This year will be a challenging one for me, to manage work and home single handedly. In his absence, I wish not to be torn between several things of our mundane lives, the intensity of which I did feel over the past one month since he left. I felt the forces that pushed me out of the comfort of living life of interdependence earlier to being an overly independent woman now. As a working mother, handling things singlehandedly doesn’t get easy – managing home, paying off bills, buying groceries, dropping off my toddler or taking her out for a walk, singing her lullabies, or greeting guests, waking up late nights to neaten my home (as that’s the only free time I get for myself), or taking official calls late evening after work. It’s not any easy, but life has to go on. At this moment, my life is mix of chaos and fatigue.
I never thought I would visit a dentist with a toddler in hand. But I did. She pulled out a few cables here and there while the doctor got busy drilling my tooth. I was prepared to face the doctor getting frantic pacifying my naughty girl while at work on me, but she amazed me by being a decent kid, except for pulling out the few cables of course!
In essence, I have learnt to stride with the new changes in our life. In this whirlwind of changes, I am learning to prioritize my time and being efficient, and yet be able to strike a balance. There are no long drives or movies we can go now. These days our weekends and holidays are dedicated to pillow fights and teddy plays. The only movies I watch are in the noon on the television when my toddler is off to sleep for an hour or two. On a positive side, since I am home now on most weekends I get to bake.
I baked some rolls for breakfast recently. I probably realized that since my last post on Cinnamon Pretzels, I have never baked anything with cinnamon solely. Cinnamon rolls topped my to-do list of recipes for long. I kept pushing them for a while since I had no fondness towards anything pronouncedly cinnamon-y in my bakes. My husband often reminded me how much people in the West, particularly in the US consider cinnamon a staple and how popular cinnamon rolls are. I honestly thought these rolls would change my perception towards cinnamon, but oh boy, I was so wrong. I hated them and I still do.
These probably may not be my favorites for my aversion toward this spice in particular when used solely and paired with anything sweet, but that does not necessarily mean you will not love them. I think I was too desirous to add a whole lot of cinnamon to these. Probably I would have loved them milder. But then these are nothing less than delicious. The little one relished them in numbers. I camouflaged the cinnamon-y flavor with a vanilla custard. They taste delicious and can be great for a gathering.
Cinnamon Bread Rolls
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm milk (maybe a little more or less)
2 tsp. active dry yeast (I used Baker’s here)
1/4th cup melted salted butter
1/4th cup powdered sugar
For the filling:
2 tsp. cinnamon powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Butter for brushing the dough
Couple of walnuts
Homemade custard or melted chocolate to drizzle (optional)
Dissolve 2 tsp. of active dry yeast in half a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. Sugar aids in providing food to the yeast and the warmth helps it breed. Keep it aside for 10 minutes till it turns active and frothy.
After 15 minutes, in a separate glass bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dough; the frothy yeast, sugar, butter and flour, pouring just as much milk in small additions so as to form a sticky soft dough. I use a fork to mix the ingredients. As you beat the ingredients, the dough will initially tend to be sticky, but later will begin to leave itself from the sides of the bowl. Knead into a smooth elastic dough with as little flour as possible. Stickier the dough, lighter will be the bread. Knead the dough for atleast 5-7 minutes so as to release its gluten which helps in a nice, light bread. Place the dough in a bowl, cover it and allow the dough rise until it has doubled in size (should take about 90 minutes in warm condition). Once risen, punch the dough down. Knead it further for 5 more minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to form a rough rectangular shape with uniform thickness.
In a small bowl mix equal amount of cinnamon powder with brown sugar. Slather some melted butter on the rolled dough and spread this cinnamon sugar all over the dough. Beginning with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight roll. Slice the roll into 9 even pieces. Gently poke some walnuts into the rolls. Place them on the baking tray and keep them in a warm place for at least 1 hour, until they've roughly doubled in size. Bake them at 180 deg C for 30 to 35 minutes.