Reason #546 Of Why I Love Homeschooling - Cinnamon Buns
Who doesn't love a good cinnamon bun?
Even if you're not really into them, it's probably because you've only ever had bad-to-mediocre cinnamon buns, in my opinion. There's a lot of those out there.
No one can deny that cinnamon buns smell so good while they're baking. If the word "cozy" had a smell, this would be it. As the dough transforms in the oven and the cinnamon unfurls its heady aroma through your entire house it's downright intoxicating.
Gah! I love it.
The other day things were feeling kind of dull around here at Maplerose HQ. Nothing was really going on, which is an incredibly foreign feeling when you are unschooling your small children and running a home-based business.
I was caught up on orders, laundry, dishes and I was actually content with the state of our bathrooms. The weather wasn't enticingly spectacular. There wasn't even a squabble to intervene or ignore.
Seasons are changing and things are slowing down. Shucks!
"How about we make some cinnamon buns!" I suggested as we found ourselves standing in the kitchen together.
I've made them cinnamon buns a couple times before from different recipes but I still hadn't found THE recipe. It was something that I aspired to find though.
A few months back, King Arthur Baking, my fav baking site, announced their recipe of the year for 2021. It had the potential to be a real treat. Maybe even something I could love.
You see, every week I bake muffins and or cookies for our "treats". But really, they don't feel so treat-y to me cause I'm a mother now and I have responsibilites and lives to sustain. I must nourish the children but I'm also a child of the 70's. And not one of those health-food-loving-hippie kind of 70's families. We were a little more Archie Bunker.
My kiddos don't know about all the cookies I grew up with - ready made in those bags in the grocery store with names like Puffs, Dads, Fudgee-oh and Oreo. That is for our much loved next door neighbours to introduce to them it seems.
They never bring me home any samples when they are given the fancy cookies next door, just stories of "A maple syrup cookie, Momma! And it was shaped like a leaf!"
Yes, I love the Maple Creme Sandwich Cookies, too, my children. I know them well.
I don't buy them though, I prefer to bake for us.
I love baking. It make me feel good. Funny how here I am, just like the health-food-loving kind of 70's hippies, where the muffins-pancakes-waffles-cookies that I make are stuffed full of whole grain everything and seeds and nuts and natural sweetners.
There is a glaring lack of icing upon my baking that while my "outer mother" feels proud, my inner child is pouting. This is not how I was raised (insert foot stomp here).
Thank goodness. It's better for me this way. But sometimes a good ole treat is all you need to shake things up.
Cinnamon buns are something special. Bake them for yourself and you feel like you're truly getting such a wonderful, decadent treat. This isn't a muffin.
If cake and bread had a baby it would be a cinnamon bun. Nourishing on the the deepest level.
If you care to share a fresh cinnamon bun with another, they will know how much you love them. And love you back.
Or at least drop by with fresh, hot coffee for two on a Saturday morning around 10am to see if, per chance, there is a familar smell wafting down your driveway.
The hooligans and I had such fun baking these. We actually do most of our "official" home learning while in the kitchen.
They loved making the Tanzhong in the first step and it opened up all kinds of conversations about baking, Asia, language, chemisty, stories from when I was a pastry chef.
And we smelled the cinnamon and meausred and mixed and rolled the dough. And while it rested to let the yeast do it's magic, we rested too. We talked a little bit about yeast and sourdough, discussed whether cream cheese or vanilla icing would be made (cream cheese! unanimously) and then looked for the dental floss.
Once rolled up, the dough is best cut with dental floss. Walt and Charlotte both watched this happen as if it was magic then took over. As the buns went in the oven we went out to the garden to pick mint, lavender and chamomile for out tea. Our second place for "lessons" is the garden.
It really is that simple sometimes to engage with the kids and have fun and learn together. And sometimes, hopefully often, it's delicious.
Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe comes from one of my very favourite baking websites - King Arthur Baking.
During the pandemic, this flour mill that produces some really great flour became an incredible resource for The Great Sourdough Renaissance of 2020 and for home baking in general.
And while I was going to include the recipe for you right here, I changed my mind.
This recipe is next level, with vidoes embedded, beautiful clear photos and so just CLICK HERE to head over to King Arthur Baking. One of my many happy places.
Bon apetit! And please let me know how they turn out! And let me know where you live so I can bring the hot beverages.