I’m not sure who had the great idea in the beginning of domestication, to add the egg of chicken and milk of cow to the basic flour and water mix, but this sweet bread stands the test of time, like in centuries of time.
People come and go like blips on a screen, but this combination of earthy, moldy yeast, egg, sugar, salt and milk combined, holds the collective DNA memory of taste and smell for the ages.
The Grandmothers and Mothers become legends, and the children feel they will never eat anything as good ever again, it’s the food that binds family history, if they are lucky enough to have someone who is adept at producing breads and pastry.
The complexity of the method and the time involved to coax the flavor from the slowly fermenting yeast which in turn inflates the sweet moist matrix, requires copious amounts of both patience and practice.
It’s the irresistible smell of sweet and richly rank, like the smell of a newborn to its mother, it’s addictive and you can’t let it go. It’s familiar, it’s comforting, It’s the taste and smell memory you long for and never forget. It’s the Kolach bread of Hungary, Jewish Challah, almost every European culture has a version. Other cultures use more indigenous ingredients. To make it even richer, raisins and lemon zest is incorporated into the dough.
Today, I take this very same sweet dough, roll it out into a rectangular shape, then kick it up a few notches, by smearing a generous amount of butter, handfuls brown and white sugar, and a thick dusting of cinnamon bark powder, which then combine together into a thick syrup through the alchemy of heat, and we have our cinnamon roll, the culmination of eight to ten hours of labor.
This is the genesis of the most exquisite sweet roll you will ever eat.