When I was pregnant with my first child, we were living close to Paddington station in London, England. I was working one evening per week at the pub below my residence and part-time at Paper Chase (a stationary and arts supply store). I took full advantage of all my free time to explore the city during the week and, on weekends, my husband and I visited the country together. Though the tube was very convenient from my location, I found myself walking everywhere.
While exploring alone, I discovered Daunt Books (if you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I love this place and have already mentioned it in this post). The shop has several locations but the best and most photographed one is in Marylebone with its iconic conservatory ceiling, graceful wooden details and stained glass. The carefully curated book displays make an hour slip by or an afternoon of rain go unnoticed.
At first, I was attracted to it from the point of view of a traveler (to clarify, a traveler with limited wifi connection). What is it like to be an expat in rural France and fix up an ancient home? Can we go to Belgium just for the weekend? Is it possible to drive from London to Edinburgh? While it specializes in travel books of all sorts, there is plenty more to offer. When I think about getting lost in a book, I think of this place. I remember those days fondly and recall the sweetness of having time all to myself. The time to browse books for hours and sometimes reading the first couple chapters. Then, maybepurchasing one to curl up with at my flat along with hot water and lemon and the quilt stolen from the double-bed.
Cozy, pregnant days in London. I love that those memories still burn bright.
Overnight Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Time: Prep time (10 minutes) + Rising time (1 hour) + Rolling (10 minutes) + 2nd rise (30 minutes to 1 hour) + Baking time (45 minutes)
Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls
Bread Dough Recipe
3 ½ cups (450 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
7 g dried yeast
4 tbsp honey
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup (250 mL) warm water
1 large egg
½ cup (100 g) dark brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (75 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp baking soda
3 tbsp hot water
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (227 g) cream cheese, softened
2.5 cups (275 g) icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla pod, scraped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pretzel Cinnamon Rolls
1. Stir together the flour, yeast, honey and salt in a large bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre of the ingredients, crack in the egg and pour 1 cup (250 mL) lukewarm water. Stir with your hands, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed until you have a smooth, slightly sticky ball of dough (alternatively, use the dough hook of a stand mixer).
3. Oil the sides and bottom of a medium to large sized bowl. Place the dough ball in it. Cover with a clean and slightly damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
4. Grease a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) dish with sunflower oil. On a lightly floured surface, roll the proved dough into a rectangle, 50 x 32 cm (20 x 12 ½ inches).
5. Sit the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Spread the butter over the surface of the dough and top with the cinnamon-sugar. Start with a short edge, roll the dough into a 32 cm (12 ½ inch) log, then cut the log into 12 even pieces (cut in the middle, then cut the two sides in half. Cut each quarter piece into 3 pieces). Place each piece in the greased dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight (or if preparing that day, place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes).
6. When ready to bake, take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let stand for 1 hour (or, if making them that day simply skip this step).
7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a small bowl stir together the baking soda and hot water. Remove the plastic wrap from the rolls. Brush the rolls with the baking soda mixture using a pastry brush. Immediately, sprinkle with the salt so that it sticks to the rolls (this is the pretzel part). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat the butter in a medium sized bowl using a hand mixer. Add half the icing sugar, mix, then add the other half (this helps to keep down the mess). Slowly mix in the vanilla bean paste and lemon juice. Spread on top of warm cinnamon buns.
Best enjoyed straight out of the oven with a scoop of frosting, sliced apples on the side and a mug of fresh coffee.
Recipe slightly adapted from from Izy Hossack’s (amazing) book Top with Cinnamon Stylish Sweet and Savoury Recipes. She just released her second book!