My eighth Samuel Craddock book, A Risky Undertaking for Loretta Singletary, will be published in January, 2019, and it’s high time I talked about Loretta. As my readers know, Loretta Singletary has long been a major character in the books. She is gossipy, but not mean; gets easily flustered because she’s prim; and she is the voice of the community. Samuel counts on her to bring him news that helps him investigate crimes.
Recently, Loretta has changed her looks. As is mentioned in the first page of A Reckoning in the Back Country, “Several months back, (Loretta) showed up with a stylish new haircut and a blond tint instead of her curly gray hair.” Furthermore, “…she has started wearing slacks. She used to wear only dresses and expressed a low opinion of women who wore slacks.” What can all this mean? You’ll find out!
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is that Loretta still loves to bring baked goods to her friends, who complain that she’s trying to fatten them up.
I’ve been asked several times to hand out her recipes. So In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of them. Here’s the one most frequently mentioned:
Loretta’s Cinnamon Rolls
1 package active dry yeast
½ c. warm milk (105-155 degrees)
1 egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups plus 2 T flour
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm milk, stir and let stand for a few minutes to soften. Add eggs, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Pour in flour and mix lightly, just until dough is sticky and holds together. Set aside for 5 minutes and prepare Butter Mixture:
To make cinnamon rolls:
½ cup currants
4 T melted butter
½ c Cinnamon Sugar (1/4 c sugar, 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
Pour boiling water over currants while you roll out dough.
Sprinkle surface generously with flour. Turn yeast dough (which will be very soft) out onto surface. Sprinkle top of dough with flour, then roll and pat into an 11 x 17” rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar. Drain currants and pat them dry, then sprinkle them over dough. Press ingredients into the dough with your fingertips. Starting with a long side, roll into a tight cylinder. Cut into 1” slices and place about 2” apart on backing sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy and almost doubled in size (45 min to an hour). Brush each slice with some of the egg mixture.
Note: if you need to use 2 baking sheets, refrigerate one as soon as they are formed, before they rise. That way the chilled ones will rise more slowly and you can stagger baking times.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake until well browned (12-14 minutes). Transfer to wire racks to cool. Brush with Glace Icing while still warm. Note: If you are going to freeze any of them, do not ice until they are thawed and warmed up for 5 minutes in a 400F oven.
1 1/4 c confectioner’s sugar
3-4 Tablespoons water
Add water to sugar and beat until smooth. If too thick, add a bit more water. If too thin, add a bit more sugar.