Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dark Brown and Soft Restaurant Dinner Rolls

I don't get to restaurants very often. Not nearly enough, to tell you the truth. Still, when I do go, I always check out the bread basket. You know the one. The basket of rolls and other home-baked goodies they bring you before the meal. To eat while you wait for your order to arrive. Filled with dinner rolls, made with white flour, or whole wheat or even rye. And with all kinds of decorations, like sesame seeds and so forth. The ones that intrigue me are the rolls that are dark brown in color, with a not too chewy crust, and soft on the inside. And for a while now I have been looking for a recipe to 'duplicate' these rolls. At last I think I have found one... This recipe is adapted from one I found in a new cookbook I have acquired Whole Grain Baking from King Arthur Flour, another in a long line of really informative cookbooks from KAF. These guys really know baking! Their site is great, replete with recipes, forums and even video lessons, you should definitely check them out.

The rolls are soft, and very dark (thanks to the cocoa powder, which, btw, you can barely taste), and very attractive. However like all small breads, these rolls tend to dry quickly, and so should be eaten right away. That is never a problem!

Here's What You'll Need:
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
1/3 cup orange juice
4 Tbs (60g) softened butter or margarine
1/3 cup honey (or other sweetener like silan - date honey)
2 1/4 cups (250g) whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups (270g) AP flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs (45g) sugar
2 Tbs (30g) cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast

Here's What You'll Need To Do:

Mix together ALL the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix thoroughly. If using a mixer, use the dough hook at medium speed for about 7 or 8 minutes.

 If kneading by hand, then knead for longer, like about 12 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth, and just barely sticky.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and let it rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into about 10 equal-sized pieces. Place the rolls on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover to proof again, about 45 minutes.

About 20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, until just slightly browned on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Not a Joke - 'True' Apple Bread

I have touched on this subject before when trying to show the difference between cake and bread. I have also debated whether I should even include quick breads in the blog postings, are they cake or bread. Basically the same argument. And truly, the argument that they are baked in a loaf and eaten in slices seems like stretching it a bit - even to me. And I'm the one making the case. I should definitely stick to baking and stay away from lawyering (for lots of reasons, but that's another story for another time, maybe). But this apple bread, that I'm posting today, is truly bread, not some pseudo-bread-like loaf. It uses yeast, and rises!! So it's bread. Just look at the picture, is that a cake?

This bread makes a free-standing loaf of wonderfully textured, soft, yet firm, sandwich bread. It is flavored with fresh apples and cinnamon making it perfect for breakfast (it's great toasted, for example) or picnics, or even afternoon tea. Oh, and it's actually not difficult to make.

Here's What You'll Need: (one 23 by 13cm, or 9 by 5in loaf pan)
1/2 Tbs. instant yeast
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk (I used soy milk to avoid dairy)
3 to 3 1/4 cups AP flour
1 large tart apple peeled, cored and chopped coarsely
1/4 cup dried currants (or raisins)
1.4 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbs. oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 Tbs. salt

Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer) combine the yeast, water, milk, sugar and 1 cup of the flour. Mix to form a slurry, then cover and let it sit, at room temperature, for about an hour.

2. Add the apple, currants (or raisins), walnuts, oil, egg, spices and enough flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead for about 5 minutes in a mixer (or 10 by hand), adding flour as needed, to form a very smooth and slightly tacky dough.

3. Let the dough rise in a covered, lightly-oiled container until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

4. Gently deflate the dough, form it into a loaf, then place it in an oiled loaf pan. Cover to let it rise again about an hour. About 20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 200 C (about 400 F).

5. Place the bread int he oven, reduce the heat to 180 C (350 F) and bake for about 30 minutes or until well browned. It will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack completely before slicing.

