For reals going to get a different theme in today. I am so sorry this launch has not been going quite to plan, but, I’m still having fun and I hope you are too.
Since I stopped working and came home to follow some dreams (mainly of not being miserable,) my husband and I have been almost totally broke. Very happy with this decision, in that we have a much cleaner house, he gets home cooked meals for dinner, and, oh, I guess actually seeing him every evening is nice too. But, not having any real disposable income has not been much of a problem till now.
Christmas shopping is not so much fun when you don’t have money. Also, I really do pride myself on my gift giving skills. I take a lot of time and effort to come up with the perfect gift. Not having the funds to let my creativity fly is making me a little crazy.
So, what can you do if you’re not incredibly crafty, have quite a bit of time on your hands, and ZERO disposable income? Well, I am crafting and baking like mad. Last year it was cookies for pretty much everyone, I even got a tin for my former boss that I filled with cookies and told him that whenever that tin was empty, just bring it to me and I would refill it. I still need to fill it up one last time… So, this year I need to get a little more creative, even though cookies will still be on the gift list, they can’t take center stage this year.
Now what other treats can I bake to make this cheap Christmas not feel cheap? I know, bread. Bread is delicious. Bread smells wonderful, and seems to take way more time and effort than it really does. Bread as a gift seems to make people happy. So, now I get to try these breads to see if they are holiday worthy, this Braided Cinnamon Roll at http://totallyloveit.com/braided-cinnamon-rolls/ looks perfect, festive, pretty, and at least looks tasty.
Side note- I really should eat before looking at pictures of food, everything looks really really tasty right now.
I would never have made bread while I was working full time. I don’t have a bread machine, or even a KitchenAid (oh how I dream of that sweet beautiful, multipurpose appliance…) Also, rising, kneading… So much hassle and time, so worth it, but so much time. Now that I’m home all day, bread has become a great way to keep the house smelling nice (hey, candles are expensive too…) and keep us full since the fresh bread is filling and delicious. Even if it isn’t the healthiest, it’s a very nice change up from rice, beans, and pasta. Also SO cheap to make. Seriously. Flour, salt, milk, yeast, butter, egg, sugar and cinnamon. These are things I already have all the time (well, I did have to get yeast. Never really worked with yeast… The most complex bread I had ever made before was beer bread. This does look more intense than beer bread, but it looks so worth it. This one will only be for me and the husband to eat, but if it turns out well, everyone will get one for Christmas.
Now, this recipe calls for one packet of yeast. I found that for the same cost as 3 packets, I could get the bigger container, so I had to look up how much yeast is in one packet. Turns out there are 2 ¼ teaspoons in a packet.
Now, after mixing up the dough, it came out much drier than I was expecting… I double checked the recipe and the only thing I forgot was the salt, so, it is missing something, but not something that would make it less dry. It does however seem to be rising appropriately.
I really think this recipe needs to be adjusted or I messed up somewhere along the way. It did not roll out smoothly (the dryness made it clumpy and it sprung back after every roll.) Once I rolled it out it would not turn into the beautiful wreath shown in the pictures. I did continue and cut it and baked it to see if it would at least look nice straight. The filling was clumpy as well, but that’s just because the butter was only softened, not melted.
The picture in order is top (right to left) are wet ingredients before resting, after letting the yeast rise, after kneeding in the flour. Bottom (right to left) after the dough had risen for an hour, after adding the filling, rolling and slicing down the middle, after twisting right before the oven. And in the middle is after it was removed from the oven. Looks bad, tastes good.
So, other than the fact that it did not look like it did in the picture, it did taste delicious. I don’t think this will be making the rounds this Christmas as a gift, but I will definitely work on it, see if I can make any adjustments, or just try it again at another time to see if I can get it to work. Maybe you can do better? Feel free to tag me and #tastyTuesday and show me how yours turned out!