside.  In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix until blended.  Add bananas, mix until blended.  Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Add to wet indredients a small amount at a time, mixing each time you add more. 

Once it is all incorporated and mixed well, pour into a sprayed loaf pan (4 1/2 x 8 1/2).  Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown. 

Make 1 loaf but could easily be doubled or tripled. 

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