Monday, April 15, 2013

Classics: Sweet Rolls

At my house growing up, there were many Christmas morning traditions.  Most of them made my 8 year old self a little crazy.  They make my almost 40 year old self happy, but things change.  One of the traditions that I liked both then and now was breakfast.  After we got up at 7:30 (not before) and opened our stockings, we had to get ready for the day and have a big breakfast.  That breakfast always included sweet rolls.  The pan would be half raisin, half plain because my Dad didn't like raisins.
Fast forward to my mother finding a new recipe for sweet rolls that include a whole lot of pecans, something my father would bring home from Adcock's in Georgia.  This recipe is easier, faster, and should include a whole lot of nuts.
Work has been crazy this week.  Crazy to the point that I have been wondering if I brought the crazy with me this year, or if it always existed and I just don't know how to contain it properly.  I'm thinking it's a little from column A, and a little from column B.  But at the end of a very hard week, I decided to make a treat for those of us still standing and laughing (because the other option was to cry from exhaustion).  Here is the treat - my mother's sweet rolls, but with raisins instead of pecans because we're nut free.
I present to you now my mother's go-to sweet roll recipe:

For the Dough:
4 c all purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp salt
2 envelopes of yeast
1 c warm milk
1/3 c butter
1 egg

I'm sure there's a way to do this in a Kitchen Aid, or by hand; there must be.  I don't know what it is.  I put all ingredients in the bread machine, following the instruction manual and setting for dough or sweet dough.  90 minutes later, I have a ball of dough and I move on to making the topping.

For the Topping:
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1/4 c corn syrup
1 c pecan halves

Place sugar and butter in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Stir in corn syrup and pour into a greased 9x13" pan.  Sprinkle with nuts

For the Filling:
2 Tbsp softened butter
3/4 c chopped pecans (or raisins)
1/4 c brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon

Roll dough into a 10x15" rectangle.  Spread with butter and sprinkle with remaining ingredients.  Starting with one long edge, roll up, pinching to seal the seam.  Cut into 16 pieces and set, cut side down in the topping.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.  Remove plastic wrap and bake 25-30 minutes, until golden.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a rimmed baking sheet, allowing the caramel to drip onto the rolls before removing the pan.  Serve warm.
I do not know where my mother got this recipe.  My stained copy is written on the back of a page I printed when we were working on J's immigration stuff.  I want to guess it was a Robin Hood Flour ad, but honestly, I have no idea.

Here's the caramel.  I don't have a picture of the dough in the bread machine.  It's very soft when it comes out.  I used a little flour when I rolled it out to keep it from sticking to the pastry cloth.
I didn't do a great job of getting the filling right to the edges of the dough.  But I tried to put those edges down into the topping.  More dough to soak up the goodness.
I didn't sprinkle any raisins in the caramel.  I put them all inside.  There are spaces around the rolls, but those will disappear overnight.
Here they are, ready to go to work unbaked!  Fully risen and ready for an oven.  They smelled so good while baking.
I ran a quick knife around the edge and tipped them out.  They looked and smelled as good as they tasted.
And the taste was perfect for a Friday morning pick me up.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh those look good. All my mormon friends had
    "conference" a couple of weeks back and almost all of them make cinnamon rolls for this occasion so I've been jonesing. Thanks for sharing