The Dough Never Rises: (Mis)Adventures in Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

30 Jan

Last Friday, having assumed possession of a wide-mouth pickle jar before it was sent away to be recycled, I set about making some sourdough starter. Making sourdough bread is supposed to be a relatively simple process – something that our predecessors did hundreds and even thousands of years ago, long before we relied on recipe books, measuring cups, and internets to make a simple loaf of bread. And simple it was: mix a cup of warm water and a cup of all-purpose flour, set somewhere warm and inviting, wait 24 hours. Then, dump out half of the mixture and replace it with half a cup of warm water and half a cup of flour. Wait 24 hours. Repeat. By the end of the week, my sourdough starter was, as promised, frothy and, well, sour-smelling – ready to go, just in time for Sunday breakfast. I found a sourdough cinnamon roll recipe that required beginning on Friday evening and got to work in the nick of time. By Saturday afternoon, my dough was to have doubled in size. Instead, it looked pretty much as it had on Saturday morning:

There are no before-and-after comparison photos. That’s because there was no difference in dough volume. None. But, I wasn’t too worried. The same thing happened the other week with a pizza crust that rose admirably once it was in the oven. So, I went to make the rolls. The dough was nowhere near stiff enough, and the rolls didn’t hold their shape, instead choosing to resemble a distant relative of Jabba the Hutt.

I thought maybe they’d rise overnight, like the recipe suggested. They did not. I baked them anyway, thinking of the pizza dough’s last-minute, Hail Mary rising. They still did not rise, and after twice the recommended baking time, the dough was as cooked through as it was going to get. Mr. Right bravely suggested that they might still be edible; he also kindly made scrambled eggs. And, Sunday breakfast turned out well in spite of the sluggish dough. The rolls were in fact okay, although they were nowhere near the light fluffy goodness promised in the recipe. Oh, well –  there were already plenty of picture-perfect sourdough cinnamon roll blog entries available, anyway.

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One Response to “The Dough Never Rises: (Mis)Adventures in Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Mike S January 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Regardless of what the foodie elite claim, appearance in most food is not only unimportant, but short-lived and doesn’t affect tastiness. Eaten plenty of great tasting ugly food over the years & loved every bite;-)

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