Nancy Connally and Connie Saunders! Two more winners this week for a copy of "Back in the Saddle"!
There is nothing like the smell of fresh, homemade, yeasty cinnamon rolls, is there? And after volunteering at a Seattle mission, Isabo Castiglione isn't afraid to cook for a crowd, and take care of food-loving cowboys and the irascible-but-growing-more-lovable Sam Stafford, owner of the famous Double S Ranch in the Kittitas Valley of Central Washington.
My bread recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker Cookbook....
2 packets of yeast (I use 2 Tablespoons from my big pack of yeast)
3/4 cup very warm water
Mix those two things together, a marriage made in heaven!!!
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons Crisco (shortening)
2 2/3 cup very warm water
5 cups flour
3-4 cups flour (added during kneading step)
Mix yeast and 3/4 cup water, let sit a couple of minutes to "work"... then add sugar. salt, Crisco and 5 cups bread flour.... Mix slowly at first, then raise the speed and mix well with regular beater paddle until smooth on medium speed.
Add 3-4 more cups of flour one cup at a time. I find it's usually about 8 1/2 cups altogether for a batch that makes a ton of cinnamon rolls or two nice big 9" loaves of bread. Use dough hook (kneader) to work flour into dough while you chill-lax and do your nails or something. Really, it is pretty darn easy with today's machinery.
Turn out dough onto counter. It's always good if the counter's clean. That is not a necessity, however.
Grease mixing bowl thoroughly. Put somewhat tainted dough back into mixing bowl. Flip it over or grease the top of dough, cover with towel and let rise in warm spot until almost doubled in size. (Depending on temperature this might be half-hour or an hour....)
Punch dough. (Removes latent aggressions)
Divide in half. (Permanent separation, SO SAD!!!!!) ;)
How cute is my helper????? LOVE YOU, LOGAN!!!!
We rolled that dough out just like you see here, and then slathered it with butter...
Roll out one half into large rectangle about 12 x 20 inches, give or take. No need to flour table or counter, bread dough is very elastic and won't stick like pie crust.
Butter dough thoroughly by plopping butter here and there and then spreading it. Sprinkle with about a ton of brown sugar. Then sprinkle with about 2 Tablespoons cinnamon. (I really don't measure this I just liberally sprinkle sugar and cinnamon like crazy because there's no such thing as too much of either, is there?)
Roll up dough starting from narrower end and rolling tightly.... Slice off uneven ends and then slice the cinnamon roll with a good, serrated bread knife at about 1" (one-inch) increments.
(This is where I got busy with kids and photo-op ended abruptly!!!)
When the roll is fully sliced, prepare a 9 X 13" pan by melting a stick of butter into the pan. (I just popped it into the oven until it was melted....)
Sprinkle butter liberally with BROWN sugar..... Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Place cinnamon rolls into pan, 3 across and 4 rows....
Allow to sit (proof) for about ten minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 11-13 minutes, until just golden brown.
Turn out onto a large platter or cookie sheet, flipping pan upside down and letting all that gooey wonderful goodness just DRIP down the rolls....
Now here's the best part.... drizzle cream cheese icing over rolls while warm.
Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz (1/2 an 8 oz. block) cream cheese (do not use that pretend neufchatel stuff. I will haunt you.)
4 oz butter (do not skimp and use margarine. I mean, really??????)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 cups confectioners/powdered/10X sugar
Soften cream cheese and butter, mix well with vanilla. Add powdered sugar slowly to avoid a HUGE mess and then beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes... You want the frosting smooth... and fairly thick. If it's thin add a little more sugar.
Do not add milk or water. Please. Trust me, it's awesome this way!!! Drizzle on cinnamon rolls. (I often make this and pop it into a freezer zip-lock bag when I have cream cheese that's sitting, opened in the fridge. It molds quickly so if no one is around to eat it making frosting with it is a great time saver when I need a quick frosting out of the freezer. Frostings are delicate, though, and they take on the scent and flavor of things around them, even in the freezer, so use it up fairly quickly. Not like the liver you've had in there since last December because it was on sale and you couldn't resist. ) :)
Eat warm or cool but there's usually never any around to get cool, and can you imagine a hard-working group of Central Washington cowboys... and hungry kids... coming inside and not jumping into something this amazing?
This is home-sweet-home, right in your hand.
And today we've got two more copies of "Back in the Saddle" to give away! "WIN IT BEFORE YOU CAN BUY IT"! Leave me a comment and a way to get your e-mail... or friend me on facebook and I'll message you there!
Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves to write the kind of stories she loves to read... and cowboys rank high on the list. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her website or friend her on facebook where she loves to chat and play and pray with people!