No Yeast = No Rise

I went to bed around 2 a.m. last night… and yet my body still woke me up before 7 a.m.

Ummm, I have the day off, Body! What the heck!?

Since my family was still sleeping, I figured I would spend some time in the kitchen making a yummy surprise breakfast.

When I was in high school my mom would make us surprise special breakfasts during finals week. We’d come downstairs to make our typical bowl of instant oatmeal or pop a Toasted Streudel in the toaster oven, and instead be greeted with heart-shaped pancakes, orange-glazed cinnamon rolls or a mock Egg McMuffin.

Since my mom and sister were still fast asleep, I figured I would surprise them with a fresh batch of homemade cinnamon rolls when they woke up.

I got to work in the kitchen and about half-way through the process, I realized that making homemade cinnamon rolls is no joke!

What a Mess!

I had bowls, flour and dough everywhere!

The recipe was a lil’ more involved than I anticipated.

I made a couple of substitutions as I was preparing the rolls. I used whole wheat flour instead of white and since I didn’t have any yeast on hand,  I used a substitution I found on the internet that called for equal parts baking soda and lemon juice.

After the dough for the base of the rolls was ready and rolled out, I spread a mixture of cinnamon, butter and brown sugar inside and rolled it up, before slicing the dough into individual rolls and placing them in an 8×8 glass pan to rise for 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

Turns out no yeast = no rise.

The recipe says the rolls are supposed to double in size when you let them rise, but that definitely didn’t happen for me.

I didn’t realize making cinnamon rolls would take so long, so I snacked on a pre-breakfast breakfast of peanut butter and jelly on toast while they were baking in the oven.

Open-Faced PB & J

Toasted PB & J

I think the smell of the cinnamon rolls served as motivation for my mom and sister to get out of bed, because they walked into the kitchen as the rolls were coming out of the oven.

Though the rolls didn’t rise, they did smell fantastic and the dough was dense and delicious.

When my sister and I smelled cinnamon rolls baking when we were younger, we would bolt downstairs to claim the roll in the middle of the pan. It was always the gooiest and most cinnamony roll of the bunch.

Fortunately there were multiple center rolls and my mom, sister and I were all able to enjoy one.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls


My Roll

Though this breakfast took about 10 times the effort of a typical Friday-morning breakfast, they were a yummy treat!

Today’s Plans

Today I have plans to get the oil changed in my car and get it detailed because my dad  has hammered it into my head that a car should be detailed two times a year. Gotta keep it in good condition!

Though the car stuff is necessary, I am much more excited about our plans to attend a mother-of-the-bride trunk show in Tampa to look at dresses for my mom for our wedding!

Question of the Day

What is the most complicated dish you’ve ever prepared?

27 Responses

  1. I always loved the center rolls the best, too. 🙂

    I haven’t had a problem with yeast rising yet. I know it gives people trouble, but I haven’t tried a complicated enough recipe for it yet!

  2. Even without rising, those look awesome!!!

  3. Ha ha… that’s what my kitchen looked like yesterday in the middle of my baking madness….

    Actually, who am I kidding? It still sorta does. But in my defense, it’s because I’m not done yet!

  4. such a nice daughter! Im sure they loved their surprise!

  5. Homemade pasta is time consuming but gnocchi is something that just never turns out for me. I will keep trying!

  6. I made No Knead Overnight Parmesan and Thyme Rolls from Cooking Light (the name is even exhausting 🙂 ) and they were very time consuming but worth the effort in the end. I had never made anything using yeast before. Seems that rolls (cinnamon included of course) and non-quick breads are difficult in general.

