One of my favorite activities to do with the residents at Wesley Towers was cinnamon roll class. I would carve out 3 hours one afternoon a month and hold two classes in that time. One class would start at 1:30 and the second one would start at 3:00. When I was driving for medical Denise would take over the driving and I would do the class.
The first class was for the women and I always had a full class. I would only allow 6 residents per class so the dough from one recipe would give each resident a small pan of rolls to take home with them. The women came in at 1:30 and when they arrived I would start making the dough.
Each resident that came to class was given the recipe that I have been making since I was living at home and still in school. It is a recipe that my Grandmother and my mother made all the time. It is also good for loaves of bread and will make a couple of normal size loaves. This recipe is almost no fail if you follow the steps and leave the dough sticky when you mix it up.
Grandmother’s Bread Recipe
2 1/4 cup flour
2 pkg. or 2 T of Fleishman’s Rapid Rise yeast
5 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3-4 cups flour
Mix together: the 2 1/4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt
Warm the milk in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and add to the flour mixture.
Beat well with the mixer and let rise until double. Probably about 10-15 minutes.
Add the oil, eggs and blend well, and then the 3-4 cups flour. Leave the dough sticky. Amount of flour depends on size of the
Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and knead just a couple of times to get the outside of the dough covered with just
enough flour so you can handle it.
Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread soft margarine or butter over the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Roll up into a roll and cut into slices about 1 1/2 inches thick and place in a sprayed baking dish.
Let rise for about 20 minutes and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and drizzle immediately with a powdered sugar icing.
While I was making the dough for the rolls the residents would visit or heckle me. I don’t need the recipe to make the rolls but one of them would read the ingredients off to me anyway as I made them. One of the residents had been a lab tech when she was working and she was a nervous wreck when I was mixing up the dough. I don’t actually measure the ingredients; I just pour them in like my grandmother and mother always did.
By the time the residents had the dough rolled out and spread with the butter, cinnamon and sugar we were beginning to have visitors in the craft room. The smell of cinnamon and dough would be wafting down the hall toward the front door. When their rolls were cut and in the pan they would stick a colored toothpick in one of the rolls so we knew which pan belonged to which resident.
When the batch of rolls was in the oven and we were all sitting at the table visiting or I was reading something to them the visitors to the craft room increased. Even the office workers that were at the other end of the building would come in and enjoy the smell of the cinnamon rolls baking.
When the rolls were done I would drizzle the icing on most of them because they liked the way I put it on the rolls. All except for one resident and she hated icing on anything and wanted her rolls left dry. But if she turned her back, after they came out of the oven, the devil in me came out and I had to put one drop on one of her 6 rolls. She would have a fit and swear she had to give that one away because of that one drop of icing.
At 3:00 the women had their rolls finished and were on their way home and 6 men would show up for their class. A lot of the men had never cooked anything let alone bread or rolls. The men had a good time teasing each other and me while they were making theirs. But their rolls always turned out good and they were proud of them.
It was always fun to bake with the women, but the class that was the most fun was the one I held with the men. It was fun walking them through the steps to roll out and make the cinnamon rolls. They were proud when they left with their pan of warm rolls from cinnamon roll class. To contact Sandy: [email protected]