Four Failed Batches of Cinnamon Rolls

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012

Remember in my last post when I said that I can’t learn French? It took me years to accept that fact. I took French classes all through high school, right up until Grade 13. Then I went to the University of Ottawa, which is a fully bilingual university and took French classes there. When I came home, I took French classes at night at Mohawk College. And I speak it just about as well as my husband, who stopped taking French after Grade 9. Quelle dommage. (I totally had to look that up.)

Well, I might have found something else that I can’t do. That’s right, now there are two things beyond my grasp. I officially have a list.

My latest revelation? I can’t bake cinnamon rolls. I have tried FOUR times in eight days to make them, and they’ve sucked each time.

The first batch was last Sunday. They didn’t rise at all, and they were as hard as hockey pucks when they came out of the oven. I threw them out after one bite – in the garbage, not the green bin. I don’t even think they were fit for composting.

But since I’m a determined person, I decided to try again the next morning. I think maybe I used the wrong yeast for the first batch – the recipe didn’t specify what kind to use. So the next day while I was waiting for my second batch of rolls to rise, I decided to make a third batch with fast-acting yeast. The second batch was a flop again, but the third batch rose just like it was supposed to! Success! I happily stuck them in the oven and burnt them to a crisp.

I’m not going to lie. If we hadn’t run out of flour after the third batch, I would have tried again on Tuesday. But we were completely out after three batches of cinnamon rolls, plus weekend cookies and brownies by my husband (the designated house baker). Now, are you thinking that we bake far too much at our house? Keep in mind that my baking doesn’t actually turn out, so it doesn’t count.

Anyway, Sunday was my first chance to try the rolls again. I set myself up for failure by starting the 90 minute recipe exactly 90 minutes before we left for church. But I compensated by cutting the rising time and the baking time. I like doing things like that because it drives my husband batty. And they turned out okay. Edible. My husband didn’t like them, but that’s only because he prefers them sweeter. At least they looked they look delicious, so that’s something:

I enjoyed making the rolls, but none of my four batches turned out really well. I’m thinking of trying bread instead, but I’m looking for someone who can teach me instead of trying to figure it out myself. It’ll be more fun that way, and I might end up with something my family will actually eat.

So with out further ado, I present to you my list of things I can’t do:

  • Speak French
  • Bake cinnamon rolls

I realize that after baking four batches of rolls, I might want to add “doesn’t know when to give up” to the list – but I haven’t come to terms with that yet, so we’ll leave it off for now.

Two things that I suck at. Not too bad of a list. And knowing that I’m not really good at either of them doesn’t make me want to stop trying, it just takes the pressure off to do them perfectly. And that makes them kind of fun.


  1. Do you have a bread maker? If you do, these are pretty easy to make. i’m sure you could do it with a mixer, but the bread maker makes it a no-brainer. They are also AMAZING.

    • No, we’ve had breadmakers but they never last so I’m trying to learn to do it all myself. Those look yummy though!

  2. I have to tell you that I completely feel for you and so love the honesty of your blog. I too find that my nemesis is also French and Cinnamon Rolls! lol. When and if you find a great recipe that is easy for the layman let me know.

  3. Tamara, I can’t make boil water, let alone make cinnamon rolls, so the fact that you made 4 batches of anything amazes me. And, don’t give up hope on the French. You know the secret, don’t you? You’ll be quite fluent when you have to have no other option. I took French until 2nd year univ. and then, didn’t speak a word for 12 years. However, I was lucky to be in France in 2010 staying at a place where the owner didn’t speak English so all we had was my crappy French to communicate with – in 24 hours, it was amazing the amount of vocab and grammar that came back. I spoke so much French that I got us invited to dinner and translated for 3 hours so that Jordan and I could could drink and eat with our hosts.
    So, your French may be bad now but put Quebec or France on your wish list some time in the next few decades :) and you will amaze yourself – it’s all there waiting for you to have no other option but to use it. A bientot!

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