Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_5 on Whisk Together

 

Book:  No books!  Just running lights and baking cookies this week.  🙂  The kids and I are reading the Harry Potter series, so I won’t bore you with those reviews.

Photography:  I have started to update my photography business cards and websites.  The youngest is going to school in August, so I thought I would update my indoor studio lighting and props.  This indoor studio shot is still one of my favorite photographs.  I love the age and “writing” on the “chalkboard”.

Juliana with Chalkboard copy


Catchy color, huh?
Front Business Card Etsy

 

Recipe:   Do you love gooey delicious cinnamon rolls in the morning as much as I do?  These are among my favorite breakfasts on days that we won’t have a heavy meal.  I really don’t like making them on “special” days like Christmas and Thanksgiving because we’ll have so much food later.  I DO love making them the day after Thanksgiving when we decorate for Christmas and grab some gooey rolls with a hot cup of coffee.  Or the day after Christmas when we all lounge around in our new Christmas jammies and play with our new toys.  Toys meaning possible photography or food equipment 🙂

Did you SEE how high that roll was on the first photo???  YUM-O!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_2 on Whisk Together

This recipe is a little different than my tried and true bread machine cinnamon rolls.   That recipe is quite a favorite among Whisk Together readers.   The rolls need about three rises – two in the machine and one after forming the rolls.  These easy cinnamon rolls just need ONE rise time.  You can whip them up while going to take a shower.  Or whip them up the night before!  Then, all you have to do is take them out for about an hour and bake for a short 15 minutes.  So easy even the kiddos can do it.  So let’s get started!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_1 on Whisk Together

A word about yeast:  I really do like the Red Star Platinum Yeast.  But any *instant* or *bread machine* yeast will work.  Same thing —  different names.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_3 on Whisk Together

Easy Cinnamon Rolls
 
Cook time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 11 rolls
Ingredients
  • 2 and ¾ cups (345 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tb. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 package instant yeast (2 and ¼ tsp.)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 and ½ Tb. butter
  • 1 egg
  • For Filling:
  • 2-3 Tb. butter, soft
  • 1 Tb. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • For icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tb. milk, cream, half and half, or coffee
Instructions
  1. For the dough: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or in a mixing bowl, whisk together 2 and ¼ cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix it with the milk and heat in the microwave until warm, but not too hot. Add warm water. Whisk in the egg.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix together until dough becomes less sticky. It will hold itself on the bottom of the bowl and pull away from the sides. Add the extra flour little by little as needed to get the right consistency.
  4. Now, change to the bread dough hook if using the stand mixer. If not, knead by hand for 3-4 minutes. Knead in the mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
  6. On a floured surface or non stick silicone mat, roll the dough out into a 14" by 8" rectangle.
  7. Spread the 2-3 Tb of soft butter onto the dough. You might not need it all. *Leave the top 1" empty and do not butter it*
  8. Mix the 1 Tb. of cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar together. Sprinkle onto the buttered dough. Slightly pat the sugar mixture into the dough with your hands. Slowly, roll of the dough on the long side into a log. Pinch the top where the unbuttered part of the dough meets. It will stick nicely since it has no butter on it.
  9. To cut the rolls: use a piece of dental floss or serrated knife to cut the rolls into 11 pieces - about 1" thick.
  10. Spray a 9" pie pan with baking or cooking spray. Lay the cinnamon rolls cut side down into the pan. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise for 60-90 minutes. Any room temperature will work. The rolls will be puffy and double in size when they are ready to bake.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pop the rolls into the oven on the middle rack for about 18 minutes. The rolls will be golden brown on top and the middle not raw. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
  12. While cooling, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together. Add milk as needed just a little at a time. It is much easier to add a little milk than to keep adding sugar. Drizzle all over the rolls and serve warm.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  14. For overnight rolls: Put the rolls into the pie pan and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight. Pull them out and let them sit out at room temperature for 45-60 minutes and bake as usual.
  15. For freezing rolls Put the rolls in a disposable pan. Cover with plastic wrap and foil. I try to seal mine in a freezer bag if possibly by putting the whole pan into the bag and sealing it. This will give you 1 month to thaw the rolls and bake at your leisure. It is similar to using the frozen Rhodes rolls in the grocery store.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

 

Homemade Baguettes

Quick Baguette-4527 on Whisk Together

Okay, I should call these “Quick Baguettes” because true French baguettes require a very long overnight rise time.  If you have that kind of time, here is a good French Baguette recipe.  Great for sandwiches, side dishes and soups!

As for me and my house…. we will be making fast baguettes.  🙂  These are super delicious and super easy – especially when you have a bread machine.  You can make them without a bread machine as well!  The kids and hubby LOVED these baguettes.  They didn’t have a super hard crust on them like some baguettes do.  They were nice and soft and chewy.  Plus…. there is the fact that all-purpose flour tastes like CANDY after eating 100% whole wheat for the past 7 years.

