Cinnamon rolls fill house with good cheer (to root for the Seahawks)

It snowed Sunday, and it was a perfect day to fill the kitchen with the smells of yeast bread and cinnamon.

cropped-small-plates-blog.pngThe Intrepid One built a fire in the dining room fireplace and the rec room. We were set: The upstairs was cozy enough to help the yeast do its work, and the downstairs was warm enough to hang out to watch the Seahawks clobber the Arizona Cardinal, 36-6.

I have to laugh. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the compositors in the back shop of The Columbian would inevitably be disappointed over Seattle’s performance on the football field.

“The Sea Chickens folded again,” Art Schaefer would say.

“Don’t count on the Hawks,” Mel Dunn (RIP) told me as he put warm wax on the strips of type and followed my dummy for Page One.

Not that I was a fan back then. A couple of times I had to do sports layout for The Columbian, showing up at 2 a.m. to knock out the whole sports section by 11 a.m. It was a brutal shift, and my regard for Don Chandler, sports editor, went up a million percentage points. My take on the whole thing was that sports stories were essentially people stories. I stand by that today. Yes, I care now when the Seahawks win, but I am just as entertained when Richard Sherman gets a penalty for trash-talking and making a certain gesture when he makes a big play.

I guess I really didn’t have the grit and stamina to be a sports editor.

Anyway, I offer you cinnamon rolls and an inside peek at what went on in the newsroom before I became a Hawks fan.

IMGP9457Cinnamon rolls

1 packet of yeast

1/4 cup warm water

pinch of sugar

1 cup milk, heated in the microwave — not too hot, though

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter

3-1/2 cups flour

For the insides:

1 tablespoon cinnamon, at least

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup raisins

Soften the yeast in water that’s about 110 degrees. Add the pinch of sugar and watch the stuff expand and become fluffy.

Combine the milk, sugar, melted butter and salt. Make sure you cool it to lukewarm so you don’t kill the yeast when it is added to the mix.

Add 1-1/2 cups flour, mixing well. Beat the egg, then add it and the yeast to the dough. Add the rest of the flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the surface. Cover and let rise until double, about 2 hours.

Turn out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12- by 18-inch rectangle. Slather melted butter over the surface, then sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins over the whole thing. Roll lengthwise as in a jelly roll. Seal the edge and cut the roll into 1-inch slices. Place cut side down on a buttered surface. I used parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Cover and let the rolls rise for another 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.


Janet Cleaveland

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 52 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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