Apple Butter Yeast Rolls

December 9, 2014

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Just when you thought you had escaped my parade of apple recipes… Kapow!…I smack you with another one. And this one even goes along with the bread kick that I’ve been on this Fall. Hey, it is technically still Fall and although Christmas is not far off, I am not ready to start thinking about it yet. Though I am sad to say that I have been hearing Christmas music in all of the stores since way before Thanksgiving even arrived. I don’t think it had the store’s intended effect on me. I was not filled with the Christmas spirit and  inspired to shop. Instead, in a distinctly Grinch like fashion, I became very irritated and with clenched teeth, left the store as quickly as I could manage.

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But enough of my issues, let’s move on to happier topics, like these adorable little Apple Butter Yeast Rolls. I originally saw them over at the Spicy Perspective blog and  was very excited about them for several reasons. Firstly because Apple Butter was the star ingredient. I do love Apple Butter! And second because they are yeast rolls. I’ve already let you in on my bread obsession. But the thing that really caught my attention is that they were cooked in a crock pot. That’s right, slow cooker Yeast Rolls. Whaaaat??? I was incredibly intrigued. Sommer, from the Spicy Perspective, claimed that she loved to bake bread in this manner because she seems to have been cursed with always burning the bread that she tries to bake in the oven, whereas a slow cooker was just slow enough that she was able to dodge the curse. I don’t really seem to have been afflicted with this curse. My thing is that I can’t cook rice. My husband is the rice cooking pro. His rice is always perfect, very fluffy and tender. Mine, no matter how carefully I measure out the ingredients, comes out as a big gummy blob. Yuck! We are able to work around this though. I simply always get him to make the rice and everyone is much happier!

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Anyhoo…..Bread burning curses aside, I could see how it could be very convenient to cook bread in a slow cooker. Like during the Holidays for instance. I only have one oven and sometimes it can be quite tricky figuring out which dish will go in a which time. I couldn’t wait to try this slow cooker technique. So I whipped up the dough and formed the two separate batches of 12. Here is where the experimental part of my baking day took place. I baked one batch in the crock pot and one in the oven. Let me just say, both versions yielded delicious moist apple-y delights! And although the crock pot version definitely worked, I preferred the oven baked batch. The crock pot rolls were very moist and tender due to the steaming action of the crock pot, however they looked a bit anemic and didn’t have that same satisfying crunch of the outer crust that their oven-baked cousins had.

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That being said, the crock pot rolls were indeed tasty and if you were scarce on oven space when cooking your next feast, this method of bread baking is great to know. And I got two batches of Apple Butter Yeast Rolls which I was able to scarf down in the name of science. Now I declare that a win!

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Apple Butter Yeast Rolls

  • Servings: 24 rolls
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: A Spicy Perspective

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (98 – 105°F)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (if you are feeling industrious, make up a batch of my Drunken Granny Apple Butter, or grab a jar from your local farmer’s market)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar or Cinnamon/ Sugar mix (add 2 teaspoons cinnamon to 1/4 cup of granulated sugar)

Directions:

Using an electric mixer with a bread hook, place the warm water and sugar in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it foam for 10 minutes.

Then turn on the mixer and add the apple butter, egg and salt. Slowly add the flour. Once all the flour is in the bowl, add the melted butter. “Knead” the dough with the bread hook for 5-8 minutes.

The dough will be smooth, but very tacky. Dump it out onto a floured work surface. Using a floured knife, cut the dough into 4 quarters. Then cut each quarter into 6 equal pieces, to make 24 small dough segments.

Turn the ends of each dough segment under to create little balls.

At this point, you must decide whether you want to try the crock pot method or traditional oven baking method. If you would like to try the crock pot version, place a large piece of parchment paper in a 6 quart slow cooker, and press down. Arrange 12 dough balls in the slow cooker. Then carefully lift the parchment paper out, and repeat with the remaining dough balls and another piece of parchment, creating two separate batches. Place the lid on the crockpot and cover the additional dough balls on the counter, with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise for 1 hour at room temperature. *At this point the dough balls could be put in the fridge for up to a week, until ready to bake.

Gently brush melted butter over the rolls and sprinkle them with a little brown sugar or cinnamon sugar mix. Turn the slow cooker on high and “bake” for 60-90 minutes, depending on your crockpot. To test, touch the top of the rolls. If they feel slightly firm and are no longer tacky, the rolls are ready. Repeat with the second batch of dough balls. Each batch will cook for 60-90 minutes, 3 hrs total.

If you would rather go with the oven method, preheat the oven to 450°F. Allow rolls to rise for 1 hour, covered on parchment covered baking sheets. When ready to bake, gently brush melted butter over the rolls and sprinkle them with a little brown sugar or cinnamon sugar mix. Place trays in the oven for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and turn the temperature down to 400°F for about 8 more minutes, until they are golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!

Apple Butter Yeast Rolls brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls

November 28, 2014

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I have a confession to make. I love bread. I LOVE it. When I did that South Beach Diet a few years ago and bread was completely out of the question, I thought I might die. I guess that is when I figured out South Beach was not really sustainable in my world. Nope. In my world there is a lot of fresh baked bread, preferably slathered in lovely salty butter.