6. This bread freezes well (double wrapped) and will be good for several months. But honestly, will it make the freezer? I don't think so.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sentimental Journey With a Twist - Old-fashioned Raisin Bread

I have written about Bernie's Bakery before. Somehow, when all is said and done, I keep coming back. And usually, it's at this time of year. When winter is finally over, and the weather stabilizes into summer warmth, I like to bake things that are a little decadent. Not fattening mind you. But definitely designed for your comfort zone. So that brings me to this post - old-fashioned raisin bread. I remember the raisin bread from Bernie's we would eat on Sunday's still warm from the oven. The bakery was right around the corner, after all. Still, this was a concession of sorts to New World sensibilities, by someone who was very decidedly Old World. Raisin bread is North American. Especially soft, white raisin bread like this one. This bread is wonderful still slightly warn (but wait to slice it so it can 'rest'). It is even better toasted with butter melted all over. Or strawberry jam. This is my modern adaptation of a very old-fashioned bread. With dollops of nostalgia thrown in for good measure!

Here's What You'll Need:
 1 1/4 cups warm water
1/2 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg
about 3 cups AP flour
3/4 cup raisins, plumped in hot water then drained

for the glaze:
1/2 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon hot water

Here' What You'll Need To Do:
1. Place the yeast in a small bowl with 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Mix to dissolve then set aside for about 10 minutes until nice and foamy.

2. In the meantime, mix the flour with the rest of the sugar, the salt and the yeast mixture. Add the butter and water and mix to form a rough dough. Knead (either by hand on a lightly-floured surface, or with an electric mixer) for about 5 minutes, until smooth and soft. The dough should be slightly tacky, but not stick to the tabletop.

3. Mix in the raisins only at the end so they don't get overly mangled by the mixer. Then place the kneaded dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and let it rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

4. Deflate the dough then roll into a loaf shape and place in a lightly-oiled loaf pan (9 by 5 inches or 23 by13 cm) and cover with a damp kitchen cloth to rise again. It is probably a good idea to slash the bread at this stage so it doesn't 'explode' while baking. This time it will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Depends on the heat in your kitchen.

5. About 20 minutes before baking time, heat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Brush the loaf with the molasses diluted in hot water,

then bake for about 30 minuted until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If you like, you could give the bread an additional brush with molasses halfway through the baking.

6. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Movin' South - Good Ol' Southern Cornbread

There is a debate in some circles about whether cornbread is even bread. If you can believe it! The truth is, of course, nobody knows for sure. Good cornbread, despite the name, is really one of those wonderful creations that falls in the middle. Like a good brioche, for example. Or any quick bread like banana bread. The rule according to Rose Levy Beranbaum  in The Bread Bible (one of the greatest bread cookbooks ever, BTW) seems to be in how the bread is eaten. So cornbread, is usually eaten with a meat meal to sop up gravy, therefore, it's bread. Either way, good cornbread is wonderful. It is soft and crumbly, and just a little sweet from the cornmeal.

The version I bring you here is the basic cornbread which is both versatile and delicious. You can, of course, make it with some of the many variations. Add whole kernels for instance. Or, for the more adventurous, add 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. The combination of sweet and heat is compelling. And very popular in Texas and places like Texas. Cornbread hales from the South but is now served just about everywhere. The milder versions are better known up North, the sweeter versions in the South, and the fiery versions in the Southwest. Anyway you serve it you are bound to get compliments. Cornbread is truly 'people' food, not gourmet. And maybe more delicious for it.

This recipe is a variation of one I found in Beth Hensberger's The Bread Bible. Not the same book, even though it has the same name. It is simply excellent. A must have for any serious bread baker.

Here's What You'll Need:
1 cup AP flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
4 Tbs. (60g) unsalted butter or margarine, melted

Here's What You'll Need to Do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F (190 C). Then place all the dry ingredients (the two flours, salt, baking powder and sugar) in a large bowl and whisk together.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter (or margarine).

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix or whisk until just mixed. Don't worry if there are still a few dry patches or even lumps. The mixture will continue to hydrate as it bakes. The important thing is not to overwork it since that develops the gluten. In this case we want the cornbread to be crumbly, not chewy.

4. Place the mixture in a generously oiled pie pan and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and 'springy'.

