You know what the first sign of getting old is? Thinking about getting old.
Seriously, during high school and college, I never thought about being old. Sure, maybe I would think “wow, time flies–I can’t believe high school was four years ago” or something along those lines, but I didn’t connect it to the larger picture of moving towards an inevitably physically less-able me (lol, depressin right?)
I think the first time I truly thought to myself “Man, I am getting old” was when I was 24. I had just started law school and, as with many new social environments with people trying to get comfortable around each other, there was a lot drinking involved. This was not new to me. What was new was the overwhelming feeling that struck around, oh, 10 or 11pm, which was this: I. Really. Want. To. Go. Home. Despite the fact that everyone was just getting warmed up to go to Round 2 or Round 3, I could not shake The Feeling. Despite the fact that I was even having fun talking and meeting new people, as soon as my watch struck 10, I would start planning my escape. The Feeling compelled me to go home. And every time since I turned 24 and I ignored The Feeling, I have regretted it, without fail.
That was definitely the first time I thought: Man, I am getting old.
Since then, there are definitely other symptoms. And not to be bad news bear for those of you who still feel like a young’n, but they share the same theme–I can no longer enjoy things that I previously did.
I can’t eat crazy amounts of junk food. It scares me to even think that when I was 15, I thought an acceptable lunch was a bag of Hot Cheetos and an ice cream bar. If I did that now, I would pay for it physically and emotionally (=”I’m so disgusting, how could I have just eaten that, this is going to take me days to work off,” etc.)
I can’t go on roller coaster rides anymore. I looooooved roller coaster rides when I was younger: now, it’s like pulling into Nausea and Headache Central, last stop.
I can’t sit down for extended periods of time without my back and butt hurting. The butt hurting is the most troubling to me–am I actually losing cushion in my butt? Where did it go?
Sigh, why can’t we be like this yeasty, delicious cinnamon roll bread? It gets better with age!
Look: Before rising
After rising (2 hrs):
I love recipes that use yeast. Don’t worry, guys. Aging isn’t all bad. On the plus side, you get to do what you want, when you want. And I believe that I have become a more patient, less judgmental person as I have gotten older. Maturity level is probably about the same (my fave is when someone says “do do” as in “Consultants do do some things…” and I think hehehehe dooodoo).
Oh Pioneer Woman…when have you ever failed me? If only men were this reliable.
This really is just a nice homemade bread with a ribbon of cinnamon swirl in it. The egg wash adds a beautiful sheen with a nice crisp. The dough itself isn’t sweet, so if you were looking for more of a dessert bread, you might need to bump up the sweetness. I even skimped on the cinnamon sugar allotment and totally regretted it. Also, make sure you do roll it TIGHT (mine was a little on the loose side)–otherwise, your bread will unravel after it’s baked and sliced.
I’ll take mine toasted with a cinnamon sugar butter, thanks!
Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread from The Pioneer Woman
1 cup Milk
6 Tablespoons Butter
2-1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
2 whole Eggs
1/3 cup Sugar
3-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Egg And Milk, Mixed Together, For Brushing
Softened Butter, For Smearing And Greasing
1. Melt butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don’t boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment (or by hand) until combined. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined.
4. Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes. (I kneaded my dough by hand for the same amount of time). If dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes.
5. Heat a metal or glass mixing bowl so it’s warm. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm, hospitable place for at least 2 hours. (I left mine in a plugged sink full of warm water–just be sure water doesn’t get into the bowl itself).
6. Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you’re going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal.
7. Smear loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Mix a little egg with milk, and smear over the top. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven.
10. Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool. Slice and serve, or make cinnamon toast or French toast with it.