Archive for the ‘rolls’ Category


Well, I’m late for posting the Bakers Challenge. Again.  I love to volunteer at my daughters school and the past few weeks have been quite hectic with end of school field trips and activities. Please forgive me.

This  month’s challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook. She asked everyone to make cinnamon buns, or one its many variations. And there are tons. I think cinnamon rolls was one of the first breads that I ever made and   there is something so comforting about rich, warm bread filled with sugary goodness and covered in more sugary goodness. If you have never tried making these (or some version of them), please don’t hesitate to try. It’s  really quite simple.

The basic concept of a cinnamon roll is yeasted dough rolled out into a rectangular shape, then brushed with a good dose of butter. A cinnamon sugar mixture is then sprinkled over this and then the dough is rolled up and sliced. the slices are place, cut side up, in a pan to  rise and then baked.

What is the difference between a “cinnamon” bun and a “sticky” bun? The first is drizzled with either a cream cheese or confectioners sugar glaze when still warm from the oven while a sticky bun has a butter/sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan that sliced dough gets placed into for their final rise. basically the extra sugary goodness goes in either before baking or after. In mine I did a little of both!

A variety of doughs can be used. An enriched dough is most common. All that means is that the dough has some butter and eggs in it. Sourdough is ultra tasty. Brioche dough is crazy wonderful for this (lots  of added butter and eggs in the dough). Hell, let all thoughts of calories go out the window and use puff pastry. While this is more like a cronut it still counts as a cinnamon bun to me (and my thighs).  Don’t let the thought of making bread dough frighten you. It is one of the most rewarding things you can do in the kitchen. That being said , I have at times used plain old white bread dough bought from the freezer section at the market and made sticky buns with delicious results. Seriously, all paths lead to the same end. Deliciousness.

I baked a few versions this month. First I went with one with a filling of cinnamon, candied orange peel and walnuts. I know my friend Kathy is cringing right now at the thought of candied orange peel but I love it.  Later in the month I made little mini cinnamon buns for the volunteer appreciation night at the grade school. For these I just made a half batch of dough and rolled a skinnier rectangle so that when I rolled it up it only rolled 1 1/2 turns and then I cut 1/3 inch slices. I hope that makes sense. These were good and went quickly due to their manageable size. Nobody wants to be at a school gathering trying to eat a mammoth sized pastry in front of strangers. That is something better left for home.


For my final version I went with a rhubarb and custard filled sticky bun. My rhubarb plant outside is gigantic and I need reasons to use it. I used Bird’s custard after reading in a food history book about how Birds came about. It turns out that during WWII families in England were rationed one (yes, 1) egg per week so the manufacturers came up with a product that required no eggs and very little sugar, which was rationed as well. Since I keep a can in the closet for when the urge to make Nanaimo bars strike, this seemed perfect. Well, actually, I used the last of my eggs to make the dough and didn’t feel like going out to get some more….

The best part about making cinnamon/sticky buns? other than eating them, is that you can prepare them the day before and slip the pan of unrisen slices in the fridge until morning. You just wake up, turn your oven on, and let the cold rolls warm up a bit on the counter while your oven heats up. I find that even 15 minutes at room temperature is enough before popping them into the oven.

Please make sure to visit Shelley’s site to see her tasty versions. BAKE ON!


3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast (if using active dry yeast make sure to proof it first)
½ tsp salt
1 cup of  milk, heated to just around 100F  (I used 2%)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature


Stir three cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a large mixing bowl.

Add the milk, eggs ,vanilla  and butter to the dry ingredients and continue mixing until the dough comes together.  If necessary, add the remaining flour, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and not sticky to the sides of the bowl. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes.

Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling wrap or a tea towel until it has doubled in bulk. This should take about hour. If it is very hot in your house this might be shorter or if your house is cool it could take a little longer.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.


