There are few things in life, if any, that I have found worth trading my Sundays for. After the responsibilities of the week and social encounters of Saturday have come and gone, a day for family, reflection, rest, and catch up arrives just in time.
I've been allocating Sundays for sweet treats as part of my New Year's resolution. While I won't give up the desserts I enjoy entirely, I can scale back how frequently I eat them. Furthermore, I'll make them from scratch so the effort warrants the indulgence. Deprivation with regard to food, if I am being entirely honest, is not now and likely never will be an avenue for me. So all week, I'll be dreaming of Sunday.
This Sunday's project was a batch of Cinnamon Rolls. Sarah Kieffer, one of my favorite food writers, shared her recipe for Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls using Breadin5's Brioche dough. Her writing and confections are stunningly beautiful, and these rolls were every bit as comforting as I envisioned. Having never made them from scratch, I can now appreciate the thorough process, the waiting, rising, folding, and rolling. The mixing, and zesting. Plain and simple - the effort. I won't stop at Cinnabon again and mindlessly eat a bun as I window shop with my sister, hopefully. It would be a betrayal of the process I have now experienced.
Like nurturing a baby, if I may draw that comparison as I have no children of my own but pray that someday I will, I felt this inexplicable attachment. I was expectant and anxious. I nervously asked James, does this dough look ok to you? Will it rise? Should I add more flour? James gave me his bench scraper from culinary school, a symbolic union of his past and our future. I gingerly handled the brioche after it chilled, the aroma of honey and yeast on my fingertips. I rolled out the brioche on parchment paper, a blank canvas patiently awaiting its sweet destination. Brushed with melted butter, covered with a combination of sugars and orange zest, and then rolled ever so gently into a long log. I sliced into rolls with a bread knife and arranged them on baking sheets where they rose for 2 hours. Then, I baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Warm from the oven, I covered the rolls with homemade cream cheese icing and snuck a bite, thinking to myself that while I can't buy lavish gifts, I can coat your ribs with comforting labors of my love.