Two Fridays ago, I set out to bake one batch of sweet rolls for a Saturday women’s breakfast I’d planned for my church and wound up making three batches instead.
I started at 4:30 p.m., mixing up the dough for an overnight cinnamon rolls recipe I first tried in December, although this time I planned to make caramel pecan rolls instead of orange rolls. I prepared the dough, put it in the refrigerator, mixed up the topping, and left the house for a couple of hours.
When I got home, the dough hadn’t risen at all. I set it out to rise for another hour, and it still hadn’t risen. So I got worried, and I mixed up a second batch. When it too didn’t rise, I panicked and mixed up a third batch using a second recipe for “everyday cinnamon rolls” and a new jar of yeast. This recipe was one I’d used before that doesn’t require proofing the dough.
Just as I was forming the third batch into rolls, I realized the first batch had finally risen.
Which meant the second was going to rise as well.
So, faced with an intimidating amount of cinnamon roll dough, I turned the third batch into caramel pecan rolls that I baked before I went to bed around midnight. I made the first batch into two pans of cinnamon rolls, which I refrigerated overnight, mixed up a quick orange icing (adding food coloring to get it to the right color of yellow) to ice that batch after baking it the next morning, and froze the dough from the second batch.
What I had envisioned as a couple of hours spent making an easy pan of sweet rolls had turned into seven hours of work. I spilled, broke, and lost things, and I used almost every dish in the kitchen twice.
The next morning, after baking the orange rolls, I took all the rolls to the breakfast–to which, as it turned out, almost everyone brought sweet rolls. Apparently they did this because I had suggested in an email that they bring “comfort food.”
I was ready to regret the time I’d spent the night before, battling all that dough and getting sticky and dropping powdered sugar on the dogs and missing out on watching a movie with my husband.
But then I remembered–cinnamon rolls are one of the best foods on earth.
So, I ate one of each of my own rolls plus some of what the other ladies brought.And you know what? They were really, really yummy! And I had enough rolls left over to freeze them individually for Sunday breakfast for the next couple of months.
Yes, I did think that night was torture. Yes, I did accidentally spill a new bag of flour over my pajamas and slippers after I thought I’d already finished cleaning up the giant mess I’d made. And yes, I did scream “I hate my life!” several times, which seems a bit melodramatic in retrospect.
But these rolls were so good, so comforting, that I would go through it again.