5. Cool in the pan and serve as wedges.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Convenience and Style- The New York Water Bagel

Truth be told, bagels don't necessarily come from New York. Or at the very least, they don't only come from New York. That said, most people associate the very best bagels with the Big Apple. And the secret to the bagel's popularity isn't really much of a secret, after all. Bagels are boiled in a water bath before baking. This is what gives them their characteristic super thin crust (flavored) and the chewy texture. Probably they originated in Eastern Europe and came to New York at the turn of the 20th century with the millions of immigrants coming by the boatload. I remember eating great bagels in Nova Scotia baked in the famous (at least to me) Bernie's Bakery I spoke about in previous posts. And that is very far indeed from New York, in both body and soul, so to speak.

Bagels are first cousins to bialys (or pletzel) also from previous posts. Yet, there is something special about the bagel. The hole in the middle is part of it, of course. Still the combination of the texture and its supreme utility as a platform for smoked salmon, cream cheese, butter or really just about anything, is what makes the bagel so very popular. It is in some ways, the ultimate bread-based snack food. Small, convenient and oh, so tasty!

Bagels as bread may seem even more complicated than regular yeast breads but that is not the case. Actually, there is only one real rise so they take less time than regular bread. By the way, the dough, when made into a regular loaf of bread is also supremely delicious. Enjoy!

Here's what you'll need: (for about 30 medium bagels)
1 or 2 large potatoes (about 3/4 pound - 350g - total)
2 1/2 cups water
2Tbs yeast
1 1/2Tbs sugar
1 1/2Tbs salt
7 to 7 1/2 cups bread flour or AP flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
Egg glaze plus some seed toppings if desired

Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Peel the potato, cut into chunks, and boil in water until soft. Drain off 2 1/2 cups of the water, let it cool to 120F (55C). The potato can be used for something else.

2.Mix the yeast, sugar, salt and about 2 cups flour in a large bowl. Add the potato water and the oil then mix together. If using an electric mixer mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes, then add 1 more cup of flour and the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes. 

3. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a soft, smooth dough that 'cleans the bowl' is formed. Remove it from the bowl to a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes to develop the gluten and make the dough very smooth.

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until roughly doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5. Now for the fun part, forming the bagels. Deflate the dough, gently and remove it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into quarters, then each quarter into 6 or 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball, then flatten into a disc. Poke your thumb through the disc, making the hole, then gently widen the hole (without breaking the circle of dough). Don't worry if each bagel looks slightly different, or if they slightly misshapen. These are homemade bagels after all. If you want factory-made, go to the grocery store!!

6. There is another school of thought on shaping bagels (of course!). The second method involves taking each piece of dough and forming a 'snake'. Pinch together the two ends to form a loop then roll the seam on a surface to unite them into one piece. 
You choose, they both seem to work just fine for me! Either way, the dough does not now need a second rise.

7. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C). While the oven is heating, boil several quarts (liters) of water in a large pot. For New York bagels, add two tablespoons of either salt or sugar to the water. This gives the traditional taste to the ultra-thin crust formed by the boiling. In Montreal, they add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water, equally delicious I assure you.

8. Using a slotted spoon, lower a few bagels at a time into the water after it comes to a gently rolling boil. They will sink, so don't panic. When the rise in a few seconds, flip them over and let them boil for about 2 minutes, then flip over again and let them boil for 1 minute more. When they are done, remove them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. At this point they can be 'painted' with egg glaze and seed coated.

9. Bake then for about 25 minutes until a rich golden brown. Let them cool on a rack.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy New Year - A Special Post for Rosh HaShannah (Jewish New Year)

This year Rosh HaShannah, the Jewish New Year falls on Wednesday night, September 8. This is a two day holiday which both celebrates the new year (5771-according to the traditional count) and brings in a period of reflection and introspection that lasts until Yom Kippur (September 18). There are many, many, traditional foods associated with these holidays depending on the regional backgrounds of various groups world-wide. However, one theme is common among all groups. This is the universal symbol of the circle as a metaphor for life. This concept, of life as a continuous circle (cycle?) of events, without beginning or end, is not unique to Judaism but is actually quite a common theme in the Far East, especially in countries where Buddhism is practised. I make no claim to be an expert on either Judaism or Buddhism. Still, when you look around you, at the many, many circles that make up our lives, you can't help but be in wonder at the intricacy of it all. Years, of course. But also periods much longer including entire lifetimes. And much shorter like days continue quite undisturbed by the deeds of humankind. A delicate balance we should be careful not to upset and to treat with respect.