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I guess I’ll have to hit the gym a little longer to make sure that in my world I can still get my britches buttoned. But if that’s what it takes to chow down on bread, then so be it. And these little dinner rolls that I’m about to talk about, well they are definitely worth undertaking a few extra revs in the gym. Moist, tender and slightly sweet, they are my go-to roll for all dinners. I probably should have let you know about these before Thanksgiving, but hey –  Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner!

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You may wonder why I call them West Virginia Rolls. Well, I originally came across this recipe when I was looking for Pepperoni Roll recipe. The husband and I love to visit West Virginia every chance we get. Especially the town of Fayetteville, which I’ve told you all about in previous blogs. Pepperoni Rolls, soft white yeast roll which are stuffed with pepperoni, cheese and possibly some peppers, are like the State food of West Virginia. You can find them everywhere from bakeries to gas stations. I wanted to recreate them at home and found an absolutely to die for recipe on Martha Miller’s blog. Her recipe yielded up some truly Heavenly Pepperoni Rolls. The bread called for in that recipe, which was from Martha’s grandmother Yie’s dinner roll recipe, is the same bread used in these rolls. I called them Yie’s Rolls for a while, but everyone around here thought I was saying “yeast rolls” and they were wondering which yeast rolls I meant. Now, when I say West Virginia Rolls, everyone knows exactly what I mean and starts drooling immediately!

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I used to be intimidated by any recipe that had yeast in it. I was sure it was just too difficult to pull off. Now I know that baking with yeast is not really difficult at all, though it can be a bit persnickity, so it helps if you have a few tools on hand. You definitely need a good thermometer which will give you a fast read. And the type of yeast you use is important. Personally I love the SAF Instant Yeast I keep a canister of it in the freezer at all times. And a dough rising bucket is also nice to have. You could probably get by without these tools, but having them makes things go much more smoothly. So now you’re ready to make some lovely yeast dinner rolls. These flavourful little gems are easy to make, though I will admit they are a bit time-consuming with two separate rise times, so make sure you have plenty of time set aside for them on baking day. Now don’t get discouraged. I know you’re thinking “there is no way I have time for all that nonsense especially around the holidays.” But here is a great secret I am happy to pass along to you. Sometime prior to the big dinner you have planned, when you have some free time on your hands (yeah right, huh?) you can make a bunch of these rolls up and par-bake them. So that means you just bake them for 7 minutes, take them out of the oven to cool and then freeze them in heavy ziplock freezer bags. (They will keep in the freezer for several months.) Then, when the day of the big dinner arrives, you simply take them out of the freezer and pop them frozen right onto the baking tray and bake at 375° F for about 8 -10 minutes. And voila! Lovely dinner rolls, fresh from the oven, melt in your mouth, golden brown and irresistible. You will be amazed how quickly these little devils disappear from your table!

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Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy - but time consuming
  • Print

recipe from: Martha J Miller

Note: This recipe makes a lot of rolls! My stand mixer is not even big enough to handle the full recipe. I usually make 1/2 of the recipe which yields about 18 -20 rolls.

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages instant yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons – a yeast packet contains 2 1/4 tsp. yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9-10 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until just before it comes to a boil (heat to about 190 – 195° F). Do not let the milk boil. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, oil, salt and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and let the mixture cool to lukewarm (98°F).

Meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer combine the two packages of yeast, sugar and warm cup of water. Stir gently with a fork to break up any clumps and let stand 5 minutes or until mixture becomes bubbly. Pour the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine.

On low speed, begin to slowly add the flour, one cup at a time until a loose dough forms. There is no precise measurement for the flour as it will vary depending on your individual environment’s humidity, elevation, etc. but it will be somewhere between 9 to 10 cups. The finished dough will pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl, be slightly sticky and slack, but still hold together well.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and the counter top. Knead by hand for 6 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or you can just switch to your dough hook and let the mixer knead it for about 6 – 8 minutes. To test if the dough is ready, gently poke your finger into the dough and if the indentation remains but slowly comes back, you have kneaded long enough. Place dough in a rising bucket or if you don’t have one, a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm draft-free place and let rise until dough doubles, about 2 hours.

After the first rise, gently remove the dough and knead lightly 2 or 3 times on a floured surface to remove any large air pockets. Next, divide the dough into 2 ounce pieces preferably using a kitchen scale. If you do not own a kitchen scale the dough should divide out into roughly 3 dozen small pieces and once shaped, be about 1-1.5 inches in diameter.

Shape dough pieces into rolls by pinching two opposite sides of the dough and then pinching together the other two sides to form a ball.

Place shaped rolls on greased sheet pans with enough room for them to rise without touching and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, approximately 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly beat one large egg with a splash of water and paint egg wash gently over each roll. Bake rolls for 12-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool finished rolls on a rack and re-warm before serving.

To par-bake the rolls simply remove the partially cooked rolls after 7 minutes, let cool, and freeze in heavy duty plastic bags. To finish, place frozen rolls on a greased sheet pan and cook at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Frozen par-baked rolls will keep in your freezer for several months.

Enjoy!

Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Pretzel Sandwich Buns

September 16, 2014

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Pretzel Sandwich Buns are all the rage these days. You can’t turn on the television without seeing ads from all of the fast food restaurants offering their newest sandwich on a Pretzel Roll. And they are definitely a mainstay bun in all of those popular upscale gastropub establishments. It seems folks in Europe have known all about these Pretzel Rolls for years in, but they’ve only recently made their way over here to the US of A. So they do have a great Euro-chic vibe that most folks claim they don’t care about, but flock towards anything that has it in droves. But that being said, Pretzel Rolls also evoke some good old American “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” nostalgic vibe. Who doesn’t love a big old salty soft pretzel and a beer at the Ball Park? Seems these Pretzel Buns have it all going on. I just couldn’t resist jumping on the Pretzel Roll bandwagon and baking up a batch of them at home.

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The results were stunning. Not only did these buns look professional, like straight out of the bakery. I tell you they were beauties, puffed up nice and plump, golden brown color speckled with bright white chunks of salt. But they were also really easy to make and they tasted amazing! The crust was chewy, yet a bit crisp, enticingly salty and the inside was soft and tender.

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Yet this bun is sturdy enough to hold up to your biggest, juicy-ist burger ever! You could even make these rolls a bit smaller (say using 2 0z. of dough instead of 4 oz.) and serve them along with a bowl of soup or just in your bread basket with dinner. I can see what all the fuss was about. Jump up here on the Pretzel Roll bandwagon with me, there’s plenty of room, and bake up a batch of these today!

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Pretzel Sandwich Buns

  • Servings: 8 Buns
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe slightly adapted from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups warm water ( 95º F – 105º F)
2 Tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups (539 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (35 grams) nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg, beaten (for brushing)
coarse sea salt, for topping

For the water bath:
2 quarts water
1 Tablespoons (14 grams) salt
1/4 cup (57 grams) baking soda

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for the dough (except for the egg) in the bowl of a standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment, turn on the mixer on lowest speed and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Turn mixer off and let dough rest for 5 minutes to fully hydrate the flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, adding flour if needed, until a smooth, cohesive dough is formed, about 8 minutes.

Remove the dough from mixer bowl and allow it to rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for about 1 hour, until doubled. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. If you would like a smaller bun, you could divide the dough into 10 pieces. I use a kitchen scale to weigh the dough to ensure the buns are a uniform size. My dough pieces for this batch weighed 129 grams ( 4 1/2 ounces). Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap of a linen or cotton towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Prepare the water bath: Bring the water, salt, and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.

Drop 4 dough balls at a time into the water bath. Cook for 30 seconds, flip over, and cook for 30 seconds longer. Using a slotted spoon, return the buns to the baking sheet. Do not skip this step! The baking soda bath is the thing that gives these rolls their gorgeous deep brown hue and chewy crust! Brush the top of the buns with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut 1/2″-deep crosses into the center of each bun.

Bake the buns for 20 to 24 minutes, or until they’re a deep-dark brown. Remove them from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Sandwich Buns brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 

 

 


Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

March 30, 2013

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One a penny, two a penny! Hot Cross Buns! That’s right…it’s time for the Hot Cross Buns to make an appearance. I’m sure you’ve been seeing them everywhere, but I must say, look no further! The best Hot Cross Bun recipe can be found right here. This year I made buns with a bit of a twist from the old traditional ones I usually do and baked Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns. Let me just say, they are dee-lish! They are incredibly moist and bursting with apple and cinnamon flavour, most likely due to a fresh homemade apple cinnamon compote which is added to the dough along with golden raisins, and  bits of dried apple. And if that doesn’t tempt you, as soon as these little buns emerge from the oven, they are drenched in a syrupy apple cinnamon glaze. Do I have your attention now? Yum, yum, YUM!

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On Good Friday I always make Hot Cross Buns. I just have to do it. It’s like I have no choice. I find all of the lore surrounding them fascinating! Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and the cross that adorns them is said to be a symbol of the Crucifixion. However, these little buns may even pre-date Christianity. The cross could possibly have been made in honour of the Saxon Goddess Eostre and in that case would have symbolized the four quarters of the moon. The Buns that are actually baked on Good Friday are said to have quite an array of powers besides their delicious taste. For one thing, these pastrys will never get moldy. I actually have been putting a Good Friday baked bun aside for several years now and I can attest, they do not mold!

Preserved Buns from Easters past!

Preserved Buns from Easters past!

Furthermore, if you hang one in your kitchen, it will not only protect your household from fires but will also work as a charm to ensure all of your bread baking endeavours will be successful. Indeed, a dried bun from the previous year, also has medicinal properties. You can grate a bit of it into the liquid of your choice to make a restorative elixir that will help sick folks regain their health. This powder can also be applied directly to wounds with the same curative results. Amazing!

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Now I must stress that only Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday itself have these powers. So most likely you’re going to have to bake them yourself on the actual day to ensure your buns are filled with these magical properties. Hot Cross Buns are made with yeast, so just keep in mind, there are going to be a couple of rise times involved. You need to plan for it and unless you plan on getting up at o’dark thirty to start working on them, you probably won’t have them available for breakfast that morning. But you could have them ready by elevenses! They are a bit of work, but believe me, these buns are so worth it! And I had the most pleasant surprise. When I finished glazing the Hot Cross Buns I actually had some of the Apple Cinnamon Syrup left over. I set it aside and was quite happy to find that it had actually set up upon cooling, leaving me with a scrumptious jelly! Yup….Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns with Apple Cinnamon Jelly. It just keeps getting better! You’ve gotta make these delicious buns today!