Take 4-5 stalks of fresh rhubarb and cut them into 1/4 – 1/3 inch slices. Add  1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste) . Mix this together and let it macerate until ready to use.DSC_1193


1 1/2 Tablespoons (22 ml) Bird’s custard powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons (22ml) granulated sugar
1 cup  (250ml) milk
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (save the pod for your sugar or salt jar) or 1 teaspoon rum


In a small saucepan, mix together the custard powder and the sugar. Over medium high heat, whisk in the milk until well blended. If using the seeds of a vanilla bean, add it now. Bring to a full boil, whisking frequently. Take off the heat. If using rum, add now. Place the hot custard into a bowl and place a piece if cling wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a “skin” forming. Cool in the fridge while the dough is rising.


Get your pan ready:

In a 12 hole muffin tin, place 1/2 teaspoon each of butter and brown sugar. Place in a warm oven for a few minutes to slightly melt the two.

Set aside .

June 28, 2014



Roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Make a rectangle roughly 12 x 9 inches. Feel free to eyeball this. Spread a layer of cooled custard over the dough leaving about 1/2 inch border all the way around.

Lightly drain your rhubarb, reserving the pink liquid for your glaze (optional)

Sprinkle the rhubarb over the entire surface . With the wide end facing you, start rolling up your dough, jelly roll style. Pinch the seam together and slice into Twelve 1 1/2 inch slices. Place cut side up into each muffin cup.

Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge overnight until morning.

When you are ready to bake, take the cold pan out of the fridge and place on the counter. Remove the cling wrap. Heat your oven to 350F. After about 15 minutes, pop the sticky buns into your oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

May 28 2014

If you are baking the same day: after placing the sliced rolls into your muffin tin, cover them with either plastic wrap or a tea towel and let them rise again for another hour before baking at 350F for 25 minutes.

If you don’t have a muffin tin, place them into a rectangle or round cake pan with a little space around them to expand.

Optional glaze:(since my daughter was having a friend sleepover this was not optional in out house)

Take 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar and mix with 2 tablespoons of the reserved pink rhubarb syrup. If it is too thick, add a tiny bit more until you get a consistency of thick cream. When the sticky buns come out of the oven, take them out of the pan and drizzle the pink icing of each of them.


This easy dough recipe is from Anna Olsen.




Read Full Post »


I have to admit I loved this months Daring Bakers Challenge. Why? Because even after looking at the recipe several times this month I just got around to trying it out today and was thrilled to see how fast it came together. 5 minutes to mix it together, 20 minutes in the oven and then you are rewarded with little magic puffs, crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. Oh, did I forget to mention they are filled with cheesy goodness? I would say these are the Brazilian version of French gougères. But different. And gluten-free. Isn’t that a nice bonus? This is a recipe worth keeping for when you have company over with dietary needs that you normally don’t cook for. Like gluten-free cooking. the secret ingredient is sour cassava (tapioca) starch. Made from the yucca plant, the sour tapioca starch undergoes a natural fermentation process and the texture is more granular before baking than regular tapioca flour. Our host this month, the lovely Renata from“Testado, Provado & Aprovado!”, has this to say about the starch:

“TAPIOCA STARCH (also known as CASSAVA STARCH) is the main ingredient of Pão de Queijo. Here in Brazil there are two types: REGULAR and SOUR. The regular type is easier to find in other countries, but if you are lucky enough to find the sour type in your area, I highly recommend you try it (quantities will be provided when applicable). It looks pretty much like any other starch, powdery and white, sometimes it has little granules.
You can find tapioca starch at amazon.com:
Regular Tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
Sour Tapioca Starch (this is a Brazilian brand, quite overpriced. Here in Brazil it costs around US$ 2!)”

Here in Calgary I had no problem finding the sour starch at my local South American market (yes, I have a  South American market down the street). I hope that it is just as easy for you (try looking in the spanish section). Otherwise, just use regular  tapioca flour.

The second most import ingredient is cheese. The authentic recipe calls for “Queijo Minas Curado” which is typical from Minas Gerais. They did not have this at the store so I relied on what I had in the fridge, smoked applewood cheddar. I don’t know what the other cheese tastes like, Reneta compares it to Monterey Jack, but the applewood cheddar was AMAZING.


