Tag Archives: yeast

It’s the Great Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, Charlie Brown

It’s pumpkin season. Need I say more? This time of year I love to make Pumpkin Brioche. It can be sweet or savory, it makes the best french toast, and it is just darn tasty. And for a long time now I’ve been suspecting that it would also make excellent cinnamon rolls.

I was right. It is so sweet being right. Literally.

These are better than traditional cinnamon rolls. And I’m not just saying that because I made them.  The hint of pumpkin really adds to the whole cinnamon roll experience.  You still get the cinnamon roll flavor and the cream cheese icing. Add in the pumpkin and it is a match made in tummy heaven.

Now for the slightly bad news. Something that tastes this good does not happen quickly. The brioche requires an overnight starter, then a rise for an hour or two, depending on how warm your house is, then the cinnamon rolls need to rise for another hour. Then bake, then eat. So, if you want these for breakfast, make them the day before, which actually means starting two nights before. I know. I know! But after all your hard work will be the best cinnamon roll you have ever tasted. I promise.

You can find the full pumpkin brioche instructions here. I’m just going to do the basic below. You will have enough brioche to make two 10 inch round pans of rolls, and then leftovers. I just shaped mine into rolls. They are tasty like that too.

Yield: 2 10 inch pans of cinnamon rolls plus six plain rolls

Difficulty: Advanced

One year ago: French Four Spiced Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Pumpkin Brioche

Biga

  • 312 g bread flour
  • 190 g milk
  • pinch of instant yeast

Mix all together and knead until smooth. Let rest for 12 to 24 hours.

Pumpkin Brioche

  • 500 g bread flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 7.5 g instant yeast
  • 25 g milk
  • 11.5 g salt
  • 375 g pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 65 g sugar
  • 50 g honey
  • Biga
  • 125 g butter

Warm liquids to 68F. Cut up your biga into small pieces. Add everything except the butter into the mixer. Mix on speed one for 5 minutes with a dough hook. Scrape the sides if necessary. While it is mixing, make your butter pliable. After the 5 minutes, increase to speed 2 or 3, depending on what your mixer can handle. Add the butter a small amount at a time, fully incorporating before adding more. After all is added, mix until a gluten window is formed. This part will take 10 to 15 minutes.   Let rest in lightly oiled bowl for about 90 minutes. Do one set of stretch and fold after 45 minutes. After doubled, move on to cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls

Filling (enough for two pans of rolls)

  • 6 oz unsalted butter (soft)
  • 4 oz brown sugar
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 1 TB cinnamon

Make sure butter is very soft, but not melted. Mix all ingredients together.

Cream Cheese Icing (enough for two pans)

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 oz butter, room temp
  • 7 oz powdered sugar
  • 6 oz water

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Slowly add water until a thin, but not watery, consistency is achieved. This may take more or less water. Do this step  a few minutes before the cinnamon rolls are finished.

Making the rolls

Lightly butter your pans, including the sides, so they remove from the pan easier.

Scale out two 20 ounce balls of brioche. Set remaining brioche aside for another use.  Roll out each ball into a rectangle. Spread filling leaving about one inch on the edges.

Gently roll the edge (long way) into a long roll. Cut the ends off to make it neat. Still bake the ends though, they are good.  Cut the roll in half using either a sharp knife, a dough cutter, or floss. Floss takes a long time, but gives you a nice cut. I used a dough cutter. After you cut it in half, cut each half in half, and then repeat. You should have eight rolls. Place into a 10 inch pan (or whatever size you decide to use will work fine) nice side down. Press down lightly.

Cover loosely with either a towel or plastic wrap and let rise about one hour. Repeat with the second dough ball.

Meanwhile, heat your oven to 350F. Once rolls are puffy, bake until golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then flip over onto a plate, platter, a sheet pan, whatever will hold the rolls. Pour half the icing on each pan. Let cool long enough so you don’t burn your tongue, grab a cup of coffee or milk, and eat.

These will keep for several days, but may dry out a bit. Just pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds and you are good to go again. Yum. Worth the effort, right?

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Daring Bakers October Challenge: Povitica

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

This was my very first Daring Bakers Challenge. It’s a great way to challenge myself and try recipes I might not have tried before, like this Povitica! I still can’t pronounce it, but I did read it is very similar to a Babka. My only experience with Babka is the Seinfeld episode, one of my favorites. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. “Cinnamon takes a backseat to no Babka!”

I was of course thrilled that the first challenge for me was a yeast recipe, since I bake bread all the time (I know, I need to post my bread on here more often!). But this recipe was a little hard for me to follow. I’m very particular (perhaps peculiar?) about how a recipe is written and organized. I had to sort through it and rearrange it to my liking. Also, I never use active dry yeast (and you shouldn’t either!) and always use instant. So that took some modifying. But only a couple very tiny changes and the end result was really tasty. I’m so glad I made it and have also added “Chocolate Babka” to my must-make baking list. As if I didn’t already have a long list!

This recipe isn’t hard, but it sure isn’t easy nor is it quick. Plan on this taking a couple of hours of your time, depending on how fast you work. But the end result makes a great breakfast the next day. And a mid-day snack. And dessert after dinner.

Yield: 2 loaves

Dough

  • ¼ Cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 Cup (240 ml) whole milk*
  • ¼ Cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp instant yeast*
  • 6 TB + 1 tsp (89 grams) Sugar*
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups (560 grams)  AP flour, divided

*Note: the original recipe calls for warm milk. Since we are using instant yeast here, warm milk is not required. If you do use active dry, then you will need 1 packet of yeast, 1 tsp of sugar, and milk warmed to 110F. You can still warm the milk a little for instant, but check the temperature. If it is over 110F, you will kill the yeast.