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Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

recipe from: Technicolor Kitchen

yield: 20 Buns

Ingredients:

Apple and lemon compote:

  • 1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon (375 ml) water
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored, diced
  • 1 cinnamon quill

Dough:

  • 5 cups (700 g) all-purpose flour (I had to add 1 extra cup flour) + 1/3 cup (46 g) extra for the piping mixture
  • 1 cup (155 g) golden raisins
  • 80 g dried apple, diced
  • 14 g (2 sachets/4 ½ teaspoons) dried yeast
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 5 ½ tablespoons (65 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon (375 ml) whole milk
  • 100 g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Start with the compote: combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan, then squeeze in juice of half the lemon and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, cut remaining lemon half into 3mm-thick slices, add to saucepan with Granny Smith apples and cinnamon quill. Bring to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and cook until lemon and apple are translucent (20-25 minutes). Strain, reserving fruit and syrup separately. When cool enough to handle, dice lemon, combine with apple. Remove the cinnamon quill, add it to the syrup and set aside.

Combine flour, raisins, dried apple, yeast, ground cinnamon, allspice, zests, sugar, apple compote and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.

Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan, warm over low heat until butter melts and mixture is lukewarm. Whisk in egg, then add milk mixture to flour, stirring to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes) – I used my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook to knead the dough; gradually added 1 cup flour because the mixture was too wet. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl, so just slowly add flour as you are kneading until you see this.
Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes). Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Knock back dough, divide into 20 even pieces, then knead each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange dough in a large rectangle or concentric circles, placing balls side by side onto prepared sheet, leaving 1cm between each for dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
Preheat oven to 220°C/428°F. Combine the 1/3 cup extra flour and ¼ cup (60 ml) cold water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross shape onto each bun.

Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 200°C/400°F and bake until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped (10-12 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine reserved syrup and cinnamon quill in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until syrupy. Brush thickly over hot buns, then transfer buns to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!


Oat & Potato Bread

March 12, 2013

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Oats and Potatoes. Two ingredients which can evoke visions of the Emerald Isle all on their own and go together so well in this Oat & Potato Bread. I baked a loaf of this bread the other day and loved it so much I just knew I had to share it with you for St. Patrick’s Day. This bread is quite soft and moist. It is wonderful as a sandwich loaf but also toasts beautifully to serve with your Traditional Irish fry for breakfast. Now, I love Irish Brown Bread. I can’t get enough of the stuff. But I do have a good number of friends who seem to be a bit challenged by that rough, whole wheat texture. This Oat & Potato Bread is a great soft bread alternative to have on hand for those folks.

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This recipe uses freshly cooked potatoes, but you can use left over mashed potatoes to make this bread if you happen to have any on hand. I’m pretty certain I never will because my husband and I both LOVE Potato Farls. I know that any leftover mashed potatoes are automatically earmarked as “farl potatoes”. We are so obsessed with Potato Farls that I will even make up a batch of mashed potatoes, not so much because I want to serve them with dinner, but just becaue I’ve noticed that we don’t have anymore of our farls in the freezer. Oh yes folks….farls freeze wonderfully. You just take them out of the freezer and pop them directly into the hot oil-preferably bacon grease-and they fry up wonderfully golden and crispy. And then there is Boxty in the Pan, another great Irish bread that is made with left over mashed potatoes. It is baked in a pan, then fried up on a griddle and drizzled with honey. Yum! But I digress….we are talking about Oat & Potato Bread now, which is so delicious that you won’t hesitate to cook some potatoes up fresh if there aren’t any leftovers around!

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Unlike Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Bread, which use baking soda as leavener, or my Cheddar & Chive Guinness Bread which uses Guinness as a leavener, this bread does require yeast. Now don’t freak out…I can tell, you’re freaking out. I used to freak out at the mere mention of yeast. But really, there is no need. You can do this. Just make sure you plan ahead, because as with all yeast breads, there are a couple rising times involved here. It is a bit of work, but believe me, you will be thrilled with your finished loaf. Not to mention, your house will smell phenomenal!  This bread will go perfectly with all of your St. Patrick’s Day dishes, especially when it is slathered with Kerrygold Irish Butter!

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Oat & Potato Bread

recipe adapted from: The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook

Yield: One 5X9″ loaf

Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil, for oiling
  • 2 starchy potatoes, such as russets or Yukon gold, cut into even chunks
  • 3 2/3 cup white bread flour, plus extra for dusting ( I prefer King Arthur Bread Flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons salted Irish butter, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 Tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 Tablespoons dry skim milk
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (98 -105° F or 36.5 -40.5° C)

Topping

  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon rolled oats

Directions:

Oil a 5X9″ loaf pan. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Drain, then mash until smooth. Let cool.

Sift the flour and salt into a warm bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the yeast, sugar, oats, and dry milk. Mix in the mashed potatoes, then add the water and mix to a soft dough. (Or you can follow this “High Tech. Version” -if you have a food processor and stand mixer: Place flour and salt in bowl of processor. Pulse a couple times to combine. Add butter and pulse until flour mixture resembles coarse sand. Put flour/butter mixture into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add yeast, sugar oats and dry milk. Mix on low to combine. Add the mashed potatoes and mix on low until incorporated. Add the water and mix until you have a soft dough.)