These are super simple to make, and are best are best eaten straight from the oven, or warm if you can wait that long. Keep a batch of rolled dough balls in the freezer to bake straight out of the freezer. Roll smaller balls so when company pops by they are the perfect accompaniment with cocktails, or larger balls for a dinner side dish or Panini roll.

I made the traditional version, but you must visit Renata’s site to get the two other versions. If I only had a waffle iron… I also cut the recipe down to 1/4  since there was just the three of us but next time (and there will be a next time) I will make the full batch and freeze the uncooked dough balls. Bake On!

Yields about 80 small balls


500 gm (4 cups) tapioca starch (If you have access to sour tapioca, you can use 250gm (2 cups) of each)
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2-3/4 tablespoons (40 ml) (1½ oz) (40 gm) butter
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) salt (or to taste depending on how salty your cheese is)
3 cups (750 ml) (9 oz) (250gm) Monterey Jack Cheese (or another cheese of your liking, or a mix of cheeses), coarsely grated
1 to 3 large eggs


Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil. Watch closely as it may boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sift the  tapioca starch into a large bowl.

Pour the hot liquid  mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork. The milk mixture will not be enough to form a dough yet. You will have a lumpy mixture, that’s what it is supposed to be.Keep stirring with the fork, breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.

Preheat your oven to moderately hot 400° F/200° C/gs mark 6


Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well, now using your hands.

Lightly beat the eggs with a fork and add little bits until the dough comes together into a soft but pliable dough. You only have to knead it a bit, not as much as you knead a yeasted bread. It’s OK if it is slightly sticky.Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat or lightly greased with vegetable oil. If necessary, you can oil your hands to make shaping easier. The size of the balls may vary from small bite-sized balls to the size of ping-pong balls. They will puff up quite a bit after baking.25 minutes or until they just start to brown on the bottom. You may have golden spots of cheese on the crust. Don’t over-bake as they will get hard and bitter.


NOTE: If your dough gets too soft and sticky to shape balls, you can always add a bit more tapioca starch or pop the dough into a piping bag and pipe the dough on a baking sheet.







Additional Information from Renata:

This recipe doesn’t require a stand mixer and, traditionally, it is made by hand. This recipe does not require a stand mixer and, traditionally, it is made by hand. However, it is indeed sort of a “heavy” dough. However, it is indeed a sort of “heavy” dough. Though I have never tried using a stand mixer here, I found someone who has. Though I have never tried using a stand mixer here, I found someone who has. Her name is Raiza Costa and she blogs at Dulce Delight. Her name is Raiza Costa and she blogs at Dulce Delight. She’s a Brazilian living in the US and she makes lovely videos in English. She’s a Brazilian living in the U.S. and she makes lovely videos em Inglês. I thought I’d share her “Pão de Queijo” post (with video) with you: I thought I’d share her “Cheese Bread” post (with video) with you:
Another link to a video showing the process by hand. Another link to a video showing the process by hand. It’s in Portuguese but the method is clearly shown: It’s in Portuguese but the method is Clearly shown:
Sour manioc starch (poviho azedo) and manioc starch (also known as sweet manioc starch or poviho doce) are both extracted from yucca. The difference is that sour manioc starch undergoes a natural fermentation process. As a result, manioc starch (the sweet one) has a much finer consistency and more delicate texture than sour manioc starch.
Read more at http://leitesculinaria.com/32757/recipes-brazilian-cheese-rolls.html#Xhw8sSPoMEYCkob6.99
Sour manioc starch (poviho azedo) and manioc starch (also known as sweet manioc starch or poviho doce) are both extracted from yucca. The difference is that sour manioc starch undergoes a natural fermentation process. As a result, manioc starch (the sweet one) has a much finer consistency and more delicate texture than sour manioc starch.
Read more at http://leitesculinaria.com/32757/recipes-brazilian-cheese-rolls.html#Xhw8sSPoMEYCkob6.99
Sour manioc starch (poviho azedo) and manioc starch (also known as sweet manioc starch or poviho doce) are both extracted from yucca. The difference is that sour manioc starch undergoes a natural fermentation process. As a result, manioc starch (the sweet one) has a much finer consistency and more delicate texture than sour manioc starch.
Read more at http://leitesculinaria.com/32757/recipes-brazilian-cheese-rolls.html#Xhw8sSPoMEYCkob6.99




