“Click, whirrr… whatsapp” was my routine every evening as I consoled my very outdoorsy, athletic daughter who had elected to join the corporate world and by 5-ish every evening, was ready to jump out of her air-conditioned office window, having been cooped up the whole day without the fresh air she had grown up getting plenty of on the track and in the field!
Oh, and what i was whatsapping her every evening was a picture of whatever goodies I had baked/ steamed/ fried that day and the picture was to help her last through the next few hours before she came home from work – little ‘consolations’!
“Are you sure you want to do this??” had been my question to her as she finished college and made ready to join a consulting firm, knowing that she hated being cooped up for any length of time. Everyone learns lessons in their own time, I guess and said daughter being a quick learner – 45 minutes into day 1, was sure that this was not her thing in life!!!
Full marks to her for grit, however- she stuck it out over the next few months, learnt the ropes and became very, very good at what she was doing before deciding that now, it was okay to quit! Those few months also saw some frenetic activity in my kitchen as I kneaded, rolled, stuffed and baked with a vengeance so she would have something to look forward to when she came back home and also to take with her to office the next day and share out with the other poor sods caught on the corporate roller coaster!
It is also this period that I have to thank for becoming a pretty handy baker!
Here’s one of the top hits to help last through your corporate workday – cinnabon rolls.
Cinnabon Roll Dough
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups maida (flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 package yeast – 7 gm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Dust your hands lightly with flour and then knead the cinnamon roll dough into a large ball. It’s fun doing this and your arms get a good workout!
Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
In another small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix them well. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface. Roll out your dough ball into a 16″ x 21″ rectangle roughly 1/4 inches thick then spread a 1/4 cup of softened butter on the dough. Next, sprinkle the rolled, buttered dough evenly with the sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture you prepared in your small bowl.
Roll up the dough starting with the longer side and cut into 14-15 cinnabon rolls – I prefer smaller rolls – less guilt about polishing off two small ones rather than one big one! Place the cinnamon rolls in a lightly greased 11″ x 15″ glass baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and let the cinnamon rolls rise until nearly doubled, which should take around 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 C. Once your cinnamon rolls have risen, bake them in the preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 18 to 20 minutes. The dough should still be soft, though fully cooked, especially toward the center of the rolls.
As your cinnamon rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt for the icing. The icing should be spread on your cinnamon rolls when they are still warm, shortly after being taken out of the oven so that the frosting melts into the cinnamon rolls and your taste buds melt into fuzzy balls of anticipation!