Most of you do not know that I'm a certified TV producer. Yes, I took a 2-year course with Montgomery County to become one. I was planning to produce my own baking videos, but it didn't work out. The one thing I learned is advertisements on TV are full of nontruths. When you fall for a product, buy it, and receive it, you'll find it doesn't do what advertisers claimed but close. Take that ceramic pan that you see on TV that claims it is “nonstick.” You may find the only way it is nonstick is to spray it with Pam.
The social worker here at Riderwood posts a saying daily. Sometimes they’re very good. Here's one I like: "Sometimes you’re right, and sometimes you learn."
I promised you a list you will need in the pantry for any baking, so here it is. For bread and yeast products you will need yeast. (Red Star is the best. Stay away from American brands.) You will need bread flour, salt, and shortening (frankly, lard is best for breads). You can find all of these online at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/.
For cakes and cookies, you'll need all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, Crisco shortening, chocolate chips, and vanilla and almond flavor if you can find any. ShopRite has most of this, but it can also be found online.
For your recipe for this month, let’s make sweet rolls or cinnamon rolls. First, set aside a small dish with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Now, in a medium-size bowl, place a cup of warm water. Add 2 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of yeast on the flour not in water. Then, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 heaping tablespoon shortening.
Now mix everything with a spoon until the dough is too tough to do so. Dump it on the table with some flour and knead the dough. At first, it will be sticky, but then after a while it will be smooth and clean. You'll see.
Cover it with the bowl and let it rest, and then knead it some more, about 100 strokes is best, but you will not do it that long if you use a Hobart mixer. Mix for 10 minutes for the best dough. Let it rest for 20 minutes or so, and you rest as well.
Now that the dough has relaxed, roll out the dough with a rolling pin in a long, 8-inch wide strip. Paint the dough with melted butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon mixture. Use your fingers to spread it. Now start in the upper left corner and start to curl in a roll, not too tight. Seal the bottom of the roll with your fingers.
Afterwards, rest and cut into 1-inch rolls. Place them in a greased pan and let them rise for about one hour. Put the whole pan in a plastic bag and close it. It will make its own heat, so you do not need to add heat unless you place the bag in sunshine. Do not squeeze them into the pan, but give them room to rise. You'll know.
Finally, bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes or until they are nice and brown. Simple powdered sugar and water frosting is all that's needed.
Remember, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time
Bill Raulin aka Baker Bill