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“Anyone who gives you a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven is a friend for life” – Lemony Snicket
Today, June 2, 2017, is National Doughnut Day here in the United States. Instead of going out and buying myself a doughnut with goodness knows what kind of bad ingredients, I planned on making my own doughnuts.
Then, I looked at the recipes I still had to make for this cook through.
Cinnamon Rolls and Doughnuts kind of go hand in hand… right?
This was an even more perfect choice because, being Friday, I had finished with class for the week. What better way to start a weekend than with making cinnamon rolls?
Before I get too much into this post, I should start by sharing a little background story. All my life growing up, my family and never made our cinnamon rolls. We always bought my favourite, Pillsbury Dough Boy’s cinnamon rolls. Even to this day. Besides that, I have had cinnamon rolls from a bakery here or there, but that’s about it.
The only other time I had ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch was when I made them for this year’s mother’s day. I followed this recipe here. They were pretty darn good, but definitely could have used a little more filling.
So, let’s see how Jenny Colgan’s turned out against the others!
I woke up later than usual. Normally I like waking up around 7:00 AM or so, but I slept in. That was a bit of a mistake knowing that I had to make these rolls which I knew had to sit and proof for quite some time.
There was another mistake that occurred during the production of these mouthwatering rolls, that being that during the process I actually ran out of flour.
How on Earth did I, Annie Tritchonis, run out of flour?
I really don’t know. So I just threw in some whole wheat flour. But let’s not tell that to my family who ate it, okay?
Anyways, I continued on and let the dough proof for an hour. The next step was to make the filling, which called for softened butter. I believe I softened it a bit too much, because after spreading and rolling the dough into it’s delicious little swirls, there was cinnamon sugar filling oozing from both ends of the log. I had to work fast and section and cut the dough before too much filling trickled out, so the rolls themselves were not quite even.
But who wants perfectly round rolls anyways? I’m always one who likes things that look a little more obscure than normal!
So let’s recap: I woke up late, which thus made me cut for time, meaning I did not proof the dough as much as I should have. I ran out of flour. My softened butter was completely melted. The cinnamon sugar filling was dripping out of the ends. All cinnamon rolls were uneven in both size and shape. Oh, and on top of that… I had to throw them back in the oven at a higher temperature for a good 15 extra minutes. The small cinnamon roll I had tasted fine, but the larger ones were definitely not cooked.
So. There was a lot that went wrong during this process, yet somehow I still made cinnamon rolls that tasted delectable!
You can see that some of the rolls are huge while others aren’t. So what? They’re a special and super tasty.
I have to say that of the four items I’ve made for this challenge, this was the most fun. Nothing has trumped the bread yet in taste, but this is still the one that I learned the most from, and beat the most challenges with!
That’s something that I really want from competing in these personal challenges. I want to be able to learn things through every process. So far, I feel I’ve definitely learned a lesson with each goodie that I’ve made. This one? Give yourself time to focus, and make sure you have all the ingredients!
Definitely going to make these again.
So, let’s talk price. To make these, it cost $6.32 to make this recipe. That means that one cinnamon roll is equal to around $.70
Compare that to:
– Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls: $2.69 ($.33 per roll)
– Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls: $5.49 ($1.10 per roll)
– Bakery Cinnamon Roll (single): $4.00
So comparing it to Pillsbury, the best cinnamon rolls in the world, you can see that the price really differs. Their regular, small cinnamon rolls (the ones I always eat) are much more cost efficient. But if you want to “go grand” and get their larger cinnamon rolls, then you actually would spend more money than if you were to make them yourself! And then you have the price from a bakery. $4.00 for one roll. Kinda crazy, but they need to be able to pay the bakers, and rent, and electric somehow… right?
All in all, I would definitely make these again. The quality is better than your generic cinnamon rolls and they do not contain any ingredients that I cannot pronounce. Seriously. Who wants dextrose and palm and soybean oil to be in the top five ingredients? Not me. But I’ll talk about my dislike of palm oil some other day…
I still will definitely splurge on a bakery cinnamon roll, though. Those things are ace.
Discussion Question of the day:
For Polly, making bread is almost therapeutic. Do you have an activity in your life that helps you work through your problems?
Oh, most definitely! My favourite thing in the world is to cook and bake, which are both really stress relieving. Unfortunately, I can’t do that all the time. The way that best relieves my anxiety is to make lists. It gets my mind off of whatever I’m doing while filling it with creative ideas! Some days I create lists on pinterest, while other days I create list on goodreads. I’ve even started a bullet journal that I happen to be filling with lists as well! Creating lists really gets my mind off of whatever is bothering me and gets me excited for the future.
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I’m sure plenty of you have read a book where, when you finished it, you felt a hole in your chest where the characters had once laid; where their emotions had once danced; where their stories had once stretched. I’m sure that at the end of that book, you may have even felt that a chunk of your life was now missing.
This feeling has just come upon me for the first time in, like, ever.
I’m serious. The last time I felt this way was when I was in the fifth grade and had just finished reading Twilight. But instead of believing that I can fill the void of this more recent book by imagining there are real life vampires and that there is some mysterious boy watching over me from the trees, I’m going to fill this void by doing something a little different…
… I’m going to do a cook-through.
I’m sure a large sum of you have seen Julie & Julia, yes? The movie about Julie Powell who challenges herself to complete Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in an determined amount of time? Well… I’m doing something similar. I’m going to cook through the seven simple recipes from Little Beach Street Bakery, a novel by Jenny Colgan.
I’m going to be honest with you. I never would have picked up this book if it was not for my boss, Amy Freidenrich. She gave me the book on a whim, saying one of her friends had given it to her to read after Amy purchased a bakery. I was skeptical: The book was nothing like what I normally read. Over my college career, I always leaned towards reading darker works: Animal Farm (George Orwell), Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), Eating Animals (Jonathan Safran Foer), and anything by Edgar Allen Poe, to name a few. Why would I bother to pick up something that seemed so lighthearted? Something so out of the ordinary for myself?
That’s exactly why! I wanted something different. I wanted something lighter. I wanted an easy read… something I could read while juggling my full time college career and 26 hours of part time work every week. This was the book for me.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the book because I want you to give it a read, but picture this: restoration drama meets romance meets finding yourself… I keep calling it a mixture of two of my top 5: Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes) and Chocolat (Joanne Harris).
I decided to do a cook-through for multiple reasons:
Reason number 1- I’ve always wanted to learn to bake bread, and this book gives me the opportunity to do just that! It’s also like a two-in one! A great story as the main course with some simple, mouthwatering recipes for dessert.
Reason number 2- I have a lot of cook books. I’ve dreamed of cooking through a full book numerous times in my life, and this book has given me the motivation to do just that. It’s a great place for me to start my goal towards cooking through all my cookbooks. I don’t believe I will get too overwhelmed with just seven recipes. Some of my books I dream of cooking through have hundreds!
Reason number 3- This is the most important reason I’m doing this cook-through, so take note. This book has given me an incredible surge of motivation that I have lost throughout the past year. I’ve grown tired. I’ve gained weight. I’ve grown bored of what I do. This book reminded me that I am in control of my life, and that sometimes a little risk can really pay off. This book has motivated me to follow my goals of doing a cook-through, all the while motivating me to make some large changes in my personal life as well.
And because of that, Jenny Colgan, I thank you. You’ve reminded me that nothing is set in stone, and to not be scared when faced with uncertainty.
The Challenge: Cook through the seven recipes given at the end of Little Beach Street Bakery.
The Contender: Anna Tritchonis. Full time student. Master Barista. Foodie.
Challenge Duration: From today, May 17th, 2017 until the first day of summer, June 21st, 2017.
Jenny Colgan, my fellow readers… I hope I make you proud! Let the challenge begin!
So, everyone, be prepared for seven lovely posts that describe my journey through completing these recipes. Jenny Colgan, my fellow readers… I hope I make you proud! Let the challenge begin!
“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read” – Cassandra Clare