Read Full Post »


I’m drooling while writing this.  I actually had to take these and put them in the freezer or else the entire lot would be in my stomach right now. Maybe it’s because I haven’t made croissants in a few months, or that I have a deep weakness for all things buttery, or that I love pretzels, but I do know is that these are quite tasty (and dangerous).  Bread Baking Babe Heather, of Girlichef  fame, chose pretzel croissants for this months bread experience. The recipe follows the basic method for making laminated dough but in the final step you dip the unbaked, risen croissant into a bath of cold water and baking soda, giving it that dark exterior so loved in a good pretzel. I made a half batch of dough and small croissants since I know my weaknesses. Both husband and daughter happily ate one at breakfast today with an extra going into the lunchbag for her teacher.DSC_1253


A few things to take note of before starting croissants. Flavorful croissants happen over the course of a few days. Three is best for me. Read the recipe and methods entirely before starting. Back in  January of 2007, the Daring Kitchen had us make croissants. You won’t find that post here since mine were a complete failure.  Things that I stink at baking only make me keep trying.That being said, I then went and tried and retried with various recipes until one day I realized “I’ve got it”. Did I go through a lot of butter” ? Damn straight I did. Are they scary to make? not anymore. In fact, I make them at least every 3-4 months. What I learned along the way is patience. Always let the dough rest in the fridge for a day before incorporating the butter block. This develops flavor. I also add some sourdough starter as well. Again, flavor.  Let your dough rest a good hour in the fridge between turns. When you are rolling the dough and it isn’t rolling out easily, put it back in the fridge for another 10 minutes, then try again. It really does help. After the final turn, I like to put it back in the fridge overnight before shaping and baking. When proofing, I put the pan in the cold oven on the middle rack, placing a pan of hot water on the bottom rack. This creates a nice moist, warm environment for them to rise in. Thirty minutes before baking, pull the tray and pan of water out, then turn your oven to heat up to 425F. Give it the full thirty minutes to pre-heat.

For the butter block, I find it easiest to start with room temperature butter. Then  mix in the flour thoroughly.  Why add flour? Most butter (unless it’s expensive European butter) has too much water content so the flour absorbs some of this.  I then line a square pan with plastic wrap and place my butter in, using another piece of plastic wrap to push and squish it into a flat even layer. The pan then gets back in the fridge until cold and then I just pop out the plastic wrapped cold butter block. Easy.

I like Heathers method of incorporating the block into the dough. It worked great and delivered many crispy layers of goodness. The shattering shell of a deep, dark shell with a moist, feathery interior. Hungry yet? Bake On!


adapted from Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker

for the dough:DSC_1250-001
1/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm milk (~110° F)
7 g (1/4 ounce / 2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar (golden or dark)
410 g (3-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour + more for work surface
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temp
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold pilsner-style beer ( I didn’t have any beer so I added some water)

I also added 25g of 100% starter

for the butter block:
340 g (12 ounces / 24 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

to finish:
60 grams (1/4 cup) baked baking soda (see notes)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
coarse salt
flax or sesame seeds , optional

Stir the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar into the lukewarm milk and allow to sit until foamy, 5 minutes or so. Whisk the flour, remaining brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture, breaking it up into tiny flour-coated pieces the size of breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast mixture and the beer using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to form a shaggy mass.
Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface and knead eight to ten times, until all of the flour is just incorporated. You don’t want to over work it, because you don’t want the butter to melt too much. The dough will not be a smooth mass; you will see some flecks of butter. It should be soft and tacky, but not sticky. Adjust as needed with flour or water. Lightly oil a large bowl and set the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours (24 will give you the best flavor).
making the butter block
Beat the butter and flour together in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment until it forms a smooth mass (or by hand, using a lot of elbow grease). This should take about a minute. You want the butter to be pliable without beating air into it or melting it.