Why make your own?  There are only 4 ingredients.   No preservatives, no caramel color, no polysorbate 60, no anything but flour, water, yeast and salt.  If you have those things in your pantry, then you CAN make these.  This is a great yeast recipe to start out on.

Quick Baguette-4528 on Whisk Together

Tips for Yeast Bread Making (or any baking!):

1.  Preheat the oven 25 degrees higher than baking temperature.  This is because once you open the oven, it will reduce in temperature anyway.  Preheating higher allows for more initial “spring” in the baking process.

2.  Test your yeast if you aren’t 100% positive it is alive.  It is a bummer to wait 2 hours and find out right before dinner that the yeast was dead.  To test the yeast, I use active dry yeast.  I add the yeast, water and a little bit of sugar if the recipe calls for no sugar.  If the recipe does call for sugar, like a pizza dough, then simply add the sugary substance to the water and yeast.  After 5 minutes, you should see a little foam on top telling you the yeast is burping carbon dioxide and alive!

3.  Weigh your flour.  On a scale.  And pay attention to the author of the recipe.  King Arthur Flour thinks that AP flour weighs 4.25 ounces per cup and scales their recipes based on that.  America’s Test Kitchen think s that AP flour weighs 5 ounces per cup.  Most places and most recipes will yield 5 ounces per cup of all purpose flour.  King Arthur Flour weighs and scoops their flour differently.

4.  For a shiny crust, brush a mixture of 1 egg and 1 Tb. of water on top before baking.  It will be a little crisper, too.

5.  Pay attention to the bread more than the time!  Sometimes bread can get a little crazy and proof too fast.  Just look at it once in a while.

6.  I like active dry yeast.  I’m not patient and neither is this yeast.  It is fast and great for bread machines or bread that you need made in 2 hours or less.

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Cheesesteak-4521 on Whisk Together Label

Ok, really….  The reason I made my own baguettes is because I was too lazy to go to the store and buy sandwich bread for the Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches.

Homemade Baguettes
 
:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 and ¼ tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 3 cups (15 oz.) all purpose flour (plus more on hand)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Instructions
  1. For bread machine: Throw everything into the machine per the machine's directions and hit "dough cycle". Shape the resulting dough into 2 or 4 logs. Make shallow diagonal slashes on the top. Cover with plastic and preheat the oven to 400. Once up to temperature - reduce the oven to 375 degrees and bake the bread for 15-25 minutes.
  2. For by hand: Add yeast to the water and let sit for 5 minutes. I would recommend adding a pinch of sugar too if you are not sure that the yeast is alive. If bubbles form on the surface because they ate the sugar, the yeast is alive.
  3. Add flour and salt. Mix together by hand or in a mixer with the paddle attachment.
  4. When combined, switch to a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. (or knead by hand for 8-10 minutes). Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Rise 1 hour or until doubled.
  5. Punch down the dough and break into 2 or 4 pieces. Roll into a log about 6" long for 4 baguettes. Use a serrated knife to slash 2 to 4 shallow slices on the top diagonally.
  6. Place baguettes on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or silicone. Or on a baking stone. Cover back up with plastic wrap and rise another 20-30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while the bread rises.
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and REDUCE THE OVEN to 375 degrees. Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on if you made 4 small ones or 2 big ones).
Notes
*If the dough is not coming together, add a little more flour.

*For a pretty and shiny crust, brush the top right before baking with a mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1 Tb. water.

 

Yeast Banana Bread

 

Yeasted Banana Bread-1941 on Whisk Together

 

Book:  I am still on Dan Ariely’s “The Upside of Irrationality”.  It’s interesting…. but I still don’t see an upside.  His last experiment was basically about how we should break up our activities that we derive pleasure from (like read a book, hobbies, etc.) and just plow through those activities that we find annoying (like doing taxes).  Why?  Because our brains always adapt.  If we get a brand new car, yeah it’s great for a little while and most people go to the next best thing.  We adapt and get used to the things that are new or fun to us.  But if we break these moments up, then we will not get used to them and we will enjoy them more.  On the flip side, just get your taxes done and don’t break it up. 🙂  It’s April 15th soon!

Yeasted Banana Bread-1939 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  This bread rocks!  I do like banana bread.  But, I thought it would be fun to try and make something new out of those overripe bananas.  We have had our share of super yummy banana bread here on Whisk Together.

Banana Bread

Caramelized Banana Bread

Apple Butter Banana Bread

Bakery Banana Bread

Banana Bread Pancakes

Banana Bread Bars

This yeast bread allows you to make THE BEST French toast.  Use it with your favorite french toast recipe, or a casserole, add some walnuts or pecans and you are in heaven.  Or, use the bread to make a super awesome peanut butter sandwich which will give you a hint of banana with your peanut butter.  Or just eat it plain.  Or add some nutella.  It’s a delicious way to get rid of some extra bananas.

You can make this in the bread machine or by hand.  I’ve done it both ways and the bread machine on the dough cycle does make less of a mess.  Making this by hand is perfectly acceptable and tasty too though.

