"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Activities - Day 15 & Recipe

As our advent activities continue, we come to day 15. The card (tucked into John 6:35) says:

Jesus is the Bread of Life. John 6:35
Why would Jesus call Himself the Bread of Life? Could it be that bread or food is one of the most basic needs and Jesus wanted people to realize that He is our most basic need? The Jewish people were wanting Him to produce bread like they said Moses had given them manna, not realizing that their need was so much greater than the mere filling of their bellies. Do we do the same theing, focusing on our physical needs and wants to the neglect of our spiritual and total need of Jesus? Meditate on it today as we bake and freeze our "sweet bread" of Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls.

Here is the recipe for our traditional wonderful Cinnamon Rolls. I hope you give them a try - they are so moist and not so "sicky-sweet" as some.

Family Tradition Cinnamon Rolls (modified from Cooking From Quilt Country)

(325 degrees for 10 min.; raise to 350 degrees for 5 min.)

In a small saucepan, boil: 1 medium sliced potato (enough to make ½ c. mashed potato)

Mash with fork (do not add milk or seasoning)

In large mixing bowl, mix thoroughly:

1 ½ c. warm water

½ sugar or honey

½ c. vegetable oil

½ c. mashed potato

1 egg

2 tsp. salt

4 tsp. active dry yeast

Add: 3 T. nonfat dry milk powder (not totally necessary)

3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix well. (Can beat with electric beater for 3 min.)

Gradually add: 2 ½ - 3 c. whole wheat flour

Mix and knead for about 10 minutes, till dough is stiff yet soft, not sticky.

Grease a large, deep bowl with oil; form the dough into smooth ball and place in bowl. Oil the top of the dough also. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place until it has doubled, about 1 ¾ hours.

Punch dough down very thoroughly to break up any air bubbles. Form again into a smooth ball, place in the regreased bowl, turning it over so the top of the dough is also greased. Cover, and let rise for 1 hour.

Punch dough down again, then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a rectangle 15 x 12 inches - it should be about 1 ¾ inches thick. If you prefer smaller rolls, divide the dough into two rectangles and/or roll it out thinner.

Spread the dough with: 1/3 c. butter, softened

In a small bowl, mix: ¾ c. brown sugar

1 ½ T. ground cinnamon

Sprinkle sugar mix over the butter. Tightly roll dough up from the long side. Pat the ends towards center to “square” them up a little. With a serrated knife, cut the roll using a sawing motion into 1 ½ inch rolls.

Place slices cut side up, 1 ½ inches apart, on greased cookie sheets or 9x13 pans. Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, then raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and invert pans onto wax paper-lined wire racks. Allow to cool completely. Frost.

Not-Too-Sweet Frosting

In mixer bowl, beat:

½ c. (1 stick) butter, softened

2 T flour

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

Speck salt

1 t. vanilla

Blend well. Frost rolls.

Sometimes I’ll arrange the long tube into two or three large circles, cutting slits every inch or so and then bake and frost with green frosting to make wreath-looking rolls.


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