Spread the butter between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap (or parchment or wax paper), and use a rolling pin to shape into a rectangle that is about 8″x9″. Use a straight edge to form corners, but work quickly as you want the butter to stay cool. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until you’re ready to roll out the dough.April 28 2014

Scatter a little bit of flour on your work surface, then turn the dough out onto it. Roll it out into a rectangle that is 10″x15″ and about 1/4″ thick. Using your hands, gently pull and stretch the dough to form straight edges and sharp corners. Brush excess flour off of the dough. Set the dough with a long edge facing you.
Mentally divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Place the butter block over the right 2/3 of the dough, leaving a 1″ border on the outer edges. Fold the empty left portion of the dough over the middle third. Now, lift and fold the right section of dough over that. You should have 3 layers of dough that encase 2 layers of butter. Pinch the outsides and the seams together and lightly press the layers together using a rolling pin. This completes the first turn. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and set it on your lightly floured work surface. Roll dough out into a 10″x20″ rectangle, pulling and stretching to form straight edges and sharp corners. Brush off any excess flour. Set the dough with a long edge facing you. Fold both of the short ends in to the center, leaving a 1/4″ gap where they meet (think of a book jacket). Fold one side of the dough over the other. Lightly press the layers together using a rolling pin, and square and sharpen the edges and corners. This completes the second turn. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hourApril 28 20141

3rd (and final) turn:
Lightly dust your work surface and the top of the dough with flour. Roll dough out into a 10″ by 15″ rectangle. Do another trifold, as done in the first turn (mentally divide into thirds, then fold one third over the center, followed by the last third). Square the edges and sharpen the sides; wipe off excess flour. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but up to another 24 hours.
At this point, you can wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, slide it into a freezer baggie, and freeze for up to 1 week. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding to final shaping.DSC_1234

final shaping:
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly dust your work surface and top of your dough with flour. Roll out into a 15″x18″ rectangle that is ~1/4″ thick. Pull and stretch to form straight edges and sharp corners. Patch any holes where butter may have popped through by dusting them with flour. Brush any excess flour off the dough.
Heathers method: Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, creating two 15″x9″ sheets of dough. Using a pizza cutter or bench scraper, cut each piece of dough into three equal strips, the short way. Then cut each strip in half diagonally, so that you left with 6 triangles. Repeat with other piece of dough.DSC_1243

Me: For shaping I  have cardboard template that I made last year and just keep in my drawer until needed. It is 3 inches wide at the base and 5 inches long. I find it so easy to make consistently even shaped croissants.
If  you like, cut a 1/2″ notch in the center of each triangle base, then beginning at that end, roll the triangles up, tugging on the tip to elongate it slightly, then gently pressing it into the dough. Place on the prepared baking sheets with the tip tucked under, and curve the ends to form crescent shapes (the notch helps with the curving process). If you prefer a “straight” croissant, the notch isn’t necessary. Either way, it won’t hurt anything.
Cover the croissants with damp, clean kitchen towels and allow to rise at cool room temperature until they have almost doubled in size and feel spongy, ~2 hours.
At this point, slide the croissants into the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you prepare the dipping solution. Preheat oven to 425° F, positioning one rack in the upper third of the oven, and one in the lower third.
prepare the dipping solution:BBBuddy Badge April 2014
Add the baked baking soda in 8 cups of cold water and stir until completely dissolved. One by one, dip the croissant dough into the dipping solution, allow the excess to drip off, then set back on the lined trays. Brush the tops with the egg wash, then sprinkle with coarse salt and sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if using
Slide into preheated oven immediately and bake for 15-18 minutes (rotating pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through), until they are deeply browned, crispy, and flaky. They should feel light and airy if you pick them up.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving (or let them sit on the sheet tray for 5-10 minutes. I found that they soaked the butter on the pan back into them if I did this). They are best enjoyed the day they are made, ideally warm from the oven. Store any extras in a paper bag for a day. You can reheat them by placing them in a 350° F oven for ~5 minutes.
to make Baked Baking Soda:
Baked baking soda is an alternative to working with lye that still lends pretzels their dark, burnished crust. To make the baked baking soda, spread 1/4 cup (~70 grams) of baking soda out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or foil (or in a pie pan). It will decrease in weight, but shouldn’t decrease in volume. Slide it into an oven that has been preheated to 250° F/120° C and bake for 1 hour. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you see lots of pretzels in your future, make a large batch to store since it keeps indefinitelyDSC_1257