1. Mix together the melted butter, milk, eggs, and water in a separate bowl until just combined.

2. In stand mixer bowl, add your yeast, sugar, salt, and two cups of flour. Add liquid ingredients. Mix with paddle attachment just for a minute or two to help combine ingredients. Switch to a dough hook on speed 1. Add the remaining flour a tablespoon at a time until dough is well formed and smooth. You may not need all the flour, but I used all two cups and a little more. It depends on your weather!

3. Let rest in an oiled bowl until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. The picture below is before doubling. While it is rising, make the filling and topping.


Topping

  • ¼ Cup (60 ml) cold coffee
  • 1 TB granulated sugar

Combine and set aside

Filling

  • 3½ cups (560 grams) ground walnuts
  • ½ cups (120 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1  egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (225 gm) sugar
  • ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (I added extra!)

1. In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.

2. Heat the milk and butter to boiling.

3. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture. Let cool slightly.

4.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

5. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough.

6. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.

Returning to Dough

1. After dough has doubled, cut into two pieces. Just eyeball it. Spray two bread pans lightly with non stick spray. Preheat your oven to 350F.

2. Set out a silcone rolling sheet (or if you don’t have one, just use a clean bed sheet, it will help tremendously with the rolling) and a small bowl of flour for any light dusting. Get your rolling pin and prepare to work up a sweat! (Just kidding, it actually rolls out pretty easily).Roll the dough out very thin, less than 1/4″.  My rolling sheet is 24 inches by 14 inches and as you can see in the picture below I filled up the whole thing.  If you have any oddball pieces like I did, feel free to cut them off. Or if you aren’t a neurotic perfectionist like me, then leave it! A little extra dough never hurt anyone. 3. Add half of your filling and spread it on the dough, leaving room on the edges for rolling. Be careful rolling because your dough will be quite fragile at this point.

4. Very carefully start rolling the dough, just a little at a time, using light hands.

5. Then very carefully lift your dough into a bread pan. Form a “U” shape and twist back on itself.

6. Cover and let rest while you roll the second loaf. After both loaves are done and have rested about 15 minutes, brush with the coffee mixture. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

7. Bake until golden, which will take another 30 to 45 minutes. Check the internal temperature and when it reads at least 180F, it is done.

8. Important: Let cool in the pan. This goes against most bread making rules, but if you try to remove it while it is still warm, it will fall apart. It is a very heavy bread!

9. After it is cool, slice, pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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Sourdough Pretzels

I’m still on a football kick, and what is more football than a big pretzel and a beer? Pretzels are surprisingly easy to make. They can be done in couple of hours tops, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.

This recipe is from King Arthur Flour and requires a sourdough starter. However, since not everyone has sour dough starter, I’ll also include an alternate. It won’t taste like sourdough, but should still work. If you are buying from KAF sometime soon, throw the starter in your cart (along with some black cocoa). You’ll love it and it is easy to maintain. Very hard to kill. And believe me, I’ve tried numerous times. It makes great bread, which I’ll post on here eventually.

Sourdough Pretzels

adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 cup sourdough starter straight from the refrigerator (or 1 cup bread flour with 1/2 cup water, with a tiny pinch of yeast, mixed together. Let sit overnight).
  • 3/4 cup water (6 ounces)
  • 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) Bread Flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) Dry Milk (I used this from KAF)
  • 1 TB sugar or 2 TB non-diastatic malt powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt (sea salt is best)
  • 1 TB butter or oil (I used light olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

First, you gather all your ingredients in one big bowl.

If you are using the mixer with a dough hook, mix until well combined on speed one, about five minutes. Using a spray bottle, spritz the dough periodically if it looks dry. You want the dough to be slightly sticky. I prefer to use a spray bottle to add water. It distributes evenly and keeps you from adding too much.

You can finish it in the mixer if you think your mixer can handle it. But I finished kneading it by hand, only took a minute or two. Knead until you have a smooth ball.

Let rest, covered, for about 45 minutes. It won’t rise much and will look like this:

At this point divide it into about 12 pieces. If you have a scale, shoot for 2 1/2 ounces each. If you don’t have a scale, just divide into 12 pieces.

Flatten slightly and roll into ropes that are about 18 inches long.

The easiest way to roll is to roll as far as you can easily the first time. Let the rope rest and move on to the next one.  By the time you finish the initial rolling, the gluten in the dough will have relaxed on the first one and you will easily be able to roll to 18 inches. Don’t fight the dough. Dough can be temperamental and slow. Just let it be.

After rolling, shape into a pretzel first like this. Bring the ends together and twist twice.

And then like this. Fold the twisted ends down to make a pretzel shape. Pinch down lightly.

Then prepare the baking soda soluntion. The KAF method doesn’t have you do this. I have done both with and without the boiling first and they turn out much better if you boil first. Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil and add about 2 tsp of baking soda (it doesn’t have to be exact).

Boil a couple at a time, don’t crowd them. Then place on sheet pan and sprinkle with coarse salt. The ones on the right have been boiled.

Then place into a preheated oven, 450F, for about 20 minutes, or until golden. If you want them really golden, brush egg wash on them. I did not do that. After they are done, brush on melted butter.

These are great dipped in honey mustard. I used this recipe from Alton Brown and added a couple tablespoons of mayo to thicken a bit. But they are also delicious without. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make your own pretzels.

Enjoy!

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