Nothing can compare to the scent of homemade cinnamon rolls wafting out of the kitchen as you hang up you pinny, reapply your lipstick and slip on your high heels to serve the men in your life a plate of fresh pastries with their mid-morning coffee, right?
OK, I admit it. Those of you who know me will already know that I'm no Stepford Wife (nor do I have any desire to be one), but lately I have been gripped by the desire to make my own cinnamon rolls (and to scoff them with my own morning cuppa).
This weekend, as if the utter chaos of our flat in mid-festive decorating blitz wasn't enough, I decided to add to the mayhem by trying out my cinnamon roll recipe for the first time.
I was a little apprehensive, as I don't have much experience of cooking with yeast (nor the necessary patience). But they turned out to be much simpler, and tastier, than I expected.
If you want to try for yourself, here's the recipe.
First of all, for the dough you will need:
400 grammes of strong white flour
2.5 ml (half a teaspoon) salt
30 ml (2 tablespoons) sugar, plus 1 teaspoon of sugar to mix with yeast
5ml (1 teaspoon) fast-acting dried yeast
45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
100-120 ml warm water
100-120 ml warm milk
and for the filling:
50 grammes melted butter
50 grammes dark brown sugar
20 grammes ground cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons sultanas (optional - alternatively you could use choc chips. Personally I prefer them with sugar and cinnamon alone)
Dissolve the teaspoon of sugar in the warm milk and warm water, then add the dried yeast. Mix and leave for about 5 minutes to forth up slightly.
Sift the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a large bowl.
Add the oil and egg to the milk/yeast mixture and stir gently. Add to the flour mix.
Mix to a dough, then knead til smooth, adding more flour if necessary. Knead for a couple of minutes then leave in the bowl, covered with a clean tea towel, in a warm place to rise.
Roll out to a large rectangle, then cut in half lengthwise and brush with butter.
Mix the dark brown sugar and cinnamon together well, and sprinkle on the buttered dough. If using sultanas or choc chips, sprinkle these as well. Roll into a sausage shape to enclose the filling .
Cut the roll into slices about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and place the pinwheels on a greased baking tray. Brush with a little melted butter, and leave to prove for half an hour.
Bake in a pre-heated over (180-200 degrees C, depending on how 'hot' your oven burns) for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
When cooked, mix some icing sugar and cinnamon with some water to my a fairly liquid glaze and drizzle over the hot buns. Allow to cool, so the glaze will sink into the pastry a little and harden a little on the outside.
Then all you need is a willing volunteer to savour your wares.
(Word of warning: If you have a teenage boy in the house, hide half the cinnamon rolls from him - that is, if you want to enjoy one to yourself with a well-deserved cup of coffee once you've done the washing up.)
My cinnamon roll adventure was inspired by Oui Chef at http://www.beckicklesie.com/, where the theme for December was "Cinnamon and wine".
These deliciously sinful buns take care of the cinnamon side of things, and I'll just have to rely on my friendly household wine waiter to provide the rest!