Turning Pizza Ingredients Into Bread

After a long hiatus, I am back to using my bread machine. It’s been staring at me long enough anyway on the kitchen counter.

Freshly baked tomato bread from my bread machine
Freshly baked tomato bread from my bread machine

Of course the other reason is, I ran out of bread flour. Can’t make bread without bread flour. So I had to wait until I went downtown (meaning go into George Town) before I could bake some bread.

The place I normally go to is Sim Company on Carnavon Street. This shop is an institution for baking supplies – you name it, they probably have it. They are the old school type of baking supplies store and if you look at their “staff”, you will know why. They’re all in their 60s. Some can be grouchy as hell. But if you know what you want, you just go and grab what you want and pay.

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Cinnamon Rolls To Die For

As you know, I got hooked on Pinterest recently. It’s been such a visual heaven that it’s hard resisting. And the fact that I can pin stuff using the iPad just makes it….errr…a lot easier to get lost in other people’s boards. It’s a bit like voyeurism. You get to sneak a peek (actually many peeks) at other people’s boards and get excited, pinning things into your own boards.

I try to limit myself to some surfing at night at Pinterest, just so, you know, I could check out what’s new out there.

Of course, like curation, unless someone takes the effort to curate new stuff, old stuff gets pinned and curated far too often and end up on everyone’s boards.

OK, enough griping.

Now what I DO like about Pinterest is that I get to check out some really new recipes.

I have two things I am quite partial to (but have very little time for) but I am hoping to change that this year. This year, I have decided that I shall spend more time doing things that feed and indulge my little Tiger soul.

I don’t know about you but I like doing things with my hands. I like making crafty stuff (here’s something I told Ai Lee just the other week – I learnt how to crochet when I was 11 because I was too penniless to buy my Sailor Barbie nicer, prettier Oscar de la Renta dresses!) and I like cooking.

Recently I’m into bread-making too thanks to my Lebensstill (god, how  do you spell that anyway?) bread machine which I didn’t even had to buy. The initial plan was to get a smallish bread machine so that I could feel like a domesticate – adding baking to my repertoire of skills. I wanted to get a Tesco branded one but Nic has this thing against Tesco products, calling them cheap and awful. So THAT idea got scrapped. Finally I decided to look at my CIMB Redemption Booklet and what do you know, a Lebensstill bread machine smiled back at me!

I had enough (actually more than enough) points to redeem for the bread machine. So that’s how I’ve been making bread.

The Lebensstill bread machine
The Lebensstill bread machine

So Pinterest with a plethora of recipes and you know how recipes just beckon when they’re so damn visually exciting right? I got this cinnamon roll recipe off someone’s board and have been wanting to try it out because I am mad about cinnamon rolls. The combination of cinnamon and sugar and butter is too heady to contemplate.

I managed to make them just last night – my first time making them anyway but what a success! I could do a little jig here because I am sure anyone who has tried a new recipe for the first time has heart palpitations. What if the recipe turned out awful? Would I have to eat the stuff still? Or throw it out? And knowing that you spent a good amount of time and money on it, you’d be like me – disappointed!

I made this using the bread machine – it is really useful because it has a Dough setting that helps you slowly but surely combine all the sticky and wet ingredients into a proper lump of dough. (I even use the Dough setting to mix up my pumpkin man-tou – saves me a lot of time and prevents me from getting sticky dough on my hands).

The downside is, the Dough setting takes 1.5 hours to complete. The good thing is, you just put all the ingredients in and let the machine beat away for 1.5 hours. You can go read, watch TV, take a nap.

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (makes 10 rolls)

Into your bread machine bowl, add ingredients in this order:

70 ml water + 100 ml UHT milk

280gm bread flour

15 gm (1 tbsp) milk powder

60 gm castor sugar

1 tsp instant yeast

1/2 tsp salt

Program your machine to DOUGH setting.  About 5 minutes of vigorous mixing, add in 50 gm of butter.

After the dough’s nicely combined (and the machine beeps to a stop), take it out, put it into a tupperware (with a lid) and let it rest in the fridge, overnight. So you can do this around 8pm and by 10pm, your dough should be happily snug in the fridge. Remember to grease the tupperware to make the dough easier to tilt out tomorrow.

Cinnamon rolls in the making
Pardon the mess, I work like a fiend with flour!

This morning, I took it out and let it rest while I went and showered. Then I tilted out the dough, a very pillow-y soft dough, and divided it into 2 portions (easier to handle). I sprinkled more bread flour onto my rolling pin and started rolling it out like a longish sheet.

Then I dabbed pats of butter on to the flattened dough, sprinkled a good amount of brown sugar and ground cinnamon powder and of course, raisins. Then roll up the entire thing, cut them into little rolls and place them into a greased tray. At this stage, you need to let them rest and double up in size which takes about 45 minutes. (Do the same with the rest of the dough.)

Cinnamon rolls waiting to expand
Cinnamon rolls waiting to expand

About 20 minutes into this, you must start heating up your oven. I use 180C most of the time. Once the rolls have doubled, glaze them with beaten egg and pop them into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cinnamon rolls nicely risen after 45 minutes
Cinnamon rolls nicely risen after 45 minutes

If baking bread makes me swoon, then baking cinnamon rolls makes me swoon even more. The smells are delicious when they’re baking – so this is just another yummy reason to start making them now.

I’m a complete baking novice and my cinnamon rolls turned out excellent.

Nothing like your own cinnamon rolls!
Nothing like your own cinnamon rolls!

Cool them for an hour and then dig in! The rolls are soft and fluffy (and nary a bread tenderizer or bread improver in sight!).

Fresh from the oven, cinnamon rolls!
Fresh from the oven, cinnamon rolls!

Try this recipe and let me know how YOURS turned out!