28 March 2010

Sticky Sweet: Cinnamon Rolls

It's just too easy to go overboard with the double entendres for this one. So let's get it out of the way: Sticky. Buns. Brown crevice. Gooey white glaze. Dripping. Moist. Hot. Hot. Hot.

Apply all the terms above. Liberally.
Now that we have that out of our systems... This blog started when we realized that we were enjoying hunting down foods and preparing them at home much more often than we were at restaurants. Much of the time, we're either finding ways to exploit the fantastic local produce, dairy and meat, and the rest of the time we spend fantasizing about things you simply can't get in Paris unless you make it yourself.

For weeks now, Alannah has had her mind on one thing: Cinnamon rolls. (Or buns, as some would call them.) Personally, while I've enjoyed a good set of buns here and there, they've never really been anything I craved. But pull me out of America for a couple of years, and all of a sudden, a factory-processed Cinnabon from the mall – or even one of those nasty Svenhard's sticky buns from your typical roach motel continental breakfast – starts to sound pretty good. If only for the sheer novelty.

Anyway, Friday night, as we were killing off one of those all-made-from-fabulous-fresh-products dinners, Alannah had some dough rising. No big deal. She's always kneading things and making them rise after all. She's the baker. Saturday morning, I woke up from my Bordeaux haze to the scent of cinnamon. Lots of cinnamon.

I ambled downstairs to get caffeinated and what was on the counter? Something you'll never see in even the most daring boulangerie-patisserie in Paris:

Ladurée's got nothin' on this.
And that makes no sense to us. Cinnamon roll dough is nearly identical to brioche dough. It can very easily made in huge batches. And the smell will bring the entire quartier to your storefront like an olfactory siren song. True, many of the locals find it all too strong and overpowering, a brutal dark-hued import from the tropics all too savage for lilywhite gullets... And some just don't like the cinnamon.

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