Things got a little hectic this weekend (with the event and all) so I wasn't able to follow through on my original plan: to make Mom's Sticky Caramel Rolls for a special Valentine's breakfast for Aaron! Don't tell him, but I am planning on making it up to him this coming weekend. Sadly, I was completely outdone -- Aaron cooked a very special meal (steak, asparagus drizzled with EVOO and topped with parmesan, and garlic/cream cheese/parmesan mashed potatoes) and even posed for pictures in a Scarlet Threads apron, which I promptly posted on the Facebook Fan Page. While not an immediate "web sensation," enough people saw the picture to gain a new appreciation for the man beneath the pattern.
"The only difference between me and a real pitmaster is the pattern." -- AaronBack to Mom's Sticky Caramel Rolls. I am told by our contributor that the rolls do take some preparation time, but are well worth the time and effort. I typically find that the more effort I expend, the better the final product. I'm not sure whether it is the effort itself, the results, or the anticipation of the results that effects "good taste." In fact, Valerie informed me of a second method to improve your culinary results. Valerie's research suggests that it is the Scarlet Threads apron that yields tasty results. (Note that it must be a Scarlet Threads apron, results are not guaranteed while wearing other designers, esp. Williams & Sonoma).
With that in mind, let's explore the recipe.
Mom's Sticky Caramel Rolls
- 1/2 C luke warm water
- 2 pkg. dry yeast
- 1 1/2 C lukewarm milk
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C soft shortening (I like butter flavored Crisco)
- 7 Cups flour
**See add'l ingredients below for Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Filling!
- Mix 1/2 C luke warm water with 2 pkg. dry yeast, soak for 5 minutes to "proof" without stirring (I swirl the water around in the bowl a little and then after 5 min. stir with a wooden spoon just before adding to the mixture below.)
- Meanwhile, in another larger bowl mix together 1 1/2 C lukewarm milk, 1/2 C sugar and 2 tsp. salt. Add yeast mixture. Stir in 2 eggs and 1/2C soft shortening. Stir well.
- Add 7 cups of flour in 2 Cup increments, using just the amount needed to make it easy to handle but a bit sticky. (First stir with a wood spoon and then with your hands when most of the flour has been added.) At some point while adding the flour you're going to think it's gone wrong ... but keep mixing it will turn out! I find having my 1 yr. old hanging off my leg begging for something and the other boys arguing helps me mix and my mind off of how scary it looks at first--heehee!
- When dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl, turn out onto a lightly floured board to knead. Knead in quarter turns until it is smooth, elastic and doesn't stick to the board. (Quite honestly, I just knead it in the bowl by quarter turns with similar smoothness and it turns out fine without the added mess.)
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to bring greased side up. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm spot (80-85 degrees.) until double, about 1.5 to 2 hours. (I turn the oven on to 200 degrees with a shallow pan of warm water on the lower shelf. When at temperature, I place my bowl in the oven on a cookie sheet and SHUT OFF THE OVEN. This makes a nice warm spot for it to rise since we keep our thermostat pretty low most days.)
- Punch down in the center with your fist, pull edges into the center and turn completely over. Cover again and let rise again until almost double in bulk (30-45 min.)
- Divide dough into 2 halves, round up and cover. Let rest for 15 min so the dough is easy to handle. Meanwhile, grease 2, 9 x 13 glass pans and then prepare the Caramel Sauce below, splitting it between the two pans. Sprinkle each pan with about 1/2 C chopped pecans.
- Take one ball of dough and roll out to approx. a 14 x 17 inch rectangular shape (that's the size of my big cutting board.) Sprinkle with half of the Cinnamon Filling recipe below. Roll up tight starting on the long side rolling across to make a long log, pinching together at the ends and seam to seal. Cut into 12 pieces and set in rows onto of the previously prepared pan of caramel sauce. Repeat with the other ball of dough to make two pans of 12 rolls each.
Cover and let rise until light, about 15-20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Watch closely and make sure they are light/medium brown. Don't under cook! Immediately and carefully turn out upside down onto a foil lined baking sheet. Let cool and enjoy!
Wrapped tight in foil, these freeze great too!
- 1 C melted butter
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1 C pecans, chopped
Melt butter and brown sugar in a pan on stove, pour into 9x13 pans dividing equally. Top with chopped pecans. Place sliced rolls on top and bake.
- 4 Tbsp. soft butter
- 1 C white sugar
- 4 tsp. cinnamon
Mix together and sprinkle evenly on rolled out dough, roll from the longer side across to make a long roll, slice into 12 pieces (I like to cut it in half and then half again and then into sections of 3 to help make them even.) Bake as directed above.