Please make sure to visit the real babes to get a visual feast

Read Full Post »


Water-Proofed? Seriously, what that mean? When I read that Elle, from Feeding My Enthusiasms, decided to choose a recipe from  James Beard’s  “Beard On Bread” my first thought was good on you for going back to the classics. But this is no classic; this is pure inventive thinking. Could Elle be serious about this “method”?  I immediately  went looking for my old  1974 edition and sure enough, on page 142, Water-proofed bread.  “The bread is called “water-proofed” because the dough is submerged in a bath of water for the first rising”.  How is this even possible and what in the world made him think of  even trying this? And it works…  I wish that he would have embellished on this method since it says nothing about it in the book and I couldn’t find anything on the internet about the origins of this. Anyone out there have any clues? If so, please fill me in. I guess all that matters is that the end result is light, airy and delicious.



Please make sure to head over to Elle’s site for the original recipe since the recipe in the book immediately following water-proofed bread is water-proofed egg twists, which is what I made. Same concept, different shape. The recipe calls for rolling the dough in sugar and chopped nuts while shaping and since  I had  some hazelnut praline on hand I  thought this would be a nice way to use it. You will need a large bowl to fill with water that will be able to hold your dough, and a clean kitchen towel to wrap the dough in. The towel will get quite messy since the dough will want to stick to it so I would recommend a tight weaved cotton towel so no fibers get picked up by the dough.

there are a few interpretive questions I had about the recipe and it’s methods. It calls for 3 1/2 cups of flour but he only mentions 3 cups in the recipe. You will need all 3 1/2 cups. It calls for 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces. The length of kneading was sketchy to me so I just used my standing mixer and kneaded for about 10 minutes. Like I said, the end result was delicious.

This was a really interesting method to making bread and I am toying with the idea of trying it with a different bread recipe just to see if it works with something like rye bread or an olive loaf. In the meantime, Bake On!BBBuddy badge march 14

Water-Proofed Egg Twists

makes 18 buns (they also freeze beautifully after baking)

1 package (2 1/4 tsp)  active dry yeast   
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 Cup warm water (no hotter than 110 f)
3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 Cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 Cup warm milk (no hotter than 110F)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 Cup finely chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans


Mix 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the chopped nuts; set aside

Proof the yeast with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in the warm water. Put 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles course meal. I pulsed it a few times in my mini food processor instead. Add the milk and the yeast mixture, and beat well. Add the eggs, vanilla, and the remaining flour and beat until springy and airy. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. I added everything at once and kneaded, using my standing mixer and dough hook, for 10 minutes.


Okay, now for the fun part. Get a large bowl and fill it with tepid water (about 90F).  Spread a clean, cotton kitchen towel on the counter and flour it liberally. Place the dough into the center and wrap it up just like a present.


Tie it loosely (so it can expand), but securely, and submerge it into the bowl of water. DSC_1095


It will sink like the Titantic.

Let it sit  for 40 minutes and it will magically float to the top.


