Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jailhouse Cinnamon Rolls

So named because my father made a rendition of these after a man he met as prosecutor for the district attorney in Amarillo in the late 60’s. Apparently, there was man in the community who was a talented cook, but hopeless alcoholic. He would periodically get arrested, and whenever that happened, the word would spread that he was there and cooking. He would make amazing things out of the dried pantry staples: powdered milk, powdered eggs, etc.
I have written a recipe from memory of many mornings grown up, but calling it my father’s recipe is almost a paradox. Dad doesn’t use recipes, but rather methods and approximated ingredients. So, I used the biscuit method and guessed on the amounts. My father’s method sometimes turned out amazing things, sometimes horrors. This time, I got lucky. The biscuits are light with a buttery crunch, and the filling is not too sweet, but a nice cinnamon-sugar crunchiness. I’ve already eaten four. Plus, they were made, baked and cleaned up in less than 30 minutes. Can't beat that!

Jailhouse Cinnamon Rolls

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp buttermilk powder (if you have buttermilk, use that instead of the powder and water)
½ stick cold butter, cut into pats
3/4 -1¼ cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Stir together the first 6 ingredients. Cut in butter with a fork or two knives until it is pea-sized. Slow add water and stir until just combined. Dough will be wet and sticky. Turn out on a floured board. Pat out into a rectangle. Stir together sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle over dough. Carefully roll the dough from the widest edge, brushing off excess flour. Cut into rolls and transfer to a parchment lined pan. The dough is delicate, so they will fall apart a little in transfer. That's okay. They're jailhouse rolls. See below! Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges.

Ugly...but tasty!

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