Baking from Scratch

1. Make cinnamon rolls

This Saturday I made my first attempt at homemade from-scratch cinnamon rolls.  This goal represents a few different things for me:

  • I’ve never really successfully gotten bread to rise.
  • I have an alternate life fantasy where I end up running a bed & breakfast.  Primarily so I can cook rich, fattening breakfasts every single day.
  • I love big breakfasts! (see previous)
  • I like the idea of being able to cook a thing or two really well.

I selected this recipe – Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – because most of the prep work could be done the night before.  After all, what b&b owner wants to get up at 3am everyday?  Not this one.  My cheery hostess smile would be all melted before the guests even made it to the table.

And they turned out… just OK.  I’d give ’em 3.5 stars.  Not awesome exactly but pretty good.  Kinda looked pretty:

#1 downside: Time intensive!  The Friday evening portion took from from 7pm to 11pm (with a big long break for the yeast to rise).  Then I got up at 6:30am Saturday morning, and they were on the table around 8am.  Is there some kind of Girl Scout badge I could get for this?  For all that work, uhm yeah, these better be literally the best cinnamon roll I ever put in my mouth.

#2 downside: They weren’t.  I mean, not the best cinnamon roll ever.  Likely culprit is that pesky yeast which did not, in fact, rise.  Even though I waited.  And at 10:30pm this mama was done waiting.  If someone who knows how to bake would like to weigh on why this might’ve happened, PLEASE do.


The recipe said the dough should rise to double its original size.  Guessing what I got there is not exactly “double”.

So in the end, I’m not scratching this one off my list.  yet.  Because what I really meant was more like:

1. Make the best cinnamon rolls you ever tasted.

Other updates:  Book checked out.  Really enjoying it.  Also, I’m really enjoying this blog/hobby/process.

Questions for our faithful followers:  Did I over-knead? Under-knead??  Any recipes I need to try?



About Mary-Hall

loyal southerner, exceedingly frugal, compulsive DIYer

9 responses to “Baking from Scratch”

  1. Kathy brantley says :

    Try a new batch of yeast. Stuff should rise perfectly fine up here; Ben and I have had problems before and a new jar of yeast seems to solve them. Good luck!

  2. Momma Daniel says :

    I don’t have any constructive comments on making cinnamon rolls, but you have a flair for humorous writing. I’m sitting here just giggling at your “Guessing what I got there is not exactly ‘double.”
    Give it another try! Besides Kathy’s idea of getting new yeast, make sure the water temperature is not too hot or too cold. (Yes, baking with yeast takes a little practice.)

  3. bethanybordeaux says :

    someone suggested on my Facebook that you should try Sister Shubert’s cinnamon rolls. I don’t think they quite embraced what you were trying to do here with the from scratch bit. haha.

  4. Becca says :

    i always had problems getting my bread to rise too—then I realized my water / liquid temperature was incorrect. I realized I was heating the water temp too high, killing the yeast. i believe optimal temp is 110 degrees (can google that to verify). try actually measuring your water with a thermometer. that fixed my problem! love you mh!

  5. maryhalljohnson says :

    Becca’s comment caused a light to go off in my non-baking brain. You’re supposed to put the yeast in water first, to wake it up! DUH! Then I realized that there’s a different type that you don’t activate in water and I guess that’s what the recipe called for. So there’s one mystery solved – I used sleeping yeast.

  6. Melissa says :

    My grandma always covered her cinnamon roll dough with a damp towel and always said heat in the kitchen helped. I do what she did and it has always world. Cover it with a hand towel and sunlight will help it go faster.

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