If you freeze your leftover bananas like I do, simply thaw them for an hour or so before making the recipe.  Since yeast is involved, I would even warm them up just a bit in the microwave so that the frozen cold banana doesn’t inhibit the yeast.

Yeast Banana Bread
 
:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 cups (12.75 oz) bread flour
  • 2 Tb. butter, room temperature
  • 2 and ¼ tsp. instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tb. honey
  • 1-2 medium bananas (3/4 cup), cut into chunks
Instructions
  1. To make in the bread machine: add ingredients per the machine's directions. My machine wants liquids first and then dry stuff piled up in the middle on top. Then, poke a hole in the middle of the mountain of flour and pour the yeast into there. Start the Dough Cycle or Select the Medium Crust cycle to mix and bake in one machine. While mixing, watch through the window to determine if it needs more flour. Mine needed about ¼ cup more flour. The dough is soft. You will know because the dough ball will look wet and not pull away from the sides of the bowl. Then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Tent with foil maybe halfway through to prevent the top from getting to brown
  2. To make by hand: In a great big bowl, mix everything together. Knead by hand for 10 minutes or mixer with the bread dough hook for 5 minutes. Put into a greased bowl for 1 hour covered.
  3. After the first rise, shape the dough into a log and place into a greased loaf pan (8.5"x4.5" preferable, but doable in a 9x5"). Cover the pan and rise another 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Add foil to the top about halfway through baking to keep the top from getting to brown.
Notes
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

 

Yeast Waffles

Yeast Waffles on Whisk Together

Remember those super yummy apple bacon waffles?  Well, here is how to make the yeast waffles that go with that recipe.  I LOVE yeast!!  The flavor, the smell, everything.  So, grab that jar of yeast from your fridge or freezer and let’s make a batch together!  This makes waffle making very easy in the morning because the batter is already made and ready to go.

Yeast Waffles_2 on Whisk Together

The waffles are very light.  They are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.  If you don’t like yeast or light waffles, this recipe is not for you.  If you want to dry something different and like yeast – this recipe is awesome!!   Another reason:  these waffles freeze great and you can double the recipe.  So, make a batter after putting the kids to bed and wake up to just have to pour some batter in a pan.  Easy peasy!

If you are like my children and like soft waffles instead of crispy, simply swap out the butter for applesauce.

Yeast Waffles_1 on Whisk Together

Yeast Waffles

Ingredients

  • Yeast Waffles
  • serves 4
  • 1 and 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 6T butter, melted
  • 2-3 T maple syrup or pancake syrup (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (8.5 oz) AP flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. instant yeast*
  • *remember when doubling a yeast recipe, you don't have to double the yeast

Instructions

  1. Put everything into a great big bowl! Stir. Remember, the mixture will expand!
  2. Put plastic wrap on top and let it sit on the counter for 1 hour.
  3. Cook waffles, or put it in the fridge overnight.
  4. Spray waffle iron and cook as directed by the iron.
  5. Keep waffles warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Freeze any leftovers into freezer bags and toast in the toaster on medium to reheat.
  6. Recipe from King Arthur Flour
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/01/22/yeast-waffles/

Yeast Waffles
serves 4

1 and 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
6T butter, melted (or swap out some applesauce)
2-3 T maple syrup or pancake syrup (optional)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups (8.5 oz) AP flour or white whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. instant yeast*

*remember when doubling a yeast recipe, you don’t have to double the yeast

Put everything into a great big bowl!  Stir.  Remember, the mixture will expand!
Put plastic wrap on top and let it sit on the counter for 1 hour.
Cook waffles, or put it in the fridge overnight.
Spray waffle iron and cook as directed by the iron.
Keep waffles warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.  Freeze any leftovers into freezer bags and toast in the toaster on medium to reheat.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Honey Wheat Rolls (Using Bread Machine)

I think the best dough I ever make is in the bread machine.  It gets the temperature just right and kneads perfectly.  Plus… well it’s less work for me!  These rolls can be made large for sandwich buns or small for dinner rolls.  They contain whole wheat and honey for the sweetener and no high fructose corn syrup or the millions of other ingredients the manufacturers include in what should be a simple loaf of bread.  I LOVE them with honey butter on top all melted and gooey.  You can freeze these as well – just thaw at room temperature.

Honey Wheat Rolls
yields 12 large sandwich size rolls or 24 small dinner size rolls

1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1.  Place the ingredients into your bread machine according to its directions.  My Oster brand bread machine has me add all the wet ingredients (basically everything but the flour) first.  Then, pile on the flour into a heap.  Poke a hole in the heap of flour and add the yeast into the hole.  Put on the “Dough” cycle.

2.  You can tear the dough apart for the rolls.  You can roll it and use a pizza cutter.   Place your rolls on a greased cookie sheet and let rise for 1 hour.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes for large rolls.  Bake 7-10 minutes for small rolls.

4.  Brush with melted butter when finished.

Honey Butter

1 stick butter (4oz.)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together and serve with rolls.
For a large quantity, Alton Brown has an awesome recipe here for Honey Butter.

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