I have to begin this post on caramel rolls with a confession. I am a bit phobic of yeast. Not in a I'm-afraid-it-will-beat-me-up-in-a-dark-alley sort of way, and not even the fact that it is alive and living and tiny. My fear comes from what I might do to the yeast. What if I draw too hot of a bath for its survival? What if the water is too cold? What if the yeast hates me and then all of the work I went through to make the bread is all for nothing. I think about these things and usually opt for making things like monkey bread instead of homemade caramel rolls.
But Grandma was in town last week, and since she has been best friends with Yeast for 93 years now, it seemed like she might be able to introduce us with the most success. After all, I have made caramel rolls with my grandma a number of times throughout my childhood. (Although it should be noted I have never made them while 9 months pregnant. I was utterly exhausted by the end of our baking time together! I had to sit down a few times while my, again, 93 year old grandma stood and washed the dishes by hand!)
We were at my mom's which meant we didn't have a Kitchen Aid. And not having a Kitchen Aid meant that we had to stir in the flour by hand and knead it forever.
The stuff was so sticky. But not for Grandma. Everytime Grandma touched the dough it would become lovely and smooth. She kneaded with ease and made it look so, so easy.
Grandma's Caramel Roll Recipe:
1/2 cup very warm water
2 T. dry yeast
1 T. sugar
Mix together in a bowl, cover and wait for bubbles to appear.
In a different bowl combine:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
add yeast mixture to this bowl. Beat 2 minutes with a mixer
Add to this mix 2 eggs, and beat for 2 more minutes.
Then add 1/3 cup soft butter
Beat for another two minutes
Blend in 4 cups of flour gradually. If in a Kitchen Aid the mixer can handle this. Otherwise, stir in by hand. If you're 9 months pregnant, your breathing might become labored...
Put 1/2 cup flour on countertop and knead the dough for a VERY long time. If you mixed in the Kitchen Aid, you will not need to knead it for so long.
Place dough in a buttered bowl and cover with a towel under a warm light. Let rest for 20 minutes. If you're 93, you might do the dishes during this time. If you're pregnant, you might sit down during this time.
After 20 minutes, knead the dough again. Roll out into rectangle and spread butter, cinnamon and sugar on the dough. Roll into a long log.
In 2 buttered pans on the stovetop, melt the following together:
1/3 cup butter melted slowly
1/2 cup brown sugar
After melted and combine together add
1 T. Karo Syrup
With a scissors, cut the dough into 3/4 inch rounds.
This recipe will make 2 pans of rolls with 15 rolls in each pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so.