Monday, 29 December 2014

Cinema Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe, as requested. Allow at least 4 hours for these. Please read through the whole recipe before starting to bake, or making a shopping list.

Disclaimer: I tend to work intuitively, so I don't know how accurate the measurements are for flour. If you can bake, this recipe will work. If you're a novice, try a site like Here's their version of cinnamon rolls.

Cooling on the rack, pre-frosting.
Makes: 24
Time: all day

For the bread.
Start with 1.5 cups all purpose flour, you’ll add more later
1.5 cups wholemeal spelt
1.5 cups rolled/porridge oats
450mls water
I packet / 12g dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar

50g butter melted
1Tbsp cinnamon
1Tbsp honey or molasses.

For the filling - measurements are to taste
As much cinnamon as you want - about 5-7 Tbsps
About 150-250g butter, soft
About 2 - 2 1/2 cups soft brown sugar

For the frosting, type 1
Combine the following:
100g cream cheese (optional)
50g soft butter
1 cup icing sugar
1tsp vanilla

For the frosting, type 2
Combine the following:
100g butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Proof the yeast: warm water, dissolve sugar, add yeast, leave to proof (5 minutes or so)

Add all the dry ingredients, butter and yeast water to a large bowl and mix well. It will be wet.
Cover and set to rise in a warm place (30-40 degrees C) for 1.5 - 2 hours.

Watch a film.

At this point, after rising, the dough can be refrigerated, overnight or up to 3 days.

Knock back: mix in the butter, cinnamon, honey/molasses and enough extra all-purpose flour to make the dough the right texture (dry enough to roll out - this can be anything from 1/2 - 2 cups, depending on the flour and the humidity). If it becomes too dry, add more warm water. Knead as necessary. 

Cut in half and roll out to a rectangle less than 1cm thick.

Make a paste out of the butter, cinnamon and sugar, quantities to taste. Spread half the paste over the surface of the dough, leave one edge clear by about two cms. 
Add dried fruit or chopped nuts at this point, if you want.

Roll up, not too tightly, towards the clear edge - this will be the edge to seal the roll. Wet the clear edge before sealing. Cut off slices, about 1.5 cms thick.

Place in a greased and lined baking tray with high sides. Leave 1cm gap around each roll. 

Repeat with the other half of the dough (or freeze, or refrigerate, or bake as a loaf...)

Cover the rolls with baking paper, so that each roll is covered (they will burn in the oven if not covered). Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

At this point, refrigerate overnight, if you want.

Heat the oven to 180C and bake for 25-30 minutes, leaving the baking paper on throughout.

Allow to cool slightly before frosting.

Thursday, 4 December 2014


In the pages of one of my notebooks, also bound for the fire, I found a few sketches, some of which I've posted below. And a fairytale! All from July 1998.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Journal Burning

In the spirit of minimalism and letting go of the past, I decided it was time to burn my journals.

I decided to destroy them a while ago, and today, due to a lack of fire wood, I decided to have a go. I had a conversation with my daughter a long time ago, instructing her that I didn't want her or anyone else to read my journals (in case something happened to me before I had a chance to destroy them). She said I could have them buried with me. A good idea, I thought, but why hold on to any of it any longer?

The photographs are a little blurry because of the low light.

2001, the worst year of my life, soon committed to flame.

After finding some unused notes and a precious photograph of the kids,
I meticulously went through each journal to prevent the destruction of any other hidden treasures.

I got through all but three journals yesterday. The sheer volume of paper meant that the wood burner just couldn't handle them all at once. Today, the task will be completed.