*Note* I had to add an extra half cup of flour to get the dough to reach soft dough stage. The dough should be sticky to tacky to the touch. Sticky means if you touch the dough with a dry finger, it will stick to it. Tacky is more like a post it note where it feels like it will stick at first but you are able to peel it off easily. You can also judge the state of the dough by how it looks in the mixing bowl. If it has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and only a bit remains stuck to the bowl at the bottom, it is likely ready to be kneaded.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. (High Tech. Version: Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic).

Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Invert the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lgihtly. Shape into a loaf and transfer to the prepared pan.

*Note* To shape dough into a loaf, flatten it into a 5X8″ rectangle. Roll into a log starting from the 5″ end. Pinch the seam closed and gently roll the loaf back and forth on the counter to smooth it out. Place the loaf in the prepared pan with the seam side down.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Brush the surface of the loaf with the water and carefully sprinkle oats over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm.

Enjoy!


Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper Biscuits

February 28, 2013

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I’m so excited today! For a couple of reasons actually. The first of which is that I’m able to give you the recipe for these Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper Biscuits. These delicious little morsels have been in heavy rotation in my house this winter. They are amazing with soups and stews, are a superb savoury breakfast biscuit when stuffed full of scrambled egg, cheese and bacon. Not to mention, they hold up fine all on their own with or without a pat of butter. I’ve wanted to share this winner of a recipe with you for some time, but have never been able to snap a quick picture of them. Nope. We literally gobble them up that fast. But this last time, I did manage to click a shot or two before nothing more than a crumb or two remained to indicate they had ever been there at all. These biscuits have it all going on! Their buttery, flaky layers rise oh so high. The savoury flavours of the caramelized leeks, basil and black pepper combine to really grab your attention. You know you’re not dealing with just any run of the mill biscuit. (not that I’ve really ever met a biscuit I didn’t like…), these fellows are special. My husband is quite partial to them because of the leeks. He LOVES leeks. And I’ve actually got quite a few recipes headed your way in which leeks feature prominently.

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Which brings me to the next reason for my somewhat excited state today. Tomorrow is March 1st and every year on March 1st I endeavour to post one Irish influenced recipe a day up to March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day! This undertaking is quite a feat for me, I’m not a once a day blogger type person. I consider myself very accomplished if I manage to get two blogs in per week. (I know all you daily bloggers are rolling your eyes about now. I give you props. Can’t imagine how you do it.)Soooo…..wish me the luck of the Irish as I psyche myself up for this blog-a-thon once again! Here are a few of my favourite recipes from last year’s St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza:

Bailey's Irish Creme & Pistachio Fudge

Bailey’s Irish Creme & Pistachio Fudge

Irish Whiskey Cake with a Butter Whiskey Glaze

Irish Whiskey Cake with a Butter Whiskey Glaze

Guinness Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guinness Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Guinness Beef Stew

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Irish Beer & Cheese Chicken Pot Pies

And that was just a few of the St. Patrick’s Day food gems I whipped up. If you’d like to see all seventeen from last year, click on “Runcible Eats/ Recipes” in my top navigation bar and scroll down to St. Patrick’s Day. There you’ll find all sorts of Irish-y dishes from the past two years. And don’t forget to check in with me every day starting tomorrow through March 17th for this year’s additions. I’ve got a lot of mouth-watering recipes all queued up for the show. As I mentioned, leeks will be putting in an appearance, as will meat pies, sweet pies, various treats with Guinness and Bailey’s and Jameson...Oh My! Keep tuned and you will be totally set for making your own delicious St. Patrick’s Day feast! Not to mention, it will be interesting to see if I can actually pull off seventeen days of dishes in a row. That excitement I mentioned  before is perhaps more of the nervous, nail bite-y type that the happy, dance-y type. Though I will be dancing a jig on St. Patrick’s Day, regardless of the outcome, you can be sure. So raise a glass with me to “challenges”. It all starts tomorrow. In the meantime, make up a batch of these lovely Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper biscuits!

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Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper Biscuits

recipe from: Pastry Affair

yield: 10-12 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium leek, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons or 57 grams) cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (78 ml) milk

Directions:

In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the finely sliced leeks, sauteing until the leeks are golden in color and caramelized. Remove from pan and allow leeks to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 425°F (220° C).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles a coarse sand. Mix in the fresh minced basil and cooled leeks. Gradually pour in the heavy cream and milk, mixing until just combined.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and bring together until it forms a ball. If you need to knead the dough to bring it together, do so but no more than 10-12 times. Flatten the dough ball into roughly a 1-inch thick square (or rectangle) and, using a knife dipped in flour, cut the dough into evenly sized squares. Place biscuits on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tops of biscuits are lightly browned.

Serve warm, with a pat of butter if desired.

Enjoy!


Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls

September 4, 2012

So Tracey, from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, has inspired me yet again! About one month ago I saw a recipe she posted for Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls and couldn’t wait to make them. A spicy, cheesy, homemade yeast roll sounded delicious to me. And as usual, Tracey did not let me down. (If you haven’t taken a peek at the site, you are missing out!) These rolls were not only easy to make (you do need to allow for rising time though, so they are not super quick), but were also a huge hit! Light and airy with the perfect amount of kick thanks to those jalapeño peppers.