In Jewish tradition, foods associated with the holidays are round, reflecting the cyclical nature of life itself. So, too, with bread made especially for the holidays. In a previous post I presented my challah recipe, justly famous IMHO. It is not quite a brioche but, surprisingly, has little oil or sugar. Normally, during the year I make it as a braided loaf (usually 3 strands). For Rosh HaShannah it is made as a boule, a round ball reflecting the season. In the Balkans, breads and other baked goods for the holidays are made in a snail-like format, rolled into a 'snake', then coiled up into a round shape. Whatever your preference, it is wise, I think, to take the time, at least once a year, for serious reflection on how we can make ourselves better people, and how we can make our world a better place.

Here is a special challah recipe for the holiday. It is adapted from a recipe from a wonderful cookbook A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World. It uses apples, for two reasons at least. One. they are delicious and paired with the bread make a real winning combination. And, they are, of course, round.

Here's what you'll need:
14g (about 2 Tbs) instant yeast
5 cups (675g) bread flour
1 cup (225g) warm water
3 large eggs
1/3 cup (85g) vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. (13g) salt
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3 large or 4 medium baking apples (sweetish apples like Golden or Red Delicious, not tart ones) (about 1125g) for 4 1/2 cups (660g) of cut up apples

Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Mix together the yeast with one cup of the flour and the warm water to make a slurry. Let it stand for 20-30 minutes until it begins to ferment and get bubbly.
2. Mix into the is fermented slurry the eggs, oil, salt and sugar until it is all mixed well and the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. 
3. Now add all the remaining flour all at once and mix into a ragged ball of dough. Then remove it from the bowl to a lightly floured surface and knead it until it becomes nice and smooth, about 10 minutes or so. The dough should be only slightly sticky, almost tacky. If it is too 'dry' add water 1 Tbs. at a time to the dough while kneading. If it is too 'slack', then add flour the same way.
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover for the first rise. Let it rise and ferment for about 1 hour. It will be only slightly puffed at this stage. In the meantime...
5. Prepare the apples. Peel, core and cut the apples into largish, squarish chunks. No exact measurements here, so don't worry if they are rounded instead of squared. They will still be delicious. Measure about 4 1/2 cups of cut-up apples. If the apples are too sweet, they may over-brown. So if this is a concern, you can toss them with a little lemon juice, otherwise leave it out.
6. Remove the dough from the bowl, cut into 2 equal pieces and cover one piece while you work with the other. Roll out the dough to about 16 inch square (41cm) and 1/8 inch (3mm) thick.
7. Pour about 1 cup of apples over the center third of the dough, then fold the left side over the apples to cover. Try to press the dough into the apples to try to seal them into the dough. Then pour another cup of apples over the sealed portion of the dough and fold the remaining third over the second batch of apples. Try to seal this over the apples as best you can. You now have a 'letter-fold' of dough and apples. Starting from the short side, roll this up into a rough ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for at least an hour. (The longer the better-up to 24 hours in the refrigerator to enhance the flavor). 
8. Repeat with the second piece of dough, placing it in a second oiled bowl to rise and ferment.
9. Oil two round 8in (20cm) cake pans or two loaf pans. Using dusting flour, if you need, roughly shape each piece of dough into a round (or loaf) shape deflating as much as possible . You won't be able to deflate much because of the apples. Let the loaves rise, covered until they rise just past the edges of the pans (about 30 minutes or 1 1/2 hours if refrigerated).
10. About 30 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Just before baking, brush each loaf with oil and then sprinkle sugar (or sugar and cinnamon) over each loaf for a sugary crust. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until richly brown. 
11. Let the bread cool completely on a rack. 
These are exceptional loaves of bread for celebrations. Enjoy them all year for special occasions. Yum!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Combining Flours - Basic Buttermilk Cornbread

