Christmas

A tree and some cinnamon rolls

11:47 AM

 

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As I told you previously, we skipped St Nick this year and did have fun decorating the Christmas tree while cinnamon rolls were baking in the oven, perfuming the living room. This year Ishita was eager to help with the decorations and we took the last surviving string of cheap yellow lights we bought for Diwali (we had originally 2 yellow and one pink, the pink fried the instant it was plugged in, the other yellow one died a day after Diwali). I must say it looks far better than with the cold white lights I used the previous year, and the mix of blue and white I used in Navi Mumbai in 2010. This year that tree is going to have the distinction of being taken down on the 20th, moved to our new flat and being put back up right in time for Christmas, so we will have twice the fun, to to be frank I doubt I’ll get into baking mode then, it will probably the time to put some Christmas carols on though, the idea that the music will not be polluted by the loud and irritating drilling from the construction site anymore is appealing.

But enough about the tree, it’s up, it’s pretty and it really does the trick at giving a festive look to our place, what was the best part this year was this:


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Cinnamon rolls! The aren’t really a Christmas treat in Switzerland, but more of a Sunday breakfast thing, but cinnamon has a festive enough smell and I was craving some…there!
I assembled them as a star before shoving them in the oven, but you can spread them on your cookie sheet so that they don’t stick together, that’s how bakeries usually sell them. The Swiss ones usually have ground hazelnuts and sultanas soaked in water inside along with the cinnamon, but I did them with just cinnamon and sugar this time, because I was too lazy to grind some almonds, and didn’t feel like waiting for the sultanas (white raisins) to soak and puff. I know that my friends in the US know the rolls with a thicker whiter icing that is often cream cheese based, we don’t do it that way in Switzerland, it’s just a light glaze of icing sugar, water and vanilla essence if you wish to add a little flavour to it.
So here goes my recipe:

Ingredients:

500g of white flour (maida)
15g of dried yeast
1.5 table spoon caster sugar
60ml of warm milk plus extra fro kneading
1 small egg
30g butter plus extra for for brushing
1 teaspoon of salt
Cinnamon powder to taste
Icing sugar, water and vanilla essence for the icing

1) dissolve the yeast and sugar in 60ml of warm milk, make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast-y milk in, cover with a little flour and wait for it to foam (takes about 10 minutes max)

2) Add the butter, egg and salt  to the flour and pour milk gradually to form a soft elastic dough. Knead the dough vigorously for about 5-7 minutes folding and stretching to incorporate air in it. The put it back in the mixing bowl and cover with a clean dish towel and let it rest until it doubles in size.

3) Knock your dough back, and roll to rectangle of about 8-10mm thickness. Brush the flattened dough with melted butter. Then sprinkle powdered cinnamon all over, then add granulated sugar (then coarse one commonly found in India works very well) and if like me you LOVE cinnamon sprinkle some more over the sugar.

4) Roll your dough over itself to form a log by folding the  longest side of your rectangle. Then cut slices in the log you just made, they should be about an inch thick, arrange them on a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment, or in the form of a flower/star like in my picture or spread them if you don’t want them to stick together. Cover them with a damp dish towel and let it rise again for about 15 minutes, meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

5) Once the oven is hot, bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Mix about a cup of icing sugar with a little water to make a paste, add a few drop of vanilla essence and drizzle over the rolls, let it set as the rolls cool down.

I challenge anyone to wait until the rolls are completely cool to take their first bite, because it’s impossible, there is something so appealing about warm bread.
In my picture the icing was completely done by Ishita who after seeing me drizzling a spoon over the rolls wanted to try, which explains why the center piece has so much more icing than the others, which was a good thing because that is the one we ate last 2 days later, the icing prevented it to become too hard.

2 comments

  1. Navya3:57 PM

    Thanks for the recipe! I want to come and take a bite from the screen ! Once I get back to my own place, the oven is the first appliance I am going to get... Been wanting one for a long time!

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  2. You'll love your oven, I don't think there is a week I don't use it for one thing or another, if it isn't cake, bread or cookies, it's a baked casserole or pasta dish, I don't even do things like french fries in oil, I shove them in the oven instead. Whenever we will ever own our own place I want to get a cooking range so I can get a full sized oven, that's how much I use it :-)

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