Friday, January 08, 2010

Rolling . . .


It's dough time! And that means I've been in the kitchen kneading and rolling, stuffing and filling. I really have to make time to make dough, if you know what I mean. It's not like other cooking methods. You have to develop a relationship with the dough, knead it, let it rest, knead it again, get your hands dirty and tune out the world. And, since I've been home a lot this week, I've had the time. Plus, it keeps me occupied and out of trouble!

Last night I made pasta dough, recipe courtesy of The French Laundry Cookbook and I have to say that kneading for 15 minutes two days this week (my first batch was a, erm, tester batch!) makes for sore heels of hands, but it is one luscious dough to put one's hands on. Today I'll be using it to make agnolotti. I made the chard and ricotta filling yesterday.

Late this morning I made cinnamon rolls because yesterday a friend told me he was eating one and since then, there have been subtle hints for me to make them myself. I had a dream about them, and then remembered ones from Ann Sathers. This morning, "cinnamon rolls would be nice" greeted me when I was clear-headed enough to think. I didn't want to use my recipe from school, so I did a search and landed on Joy the Baker's blog and gave that a try. It too was a great dough to work with, moist, soft, yummy to the touch. Mounting butter at the end of the first kneading brought back memories of making brioche. I didn't have any cream cheese and didn't feel like going out to get some, so instead I spread butter onto the dough before folding it up. As for the filling, I just used what I could find: butter, cinnamon, light brown sugar, and some chopped walnuts I had left from another project. I am certainly going to make these bad boys again, but I think I'll go all out and make cream cheese frosting. Though the flat icing I made worked in a pinch, I think something this decadent deserves an over-the-top, get-your-fingers-sticky-so-you-can-lick-them frosting. Plus the cream cheese will give the rolls a nice tang to offset the cinnamon-y sweet filling. These rolls are so worth the extra effort it takes to make them. The flaky layers come apart freely, just a gentle tug and they fall open revealing nutty, sweet cinnamon and pastry layers spiraling towards the center.

Sigh. I can't believe I wrote this blog with half a roll sitting next to me here. It's time I finish this bad boy so I can find something else to get into.

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