There are lots of different cornbread recipes and of all different types of cornbread. It seems like everyone has their favorite. But essentially, there are two main types with countless variations. There is the cornbread made without flour altogether, using eggs and milk to hold it all together. Then there is the cornbread using equal amounts of wheat flour and cornmeal that is 'breadier' in texture. This recipe falls into that category. It is sweetened with honey and brown sugar and then 'baked' in an oven-proof skillet. To give it the extra tangy flavor, the cornmeal is soaked overnight in buttermilk, almost like a pseudo-sourdough bread. The extra flavor that develops is truly amazing.

This recipe is the second in a series I am posting using flour combinations to demonstrate basic recipes. You can go anywhere from here using them as a basis for millions of your own favorite creations.

Here's what you'll need:
the night before baking:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk

the next day:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. baking powder
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. honey
3 Tbs. melted butter
16oz whole kernel corn (drained if from a can, or thawed if frozen)

Here's what you'll need to do:
1. The day before baking, mix the cornmeal and buttermilk together and let it stand, covered, at room temperature.

the next day...
2. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). In a second bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) together. In a third bowl mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, sugars, melted butter - whisk together then add the corn).
3. Mix the wet ingredients into the cornmeal and buttermilk mixture stirring to combine. Then, one-third at a time add the dry mixture until absorbed. (You may need to adjust the 'batter' a little with flour or water to keep the batter consistency). 
4. Melt 2 Tbs. of butter in an oven-proof skillet until VERY hot. Then pour in the batter. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes until well browned and the bread is springy. Allow this bread to cool in the pan. (This is a moist cornbread).
5. Careful don't overeat!! Yum!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Something for the Upper Crust (pun intended) - Batch Bread

In my last post I talked about the 'peasant bread' called Crusty Cob. This was a 'bottom bread', baked on the bottom of the oven, a place reserved for the poorest of the poor. In Georgian England (most of the 18th century), the leading elements of society, the 'upper crust' so to speak, ate a sweet white bread. Sugar, produced in the colonies, was a luxury and reserved for the upper classes. In colonial times, in Nova Scotia, this bread would have been eaten in Halifax in the governor's mansion on Citadel Hill. In England, this bread would have been eaten by the nobles and royals. Today, we know to praise the added nutrition of a whole wheat bread but white bread was highly praised then, and usually reserved for the 'upper crust'. This bread is a little sweet and delicious. It is especially appropriate for breakfast or brunch, eaten with jam.

Here's what you'll need:
500g (1lb 2oz) bread flour
1 1/2 tsp (7g) salt
30g (1oz) yeast
60g (2 1/2oz) butter at room temperature
75g (3oz) powdered sugar
300ml (1/2 pint) water

Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Place all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix them together vigorously for a few minutes until they come together and form a shaggy dough, and the flour is fully hydrated.
2. Remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let it rest for about an hour.
3. Punch down the dough and knead for a minute or two. Then, shape into a ball and place on parchment paper on a baking tray. Gently flatten the ball of dough until it is about 20cm (8in) in diameter. Let the dough rise, covered for about an hour, or until doubled in volume. This could be two hours also.
4. Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Bake the loaf for about 15 to 20 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool.
5. Delicious and soft, you will love this bread.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Something New, Something Old - Crusty Cob

Lately I've been getting a bit nostalgic about 'the old days', back in Nova Scotia where I lived as a child. There is a great ethnic diversity there, something that is a bit surprising to some. There is a long history of different groups struggling to survive in a climate which can be downright wicked. The winters are sometimes very cold (-20 F), and frequently very rainy or snowy in the winter. One year we had about 20 ft. (yes 20 feet) of snow over the winter season. I remember going to school in June with snow still on the ground. My mother remembers the Canada Day (July 1) parade being cancelled for snow!

