Of course I brought too much dessert to Christmas, but that’s much better than not bringing enough, surely? Some of everything went, it’s nice to have a choice. The most popular were the cinnamon scrolls and my Christmas present to you, dear reader, is to share the recipe.
I’m not entirely sure who gave me this recipe, it was in the days before taste.com, but I suspect it may have been our Washington correspondent, Kathleen Brady. Way back before my dear husband was able to grow hair in his chest he spent six months working in the US, an experience that marked him in many ways, the most permanent of which is an annoying assumption that all shops are always open, like they are in the US. He struck up an acquaintance with a girl on a beach there, and she turned out to be quite terrific, I spent two weeks sponging off her in her home about eighteen years ago, and even though it’s very hard to see her when we don’t really spend a lot of time over there and she’s only come over here in the distant past, we manage to keep in touch. I believe it was she that gave me a handwritten recipe for TJ’s Cinnamon Rolls to which dear husband had become much attached during his US sojourn. It’s a little involved, I only make it for special occasions. Here it is.
If you’re planning to take these to Christmas lunch, or serve them for morning tea, start the night before. Place in a bowl twenty grams of fresh yeast with half a cup of water. Squash it about with a fork until the yeast is dissolved. Mix in three cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, one third of a cup of sugar, one cup of milk, one third of a cup of vegetable oil and two eggs. This will be quite a wet mixture. Gradually add in a further cup and a half of flour. You should now be able to turn it out onto your floured bench top and start kneading it. Knead in more flour until you have a soft, smooth dough. Bung it back into the bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel and stick it in the fridge overnight.
Next morning, remove it from the fridge where it has hopefully doubled in sized in the night. I hope you didn’t bother cleaning down the bench top, because you’ll be dumping it back onto the floured bench top and rolling it out into a very long rectangle, thus:
Place in another bowl 125 grams of butter, a cup of brown sugar and three teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix it until it’s combined. You can continue mixing it until it goes creamy if you want it to be more spreadable, but it really doesn’t matter. Scrape it onto the rectangle, making sure it’s evenly distributed along the long axis. And here’s a picture.
Roll it up so that you have one really long sausage. Have a couple of pans handy lined with baking paper. Start slicing off rolls about seven centimetres wide, but you can use your own judgement for this. Place them in the lined pans, not too close together.
Leave these until they’ve expanded so that they’re all squished together. I had to put them in the oven with just the light on for this, it was unseasonably chill this morning. Bake at one hundred and eighty degrees for about twenty five minutes, or until brown on top.
There’s an addendum to the recipe for a drizzled white icing to go over the top, but I feel that it’s excessive and have never made it. These are best warm, you can see in the above picture that some escaped shortly after leaving the oven. They’re good for about two days, then they go a bit hard and challenging. This is a big recipe, I often halve it.
It just occurs to me that I haven’t actually had any today. Too late now. If I have any more to eat I’ll slip into a coma, and then the kids will be playing Lego Lord of the Rings on the Wii all night and nobody will feed the dogs. Perhaps a carrot stick and a glass of water for dinner. They’ll still be there tomorrow if I get up early enough.