The magic, it happens.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Magic doesn’t happen all the time. It didn’t happen when I seasoned a new cast iron pan this morning and the house filled with acrid fumes. It didn’t happen last night when I hoped five oranges would stretch to feed five a first course and people were left hungrily eying each other’s plates. It certainly didn’t happen when I went for a run, trusting my man to let me back in the house, and my man proceeded to close the front door behind him without bringing a key. Life is funny like that.
Which is why I like to bake bread. With a mix of flour, some sort of liquid and rapid-rise yeast, magic reliably happens. Sure, you have to be a little careful not to finish off the yeast by mixing it directly with salt, but that is the only thing between you and magic. The magic that transforms a sticky mix of flour and fluid into a silky ball of wonderfully stretchy dough. Gotta love the magic.
Also, you have to use the magic. To make pillowy, sweet, slightly sticky cinnamon rolls, for instance.
Want to give the magic a try?
First, mix milk, melted butter, flour, eggs, sugar, salt and yeast for three minutes.
Until they’re nice and sticky.
Tip the mix onto a floured work surface and knead for ten minutes or so, while the flour fairies get to work.
The magic, it’s happened.
And then it happens some more during a two-hour rest.
Punch back the dough, and feel how stretchy it is. Shape into a rectangle and spread with sugary butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
Roll, cut into slices, and place in a buttered baking dish.
Give it another little rest to fully release the magic.
And then bake, before biting in with a happy smile, convinced of the magic.