All this means that Nova Scotians work hard to make a living, and the agriculture is typical of areas with harsh climates. That said, Nova Scotia is famous for its apples, and there is even Nova Scotian wine. Most crops, however are root-type vegetables since they can grow in the ground protected from the elements. Since the province consists of a peninsula and an island, fish and seafood dishes predominate.

The three largest ethnic groups are the Scots, the English and the French, in that order. Each has its own linguistic and culinary traditions. But all are heavily influenced by the harsh environment they live in.

Crusty Cob, is a simple (but delicious) bead that is typical of English homemade breads both in England and in Nova Scotia. The recipe is ancient. Food historians trace it back, in England, to the Middle Ages. It is a 'bottom bread', meaning it was baked on the bottom of the great stone ovens. Although this was where the poorest citizens got to bake their bread, the thick crust and soft crumb (perfect for sopping up thicks soups and gravies) make for a wonderful 'peasant' bread.

Here's what you'll need:
500g (1 lb 2 oz) bread flour
1 Tbs (15g) salt
30g (1oz) yeast
40g ( 1 1/2oz) butter, at room temperature
300ml (1/2 pint) water

Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and butter in a large bowl. 
2. Add most of the water, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Gradually add the rest of the water and continue mixing for a few minutes until the flour is completely hydrated and the dough starts to become smoother.

3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead, vigorously for about 5 minutes. Finally, place the dough back in the bowl, and let it rest for about 2 hours.
4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Punch down  the dough then place it on the tray, shape into a ball and let it rise for an additional 1 hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F). Just before placing in the oven, slash the dough with a sharp knife and dust with a bit of flour.

6. Bake for 30 minutes until a deep golden brown. Cool on a rack.
7. Yum!!!

* If you want to more closely approximate the look of the traditional bread, use a baking stone placed on the bottom of the oven. Bake the bread directly on the stone either right on the stone, or by placing the bread with the tray on it. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dessert Rolls - Cardamom Buns

Sometimes the simplest recipes are also the tastiest. These rolls, flavored with cardamom, are soft and fluffy. Perfect for a breakfast roll or brunch. The addition of the cardamom makes them a little exotic and gives a gentle reminder of their Indian origin. Spread some butter on them, or, if you're feeling a little adventurous, serve them with grilled veggies or meat, topped with a sharp mango chutney.

Here's what you'll need:
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
1/2 Tbs. (about 7 g) active dry yeast
1 tsp (5 g) sugar
2 3/4 cup (about 385 g) all purpose flour 
1/4 cup (60 g) butter or margarine at room temperature
1 tsp (5 g) salt
1 tsp (5 g) ground cardamom
1 egg, beaten
1/3 to 1/2 cup (45 to 60 ml) milk or substitute
1 egg white, beaten for glaze
1 Tbs (15 g) sugar
1 Tbs (15 g) ground almonds

Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl to dissolve. Let them sit about 5 minutes until nice and bubbly.

2. In a food processor, mix the flour, butter or margarine, salt and cardamom, using the steel blade, for about 10 seconds.
3. Now add the yeast mixture and the egg and process for an additional 10 seconds.

4. Leave the motor running, and, through the feed slowly add the milk (or substitute) in a slow but steady stream until a soft dough forms a ball and that cleans the sides of the bowl. Let the dough ball revolve in the bowl about 25 times.

5. Let the dough rest for a few minutes.
6. Turn the motor on again, and add enough of the milk (or substitute) slowly until the dough becomes smooth and satiny. Not sticky.
7. Place the finished dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat, and let it rise, covered, for about 45 minutes or until roughly doubled.
8. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, shape each piece into a perfect sphere by rolling them on an unfloured smooth surface with your hand applying only a little pressure. Place the shaped balls on a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) and let them rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

9.Heat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Paint each roll with the egg white wash. If serving for breakfast or brunch, you can mix together the sugar and ground almonds and sprinkle over the rolls. Omit if serving with grilled meat and/or veggies.
10. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool on a rack.

11. Enjoy!! These are yummy!