If you like to make my Homemade Cinnabuns using frozen loaf dough, here is another great recipe to put that dough to use with!
I should really write something meaningful about the Super Bowl here since I am posting this the day before the big whooha. But I’m not really thinking about the Super Bowl right now (not that it is ever something that I entertain with more than a fleeting thought). Instead, I’m thinking about perfect stock image families and how much better it is to be an imperfect family.
Several weeks ago I bought one of those collage frames, a really big one with lots of room to put photos of the family. I hung it over the couch in the living room and even put a sconce thingiemabobber on each side to make something of an arrangement. This is odd for me because I have no known decorating skills. The funny thing is I actually went into a store and asked a lady at a register if she could help me pick something out for my living room. She asked what I needed and I said “just something for a really big wall, maybe a frame or something?” She made a few suggestions and there was a sale and next thing you know we actually have things hanging on our living room wall.
This is a big deal because our we went about seven years in our last house without a blessed thing hanging on the wall because…well, see highlighted statement above :).
So I hung that beautiful collage frame up and everyone really enjoyed it. A few times the kids asked me who the people were in it and every now and then when folks happened by they’d walk over to it and lean in a bit, trying to spy any familiar faces amid the stock photo inserts which I hadn’t changed out. Hey, some of them had blonde hair. They could have been extended family.
Yesterday, though, I pulled it down off the wall and actually put photos of our family in it. All sorts of photos from hither and yon. I made most of them black and white beforehand and as a result the faces are a bit softer, some of the photos draw you in a little more, and in my zeal to adjust the contrast and color of one photo there is now the disembodied head of my husband’s brother floating just over Brady’s left ear (see below).
Hey, stuff like that just adds interest :).
All of the photos I chose are snapshots. Mama always said that growing up, she liked the snapshots of us better than any posed pictures because that showed who we really were. Some are a little posed, some are silly, some are blurred, and all are special. But perfect like the stock ones that came in the frame? Not even close.
It’s fun to look at the snapshots, though.
Glimpses from our daily lives that aren’t captured in a portrait studio or included in a coupon special package. Mama was right yet again.
As I was looking at all of the neat photos, nothing is perfect and we’re seldom dressed “just so” but man, we sure do have a neat family.
We do neat things together. We get out and go places and have active relationships with one another. I like that, and I like the folks in these photos, disembodied heads and hanging upside down monkeys and tongues sticking out and all. They may not be as posed or perfect as the stock images, but in my life and in my home, it just doesn’t get any better than this rag tag bunch.
What does this have to do with the super bowl or the recipe that I’m bringing you today? Not a blessed thing, of course!
Which is why I like being the host at this virtual family gathering. I can tell any story I want, long as I put a meal on the table at the end.
I just love y’all!
Now we’re gonna make pizza sticks.
You’ll need: Mozzarella cheese, Pizza sauce, frozen white bread dough, and pepperoni or YOUR favorite pizza toppings
My family, God love them, hasn’t got much of an adventurous streak when it comes to pizza toppings. I pretty much like everything except little fish and fruit on my pizza. They like: pepperoni. Yup, thats it. Pepperoni. Sometimes they don’t even want to go that far. So I really really really reccomend that you use whatever pizza toppings your family likes to make this a custom recipe just for you.
Oh, with just one small jar of pizza sauce you’ll have plenty left over for dipping. I usually get the generic but this is what I had on hand today.
You have to thaw your bread dough before starting on this.
There are a few different thawing instructions on the package but I usually just put it on a big plate, cover it, and let it sit out a bit. Squeeze it real good and when you can’t feel a hard spot in the center anymore you’re good to go.
Putting some muscle into it, roll that out into a rectangle.
My rectangle is about fourteen inches long and about nine to ten inches wide (or so). There isn’t a science to this, just roll it out until you get tired of fooling with it and it’ll be fine.
Spread some pizza sauce over the dough.
I’m spreading about ~tilts head and looks~ maybe 1/3 a cup or so…Just go with what works for you.
Sprinkle your pizza toppings over the sauce.
I’m using pepperoni and cheese only (yawn) because my family is weird and they’d freak out and snub their noses if I added in banana peppers, bell peppers, onions, sausage, bacon, ham, mushrooms and a little additional Italian Seasoning for good measure.
Sprinkle about a cup and a half of mozzarella over that.
If you don’t have that much, just use what you have. You can also add more if you like.
And if you have cheddar on hand and no mozzarella, roll with it.
Granny didn’t make extra trips to the store for one little ingredient, she used what she had on hand.
If it was good enough for Granny, it’s good enough for us
Now we’re gonna roll over one of those sides like this.
Then wet your finger and run it along the edge of the other side.
This will help it stick together when we finish rolling it up.
Roll that over and press down a bit.
Wet the edges on the end and fold those up as well until it looks something like this.
At this point you are supposed to spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and then cover your loaf. This is to keep the wrap from sticking to the bread dough as it rises. I just cut out the middle man and lightly spray my loaf itself, then cover the entire dish with a film of plastic wrap.
Let that rise in a warm place for about an hour or two. You can technically let it rise until doubled but I am seldom that patient, so I just let it rise until its noticably bigger.
I’m just not much of a stickler when it comes to sticking to someone else’s rules when my own work perfectly well and prove to be a better guidance nine times out of ten anyway.
Oh, I get asked a lot where I let my bread dough rise. In the summertime, I let it rise outside. In the winter time, I turn the oven on 350 for about five minutes, then turn it off and open the door. When I can reach in and its just a little warm (not hot), I put it inside. If the oven rack feels hot, I put my pan on top of a cookie sheet first so I don’t risk it cooking a bit on the bottom. I then shut the door – make sure the oven is off before you do any of this of course.
Okay, this is what I mean by “noticeably bigger”.
I left it sitting out for about an hour and a half while I ran an errand and this is good enough for me!
Now its time to take out your aggressions on a sweet little innocent egg. Just imagine it is that spambot that posted a link on your facebook page ten times over the past two days about how to get a $3000 macbook just by filling out a survey. Or that renegade application that hacked some folks accounts and posted about getting free pizza for life five times this morning in less than two hours.
Roll your eyes and beat away.
You know what my Daddy always said? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I think folks need to say that more nowadays.
This is what is going to give our bread that gorgeous golden appearance when we pull it out of the oven so take a brush of some sort (I have used a spoon and even my hands when I didn’t have one though) and brush beaten egg all over the loaf.
Don’t you feel all artisan-y right about now?
Now take a knife (I find that a serrated one works best, like a plain old steak knife) and cut diagonal slits in the loaf.
Place this in a 350 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and gorgeous.
Like this. Isn’t that a thing of beauty?
If it were me, I’d serve it like that and cut it after everyone had time to “ooh” and “ahh”
When ready to eat, just cut into segments about an inch or inch and a half wide an serve alongside the remaining pizza sauce for dipping.
Now that you have those other two loaves of frozen bread dough, if you REALLY wanna impress folks, mosey on over to my Homemade Cinnabuns – The Easy Way post and put it to heavenly use!
“If you want to be happy, be.”
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If you have a question about Southern Plate, you might want find my Frequently Asked Questions page helpful :).