So… what makes breakfast at Northern Comfort super fun? It’s not the cushy robes, the peaceful sound of the wind in the pines or the homemade toasted bread. It’s not even the chance of early morning encounters with Peppermint, the basset hound hostess.
It’s the breakfast starters.
Or, to put it into hobbit terms, we serve both breakfast and second breakfast.
One of our favorite starters is tasty mix of Greek yogurt, fruit, honey, chocolate and granola. And we try to make sure our granola is extra special (and not full of nasties) by making it ourself on the farm.
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 packages active dry yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets (4.5 teaspoons)
- 8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, reserved) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) salt
- plenty Of melted butter - about one cup
- 1 cup sugar
- Lots of cinnamon
- Lots of butter - about one half cup
- 8-12 tablespoons marmalade
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 bag powdered sugar (one pound)
- 1 teaspoons maple flavoring
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 bag powdered sugar - 1 pound
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Heat the milk, oil, and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for a few minutes.
- Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover and set aside for 1 hour. Then remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly. Place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.
- I made half the batch into cinnamon, half into orange which is reflected in the directions
- To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, you’ll be cutting about 25 rolls from this piece of dough, so aim to have your dough pancake 25-30” long by however wide that takes. Probably 10-12 inches.
- To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.
- For cinnamon rolls - Sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter.
- Roll the dough rectangle tightly towards you (you’ll be rolling the big long way!) Keep the roll tight. It might get messy, that’s fine. Roll it up tight and pinch it shut.
- Grab your cake pans and put melted butter in the bottom of each pan. You’ll need 6 - 8 pans and each pan will have 7-9 rolls.
- Now slice into the rolls - Start by slicing in the middle and aim for 12 - 13 rolls from each side. Keep cutting in half if it helps you keep things even!
- Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans.
- For orange rolls - layer on the butter, marmalade and brown sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cover the rolls with a towel, set someplace warm and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
- Maple icing - In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
- Orange icing - exactly the same, but sub OJ for the coffee and maple flavoring.
- Remove pans from the oven and drizzle icing over the top - try to get the icing everywhere!
- **Don't forget to add 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt after the dough rises. If you DO forget, just go ahead and knead in the next morning and let rise for 20-30 minutes. The rolls won't be as fluffy, but they will be tasty.**
- **Your mission is to get 25 rolls from each half batch of dough you roll out. For the love of all that's holy, don't roll out too thin. Get the dough 25-30" across by about 10" deep. Rolls taste better when rolled out about that thick. I rolled mine MUCH too thin and had more layers. Not as tasty**
- **BUTTER THE PANS!!**
- **We thought the orange rolls could be more... orangey. Try working in more marmalade and maybe orange zest in the filling and the glaze!**
So making granola is super fun and easy. This recipe that we rely on from Cook’s Illustrated is one of the best… the secret is to press the raw granola into the jelly roll pan, bake it nicely and then break into pieces. Like peanut bark. It’s awesome.
Here’s the step by step photos…
First we mix up the dry ingredients… note this photo is SUPER MISLEADING because you should not (like we did in this photo) include dried fruit at this point. Dried fruit goes in last.
But it’s a pretty picture, isn’t it?
Once the dried things (oats, nuts…) are mixed with the gooey things (maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar) everything gets a bit clumpy. It might seem like your gooey stuff isn’t ‘enough’ for your dry stuff. Just add a bit at a time and keep stirring and everything will get coated.
Once everything is good and coated, dump it onto your cookie sheet (or rather, jelly roll pan) that’s been lined with parchment paper.
For the love of god, go to the store and get parchment paper. It’s important.
Flatten into the pan… we didn’t take a picture, but at this point use something firm – I used a metal spatula, but a coffee mug would work – the goal is to firmly press the gooey granola mix into pan.
Bake for 45 Minutes, turning once halfway through.
This isn’t the best photo, but let everything cool down in the pan and then break the granola into chunks.
And here’s the final result! We like to serve with fruit, yogurt and a bit of something sweet to make it extra special! How do YOU like your yogurt!?
Northern Comfort Bed & Breakfast and Antiques is historic Finnish Homestead located in northern Minnesota. Visit us for the day and browse our antique shop in the 1930’s dairy barn, or come for the evening and enjoy a traditional Finnish sauna, weekend wine and cheese hours, soft and fluffy beds and amazing breakfasts.
See you on the farm!