Remove it from the bowl, letting the excess water drip off, and unwrap the dough. Scrape the dough from the towel (it will be pretty messy) onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball, kneading in a little flour since it will be quite sticky. Make 18 pieces. I used a scale and weighed them out in 50 gram increments.


Spread your sugar nut mixture out and roll the dough pieces in it, rolling the dough out into 8 inch logs. Pinch the ends together and then twist into a figure eight.


Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another 30-40 minutes. I like to put my pan in the cold oven, on the middle rack,  with a bowl of hot water placed onto the bottom rack. I then in keep it in until I preheat the oven.

Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before eating.










Read Full Post »


pin it

What a tasty treat from the Bread Baking Babes for January!  Elle, from Feeding My Ethusiasms chose fantans, a little single portion of deliciousness. |In the past I have made Flo Braker’s Lemon Pull Apart bread (to die for), which is really just a giant version of this so I was eager to give these individual babies a try. While the recipe was for jam filled fantans, I still has some leftover speculaas spices from the Gevulde Speculaas I made last week  that I knew would be perfect for something like this. I just mixed the potent spice blend with some sugar that made a spicy  cinnamon roll effect treat. With a slathering of cream cheese frosting these were outstanding!

I definitely want to try a savory version next time since I think these would be great for a side of soup but in the meantime I am trying desperately not to eat the entire pan these delicious buns. Bake On!

At least 4 hours ahead prepare the starter (I did this the night before):

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast

Stir together until well blended, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until later.

Dough Ingredients:BBBuddies_Jan_2013
2 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup non fat evaporated milk
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
¼ cup honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons speculaas spice mixture


Sift 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, the 1 cup of whole wheat bread flour, salt, and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Set aside.

Placed evaporated milk, butter and honey into a saucepan and heat until butter is nearly melted. Remove from heat. Stir a few minutes to help mixture cool. Let cool to 110 degrees F.

Add the starter mixture to milk mixture, then add milk mixture to flour mixture; beat well. Add egg and vanilla; stir until blended. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, stir until thoroughly incorporated. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, tacky dough.

In a standing mixer with the dough hook attachment,knead for 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and silky. If doing by hand, lightly flour your work surface and knead for about 5 minutes adding additional flour if needed, but only enough to keep it from sticking too much.) Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to lightly coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. I tend to place my dough in my bottom oven with a bowl of steaming water along side of it. This provides a warm, moist environment for the dough to rise.DSC_1952

Dust your work surface with flour. Punch down the dough, then half it. Roll one half into a 12×12-inch square. Brush dough with half the melted butter. Score the bottom every two inches so you can cut even strips. Cut one two-inch wide strip off and set aside.DSC_1954

Spread the surface of the remaining rolled out dough with  1/2 of the speculaas sugar filling. Remember, don’t put the filling on the  1/6 plain strip. This will allow you to have a plain side of dough on each side of the roll touching the muffin cup. Cut into 5 equal strips, then stack the strips on top of each other with the plain strip on top. You will now have 6 layers.  Cut through the layers into 6 equal pieces, then place each into a buttered muffin cup, standing up so the layers are visible. Gently fan them open. Each will have six dough pieces with marmalade or other filling in between. Repeat with the remaining dough and the rest of the marmalade for the other six cups of the muffin tin.DSC_1955

Cover with a clean dish towel and let the rolls rise in a draft free spot at warm room temperature until the dough doubles, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. I actually covered mine with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for about 2 1/2 hours since I had to go out. I then just let them come to room tempeture and “wake up” for an hour before baking.

Place the rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C.


Remove the towel and bake the rolls until they are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan ten minutes, then transfer to a rack and allow to cool for about another 20 minutes before serving. If desired, make a simple cream cheese glaze by mixing together cream cheese, confectioners sugar and cream until smooth  then drizzle over the fantails while still warm. Enjoy!


Please visit all of The Bread Baking Babes to check out their awesome work:

Bake My Day – Karen
Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Elle
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Lucullian Delights – Ilva
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
Paulchens Foodblog – Astrid
Provecho Peru – Gretchen

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: