Don't be afraid of yeast

Published 11:36 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2008

By Staff
I love cinnamon rolls, and I don't care who knows it. My only problem with making them myself is that I'm scared of yeast. My fear of yeast is also the reason I don't bake homemade breads either.
I have no real reason to fear this wonderful baking ingredient. I think what gets me the most is the fact that I've never done much kneading in my life. The closest I've come to kneading anything is when I made homemade biscuits. But that involves choking and not much kneading.
At any rate, I've never made the yeast kind of cinnamon rolls and I have made a decision to try my hand at a few recipes I've found for the sweet rolls. Anything that allows me to prepare something I enjoy with any shortcuts is a winner in my book.
The recipes that follow in today's column are all about cinnamon rolls. I hope that you find one that will be suitable for you. There are a couple of easy recipes here, and I plan to give them a try. If you try out any of the recipes and would like to share, drop the extras by the office. We almost always have a pot of coffee brewing at The Brewton Standard.
This first recipe sounds really easy and can be prepared for baking the night before which should speed up the process in the morning. Just pop them in while you're in the shower and step out into a house filled with the heavenly aroma of these great treats.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
3/4 cup raisins
20 frozen dinner rolls
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes; drain. Place the rolls in a lightly greased 10 inch Bundt pan or a 13×9 inch cake pan. In a medium mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, pudding mix and cinnamon. Sprinkle the soaked raisins and the cinnamon mixture over the rolls. Pour the melted butter over the rolls, cover with a clean damp cloth and let stand overnight at room temperature. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a serving plate.
These next recipes aren't really recipes for the cinnamon rolls, but they are ideas that you could use to dress up any cinnamon roll recipe you may prefer using.
For a little different twist that will give your rolls a caramel bottom, try this recipe.
Caramel Coating
In a small saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and ice cream; bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour caramel into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Place cinnamon rolls on top of caramel and cook as directed.
Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. cream cheese softened
? cup confectioner's sugar
Combine ingredients well and spread on rolled out dough. Proceed with other toppings as desired before rolling up and slicing. Cook original cinnamon roll recipe as directed.
This last recipe is actually called biscuits, but they are very much like cinnamon rolls. So much that I plan to give this one a go when I get a chance.
Brown Sugar Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or use parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in milk and vanilla. Knead briefly on a floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Spread softened butter onto surface of dough. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over butter. Roll tightly, and cut into 12 equal slices. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
I hope you enjoy these recipes. I plan to try a few until I find just which one is the best for my taste.
Remember, if you have a recipe or idea that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you. Give me a call at 867-4876 or e-mail at
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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