Some burgers that my husband took care to grill to perfection were made even better (if that is possible…) once nestled within these rolls and topped with all the fixins. A plain old ham and swiss sandwich was truly jazzed up as well when served on this bread. Yet somehow all of that goodness paled in comparison to what I next served up on these rolls. Once again, I followed Tracey’s example and cooked-up a simply mouthwatering creation. Sorry to keep you hanging, but I’ll give you the full report on all of the yumminess in a couple of days. Make sure you check back, you won’t want to miss this one! In the meantime, get your Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls baked and ready to go!

Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls

Recipe From Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Yield: 8 – 10 Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 large jalapeños (seeds and ribs removed), finely chopped
  • 1 cup water (100-110° F)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions:

Add the yeast, flour, sugar, salt, cheese and jalapeños to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Beat briefly on low-speed to combine. In a measuring cup, whisk the water, oil and 1 of the eggs together until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients and continue mixing until the dough comes together (you may need to scrape down the bowl once or twice). The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and cling to the bottom – you may need to add a little flour or water to achieve the right consistency (I added 4 tablespoons of flour). Knead the dough on low-speed for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 75-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to your work surface and divide in half. Divide each of the two pieces into 4 or 5 equal pieces, depending on whether you want oversized or more traditional rolls. (I used a kitchen scale to weigh the dough to ensure size consistency) Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Space the rolls about 1/2 to 1-inch apart – you want the edges to bake together in the oven.

Cover the pan with a damp towel, and allow the rolls to rise for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make egg wash. Brush the rolls with the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are deep golden brown.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls cool for at least 15 minutes. Store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature, or wrap tightly and freeze.

Enjoy!


Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits

July 6, 2012

So it has been one heck of a week! I know I haven’t published in a bit, but goood Lordy we’ve had some problems around here! It all started last Friday evening with a huge, and rather unexpected storm. It has been very hot and humid around here recently, we’re talking around 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). But that is par for the course in Virginia, in the summer time, much to my dismay. With those sultry temperatures, we will often get thunderstorms springing up in the evening hours. Usually our good weather folks give us a heads up that one may be brewing. Well last Friday night, Mother Nature had quite a surprize in store for us. An incredibly powerful and stealthy storm snuck right up on us and….KAPOW! I’m talking 80 mile per hour winds and a wall of water which just descended instantly on us unsuspecting folks who were simply minding our own business around 11 pm in the evening. Well, Falls Church was devastated, trees down everywhere, trees which took the power wires down along with them. It was bad timing, as if there were ever a good time for mass power outages, but this power outage happened in the midst of a heat wave when the mercury was expected to stay hovering around that 100 degree mark for oh, a week or so. Our power was out from Friday evening through Monday. And we are the lucky ones, as many of my less fortunate neighbours still don’t have power today. Whenever you step outside, which isn’t often if you can help it – remember, 100 degrees of scorching heat envelopes you the moment you cross the door frame – instead of  hearing the peaceful chirping hum of the crickets, you are greeted by the rattling buzz of hundreds of generators, like some sort of  swarm of angry hornets is about to descend. (Hey, after that storm, anything could happen…)

Tree (and wires) down!

Now I had cooked up some delicious, mouth-watering food last friday that I couldn’t wait to share with ya’ll. Specifically  I made crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside Buttermilk Brined Southern Fried Chicken, flaky and fluffy Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits and oh so decadent home-made Bourbon ice cream. It was really yummy. Little did we know at the time, but it turned out to be a last meal of sorts before the onslaught. I was going to get pictures of everything the next day as the light wasn’t so good when I actually finished cooking the meal. Well, you know what they say about those best laid plans of mice and men…The next day, this little mouse found herself sweltering in an electricity, cell phone, internet free zone watching all that lovely bourbon ice cream melt and pool in the bottom of her ever warming “freezer”. I saved my hard-earned southern fried chicken though, icing it down in coolers which I hid away in our basement. You see, the basement temperature was much cooler. It only got up to about 86 degrees F down there… (I have mentioned that thing about how I hate to live in Virginia in the summer…right?) Now mind you getting the ice for the cooler was no easy tasks. Every store, gas station, etc. had not had electricity all night. What with our lovely Virginia temperatures which don’t really dip significantly in the overnight hours, that ice was looong gone. So we drove about 30 miles to our friend’s neighbourhood which did not lose their power because they have under ground power lines. Nothing for the trees to pull along with them on their descent. However, all the other folks without power had this same bright idea. We managed to nab the last six bags of ice at one grocery store and thought we were going to have to fight our way out of the parking lot when the other hot, tired and angry ice seeking folks realized the last ice had left the building.

Whew! I hope you can see I’ve had my hands full! I just didn’t have the energy to fry up another mess of chicken again after this ordeal, but it was so yummy I promise I will do so again soon and share with everyone. I did manage to recreate the Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits post power outage and got some pics as well. These are truly phenomenal biscuits and were so easy to make. I have made buttermilk biscuits before, but they were always the kind you rolled out and cut. These are drop biscuits. Much simpler. And they rose up like champs! Mile High is a good description. Light, fluffy, buttery goodness! They were definitely a comfort to us during our recent tribulations. Give them a try today, while you have power. If there is one thing I have learned, you should always be prepared. You never know when Mother Nature will throw her next hissy!

Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits

recipe from: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

yield: 12 biscuits

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cold low-fat buttermilk

For Finishing:

  • 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour, distributed on a rimmed baking sheet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500° F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Also, spray the inside and outside of a 1/4-cup measure with nonstick cooking spray. * I used an ice cream scoop*

To make the dough: Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter evenly over the dry ingredients then pulse 8-10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Dump the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula just until everything is incorporated (the dough will be quite wet and sticky and somewhat lumpy).

To form the biscuits: Using the 1/4 cup measure you sprayed earlier and working quickly, scoop level 1/4 cup mounds of dough and drop them into the flour on the baking sheet. Continue until you’ve scooped all of the dough – you should have 12 mounds of dough. Use some of the flour from the baking sheet to dust the top of each mound. Flour your hands, then, one at a time, pick up each piece of dough (coating with extra flour if necessary so you can work with it) and gently shape it into a rough ball. Shake off the excess flour and place in the prepared cake pan. Repeat with the remaining mounds of dough, fitting 9 biscuits around the outer edge of the pan and 3 in the middle.

Gently brush the top of each biscuit with some of the melted butter (don’t press down and flatten them). Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 450° F and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the biscuits cool for 2 minutes, then invert them onto a clean kitchen towel. Flip the biscuits over and break them apart. Allow to cool 5 minutes longer before serving.

(Note: Store leftovers in a resealable plastic bag and reheat at 475° F for 5-7 minutes.)

Enjoy!


Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Bubble Top Brioche

April 19, 2012

I am somewhat shocked, yet quite pleased to announce that I have somehow acquired magical abilities. I don’t know how or when it happened, I have always been a bit of a muggle (non-magical folk for you who are not familiar with Harry Potter – where have you been?!). However, it has become apparent to me that I do have a bit of the old sorceress inside me. But let me explain, just the other day I decided to attempt to make brioche at home. I LOVE brioche, but had always purchased it from bakeries, never dreaming I could conjure up such buttery, flaky bliss on my own, yet willing to try. So following a Dorie Greenspan (definite culinary enchantress) recipe, I got straight to work.

I was suspicious that something fantastical was happening in my oven the day after I started the brioche making process. (There is an overnight proofing required.) The aroma wafting throughout the house of the that brioche baking was nothing short of intoxicating. Then came the moment when I dared to open my oven door for a peek. My Bubble Top Brioches had risen like champs and were a gorgeous, enticing golden brown. It was then that I knew that I had come fully into my powers. Indeed, I could have stopped right there. Those rich, buttery little brioches would have been delicious all on their own and nothing short of enchanting when slathered with even more butter and jam. But no, something told me that I needed to coat the tops of these delights in a crunchy cinnamon sugar. What can I say…simply magical!

All that Harry Potter-ish talk aside, it really was not difficult to make brioche at home. There is quite a lot of proofing time, so you should plan to start the process the day before you wish to entrance folks with your baking wizardry. (I just can’t let it go…) However as we know, good things come to those who wait and let me tell you, fresh brioche, right out of the oven, is worth every second spent and then some. I chose to make individual serving bubble tops brioches from my dough, however you could divide the dough in half and bake it in two 7 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ pans for 30 minutes. Although the crunchy, sweet cinnamon sugar dusting on my breakfast brioches is completely charming, you could simply brush your brioche with the traditional egg wash. It is very versatile bread and can be used as a vehicle for many toppings such as smoked salmon etc. And once it is stale (as if it will be around long enough to go stale…) it makes a glorious French Toast. My Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Bubble Top Brioches were mesmerizing and have certainly cast a spell over my husband. Bewtich your family today!

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Bubble Top Brioche

recipe slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

yield: 12 brioches

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup warm-to-the-touch whole milk
  • 1/4 Cup warm-to-the-touch water
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the topping:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Pour the warm milk and water into the bowl of a stand mixer, add a pinch of the sugar, and sprinkle over the yeast. In another bowl, mix the flour and salt together.

When all the yeast has absorbed some liquid, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until you have a creamy mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook, add all of the flour mixture at once, and turn the mixer on and off in a few short pulses to dampen the flour. Set the mixer to medium-low speed and mix for a minute or two, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, until you have a shaggy, fairly dry mass. At this point, what you’ve got won’t look like a dough at all – in fact, it will be pretty ugly, but that doesn’t matter.

Scrape down the bowl, turn the mixer to low and add the beaten eggs one third at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the remaining sugar increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough starts to come together.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the butter in 2 tablespoon chunks. Beat for about 30 seconds, or until each piece of butter  is on its way to being almost incorporated, before adding the next little chunk of butter. When all the butter is in, you’ll have a dough that is very soft, really almost like a batter. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and climbs up the hook, about 10 minutes, or a little longer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature until it’s nearly doubled in size; it will take at least 1 hour, but maybe longer, depending on the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until it stops rising as energetically, about 2 hours: “slap” it down every 30 minutes.

Press the plastic against the surface of the dough and leave it in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

The next morning, butter a 12-cup muffin tin.

Divide the chilled dough into 12 portions. Cut each portion into 3 even pieces, and roll the pieces into balls. The dough is soft and sticky, so here’s the easiest way to shape them: Put a little flour on the counter and put some flour on your palms. Put a piece of dough on the counter, cup a hand over it, and droll the dough around under you cupped palm until you’ve got a nice ball. Using 3 pieces for each brioche, put the balls, prettiest sides up, in the muffin cups.

Place a piece of wax paper on top of the brioches and put the pan in a warm place. Let the brioches rise until they almost fill the cups, 1- 2 hours, depending on the warmth of the room.

Just before the dough is fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 ° F.

When the brioches have risen, remove the paper and put the muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake the brioches for 20 -23 minutes, or until they are well risen and deeply golden. If you think they are browning too quickly, you can cover them with a foil tent. Transfer the muffin tin to a cooling rack and let the brioches rest for 5 – 10 minutes before lifting them out of the molds and onto the cooling rack.

While brioches are cooling, in a small, shallow bowl mix the 2/3 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon together. In another small, shallow bowl melt 3 Tablespoons butter. Holding the bottom of a brioche dip the top first in the melted butter, making sure to coat it entirely. Then dip the buttered top into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Shake the excess cinnamon sugar from the brioche and place it back on the cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining brioches.

Enjoy!


Kulich – Russian Easter Bread

April 6, 2012

I was gearing up to make my usual Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday. However, while prowling around various cooking blogs, I came across a recipe for Kulich on While Chasing Kids. It definitely stopped me in my tracks. It looked fantastic! Kulich is a sweet yeast bread filled with spices, rum drenched raisins and apricots which makes an appearance on many Russian tables for Easter.

Always interested in trying something new, I was completely waylaid from my previous Hot Cross Bun mission and set out to make this enticing Russian Easter treat. The first difficulty I ran into, was finding suitable baking tins. Kulich molds are traditionally very tall cylinders. Apparently many folks who don’t have the actual molds will use an empty 2 lb. coffee tin. Another option is to use Panettone paper molds. I didn’t have either of those on hand. Instead I had a Le Creuset large 2.75 quart stoneware utensil crock and two Le Creuset coffee mugs. I decided that they would have to do in a pinch.

I love spices, so I altered the While Chasing Kids recipe a bit by adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom. I also cut it in half since I didn’t think I would need so many Kulichi since my husband and I will not be getting together with the family this Easter and figured we might be hard pressed to consume 6 Kulichi all on our lonesome.

I changed the frosting a bit as well. I decided to use an egg white/confectioner’s sugar frosting. I prefer the taste of this frosting as well as the cloud like, marshmallowy appearance. I know some folks might be a bit leery of this since it does contain raw egg whites and there is a risk of salmonella. I decided to live on the edge a bit and took the risk. However, I have included another frosting option sans raw egg whites for those who are feeling a bit less adventurous.

I may have gotten a bit carried away with my decorations as well, but once on a roll I couldn’t be stopped! I used sliced almonds to try to create a shingled roof appearance for one of my smaller Kulichi. Sanding sugar  and french dragees were featured on the next loaf. And for the big loaf I chose sanding sugar as well as melted chocolate, which I used to pipe on the traditional “XB” which is the Russian abbreviation for “Christ has risen”.

Once we cut into a loaf we were very pleased to find that the bread was absolutely delicious. Sweet, light and fluffy and packed full of moist rum soaked raisins and apricots. Yum! Perhaps we could have actually eaten all 6 Kulichi! I am so happy that Anastasia at While Chasing Kids shared her old family recipe. Even though we’re not Russian, I think this tasty bread will find a place on our Easter table from now on.

Kulich

recipe adapted from: While Chasing Kids

Yield: 1 large Kulich and two smaller Kulichi

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 12 grams dry yeast
  • 3/4 Cup sugar, divided
  • 500 grams all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 eggs, whites separated from yolks
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 7 grams salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 125 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to barely warm
  • 75 grams raisins, dried apricots, almonds (whichever you like, or all together. I used 25 grams raisins, 25 gram golden raisins, 25 gram dried apricots)
  • 1/2 Cup Rum

Frosting:

Option #1:

  • 2 egg whites, chilled
  • 125 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Option #2:

  • 200 gram confectioner’s sugar
  • Orange juice from 1 orange
  • 50 grams hot water

Decorations:

  • sanding sugar, almonds, decorating icing ( as you wish)

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl combine milk, 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar, and dry yeast.  Let ferment for about 10 minutes.  Add 100 grams of flour, mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment.  Depending on the temperature around your house, it may take from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for the poolish mixture to start heavy bubbling.

If using raisins, pour rum over them, and let soak while the dough is being prepared.

Butter your chosen Kulich baking tins and set aside.

Add nutmeg, ginger, cardamon and cinnamon to remaining flour. Stir to combine.

When the poolish is ready, with a hand-mixer beat the egg yolks with remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk egg whites so that they form a peak.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, butter, poolish, egg yolks, and whites.

Cover with a plastic wrap, and let rise.  When the dough doubles in size (50 – 90 minutes), add drained raisins and/or other dried fruit and nuts.

Fill the buttered molds with the dough, about 1/3 full. Cover the filled molds with a kitchen towel, and let rise for another 50-90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, till golden brown.

Remove kulich from the oven, and let chill on a wire rack.

When the kulich is cool, prepare the frosting by whisking all the ingredients together into a smooth mixture.

Apply the frosting on top of your kulich, allowing it to drip.

Decorate your Easter Bread with “XB” and or other patterns, if desired.

Happy Easter!


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