Baking Cinnamon Rolls

Reader Contribution by Carol Winn
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“When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That saying has been around the block once or twice. Well, at Winn Sisters Farm, it is said a little differently. If everyone is happy, then so is mama. You see, my husband has given me the title, Director of Happiness.   You might ask how one directs happiness and what the job entails. I might ask how I got a job that I didn’t apply for … or did I? Directing happiness has also been called being codependent … which to me, means your happiness depends on the happiness of others. This is a learned behavior and believe me, I was a great student.

My mother was my teacher and the title I would have bestowed upon her was Master of Happiness. She taught me how to love and encourage. One of the best classes she taught was Baking Cinnamon Rolls 101. Cinnamon is amazing. It can trigger memories as soon as its aroma drifts past your nose. Don’t tell anyone, but I put a sprinkle or two in my “regular” white/wheat bread. When you toast it, the faint hint of cinnamon floats softly in the air like dandelion seeds in the wind. Breakfast and ambiance all rolled into one. Ahhhhh … so … back to those cinnamon rolls. Mom would mix up bread dough and proceed to roll it out, spread margarine (I know, I know) and cinnamon/sugar, then roll it back up, position it in a semi-circle on a baking sheet, and slice it every inch or so. It would always bake a little too long because like all moms, she had many tasks going on simultaneously. They would come out of the oven ready for a nice drizzle of glaze. They were delicious and I will forever remember everything about them.

Cinnamon and Honey

Having the ability to bake cinnamon rolls is definitely in the job description for the Director of Happiness. When someone says, “I was just thinking of the cinnamon rolls you bake,” their eyes seem to glaze over. They fondly remember the warm wonderful gooeyness of bread perfected by adding butter, cinnamon and honey. That always makes me happy! Usually, I make a basic bread dough, let it rise, punch it down and then prepare it for cinnamon rolls. But, sometimes, after the first rising I prepare it as I would cinnamon rolls and then roll it right back into a loaf of bread. It is then sliced into one inch slices and placed into a loaf pan. This way it can be used for French toast or placed into the toaster. Either way, it creates happiness.

Spreading Happiness

The abundance of butter (never margarine), cinnamon, and honey or brown sugar is what makes my cinnamon rolls so memorable. Never be stingy in using those ingredients and never, ever be stingy in spreading happiness.  So, go ahead and spread some happiness and make sure you use a lot of butter.   

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