  7. yeast breads are seriously the hardest thing in the world for me! they’re so good when they’re done, but all i really want is a bread machine that will do it all for me 🙂

  8. girl you are a STELLAR daughter/sister! i wish my sister would wake up and make me breakfast haha but sadly she sleeps until 1 and i usually end up making her lunch…

    fail. maybe someday she will!

    have fun at the trunk show!! i hope mama finds something swanky to wear 😉

  9. Even though the cinnamon rolls required a lot of effort, it looks like they were certainly worth it!

    I once volunteered to make my mom a chocolate -hazelnut torte for her birthday. I found the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s “How to Be a Domestic Goddess,” and decided to give it a go. BIG MISTAKE. I had to roast and peel the skin off of EVERY SINGLE hazelnut, which took three hours! The skin would not come off and I became so frustrated I ended up grinding them with the skin on. The result was a slightly grainy torte…Yuck! The saving grace? Rich chocolate ganache on top. 🙂

  10. I’ve always wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls, but they intimidate me! Yours look delicious though- dense and sweet! Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

  11. Mmmmm, I just LOVE cinnamon rolls! I’ve never attempted homemade ones though…only Pillsbury 😉 My dad used to make those for my brother and I on Saturday morning a lot. My favorite part was getting to lick the end of the icing container…Dad would sneak me the jar so my younger brother wouldn’t see 🙂

  12. I’ve never attempted them homemade either. I love to bake though!

    I made this along time ago…it was worth it! It took a bit. Now if the stuff has 5 or more ingredients I look for something else 😉

  13. I’ve recently made cinnamon rolls too! If you want a quicker breakfast in the morning, I would suggest making them the night before. Once you have sprinkled on the cinnamon-sugar good stuff, rolled them up, and cut them into the baking pan, you can cover them with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next morning take it out of the fridge and let it rise for an hour (preferably in a warm place), pop them into the oven, and you’ll have a relatively quick breakfast! 😉

  14. You are such an early riser! You will be so prepared if/when you have kids. =)

    Those rolls look delish!

  15. Enjoy your day off!

    Those rolls still look very big (and delicious) despite the no yeast 😉

  16. I agree with the other commenters…those babies still look BOMB! You’re such a good sister/daughter 🙂

  17. Have a great day off 🙂
    And those look REALLY good!!
    I love how your computer is on the counter behind the stove 🙂
    My most challenging recipe was making General Tso’s chicken- it seriously took me all afternoon!!

  18. That is such a great idea to wake up and cook for your sleeping family. I often lie there wondering when they’ll wake up…next time I am going to get up!
    Those rolls are makin me hungry!!!

  19. I think my kitchen looks like that every time I cook! They sure do look worth it though. And the middle roll is definitely the best. Have fun tonight. 🙂

  20. Those look good. I love a good breakfast, exceptually a great surprise one!

  21. yeast is so interesting! those rolls look delicious even without the rise, but I made pizza the other night and was surprised with how much the dough rose in an hour! 😉

    -k (

  22. Yum, despite not rising, those rolls look delish!

  23. My mom makes killer cinnamon rolls but now that I’ve moved out she doesn’t do it so much. My dad misses them so whenever I visit he pokes and prods me into asking my mom to make them. It usually works.

    It’s definitely a process though – I’ve never actually taken it on myself. Someday…

  24. mmm those look yummy! i bet your kitchen was smelling fantastic! i haven’t really ever tried a bread recipe (except for maybe bagels, but i don’t count that because i sort of gave up half way through when i realized i actually didn’t have some of the essential ingredients!) i’d have to say my most complicated was a paella recipe… with rice, chicken, and shrimp all having very different cooking times, it took a lot of attention! it turned out well though so i’ll probably do it again! 🙂

  25. ah those look amazing!!! those are soon up on my list for something to try… they scare me a bit. the most complicated thing… jeez, i am pretty lame. probably a breaded eggplant parm thing which tasted delish but the pictures were hideous. so only i know that it actually happened. 🙂

  26. It’s funny that you mention they didn’t rise with the substitute… I made some cinnamon rolls a few months ago WITH yeast, and they still didn’t rise! Lol… They look really tasty though!! If I hadn’t made French bread yesterday (starting it the day before yesterday hahaha) I’d make something like this! I’m all baked out for at least a week though…

    You should look up some info on using a yeast starter, you’ll get a great rise with an airy and tasty bread! This loaf I made (not allowed to post until June 1st, as it’s a “daring kitchen challenge”) had the starter, and I was amazed that it tasted like it came out of a bakery!

  27. […] think my body will feel a little more satisfied after eating this breakfast than the cinnamon rolls I made on Friday […]

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