Chocolate Carrot Cake Loaf

We love the stark, swirly contrast between this cake’s chocolate and plain layers.

Chocolate Carrot Cake Loaf
 

Makes 1 (8½×4½-inch) cake
Ingredients
Plain batter:
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) vanilla yogurt
  • ⅔ cup (83 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (54 grams) lightly packed grated carrot
  • ¼ cup (43 grams) chopped 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate
Chocolate batter:
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) vanilla yogurt
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (54 grams) lightly packed grated carrot
  • ¼ cup (43 grams) chopped 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8½×4½-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. For plain batter: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, melted butter, egg, and yogurt until well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, and nutmeg. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, whisking just until combined. Fold in carrot and chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula.
  4. For chocolate batter: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, melted butter, yogurt, and egg until well combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, and nutmeg. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, whisking just until combined. Fold in carrot and chocolate. Spoon batter in small dollops on top of plain batter; gently smooth top with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning on edges. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Top with Vanilla Yogurt Glaze before serving.

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Vanilla Yogurt Glaze
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (120 grams) vanilla yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons (21 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) whole milk

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Cardamom Pistachio Rolls

Forget classic cinnamon rolls—these Cardamom Pistachio Rolls are spiced with cardamom and studded with salty pistachios, making them a breakfast treat that’s well worth the effort. 

Cardamom Pistachio Rolls
 

Makes 8 rolls
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, room temperature and divided
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped roasted salted shelled pistachios
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons (1 to 1.5 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together ¼ cup (60 grams) warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar by hand. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add ¾ cup (180 grams) milk, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) lemon juice, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar, whisking to combine.
  3. With mixer on medium speed, add flour and salt, beating just until dough comes together. Scrape sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat for 4 minutes. Add softened butter, and beat until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, stretch dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle using wet hands.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, pistachios, melted butter, cinnamon, cardamom, and zest. Spread filling onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Starting with one long side, roll dough into a log; pinch seam to seal. Place log, seam side down, on work surface. Trim ½ inch off each end. Cut into 8 rolls, and place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Bake until light golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, remaining ¼ cup (60 grams) milk, and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 grams) lemon juice until combined. Place in a resealable plastic bag. Cut corner from bag, and drizzle icing onto rolls.

Notes
Keep your hands wet when stretching dough. This keeps dough from sticking and also keeps you from adding additional flour. Brush any additional flour off dough with a dry pastry brush as you are rolling.

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Justin Burke Samson’s Tahini Brioche Babka

One of Justin Burke-Samson’s signature recipes, inspired by his time at Kindred in Davidson, North Carolina, this pillowy Tahini Brioche Babka gets rich and nutty notes from tahini swirled into the dough. No wonder this Tahini Brioche Babka is a staple at his hot new bakery, Bonjour Y’all Bakery. Read more about how self-taught baker Justin Burke-Samson is rising to the top of the baking world through his thriving bakery in our January/February 2020 issue!

Justin Burke Samson’s Tahini Brioche Babka
 

Makes 2 (9×5-inch) loaves
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) plus ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 large eggs (300 grams), divided
  • 2⅔ cups (334 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 5 tablespoons (80 grams) tahini*
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (36 grams) benne seeds or sesame seeds

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together warm milk, yeast, and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) sugar by hand until yeast is dissolved. Whisk in 2 eggs (100 grams). Slowly fold in 1 cup (125 grams) flour until almost combined; sprinkle ⅓ cup (42 grams) flour on top. Let stand until top is cracked and sponge is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  2. Add 3 eggs (150 grams), tahini, egg yolk, salt, remaining 1⅓ cups (167 grams) flour, and remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar to yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, beat at low speed until a dough starts to form. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until dough comes together around dough hook, 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl. Add half of cold butter, and beat at high speed until combined. Add remaining cold butter, and beat until dough is smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. (Dough should pass the windowpane test; see Note.)
  3. Lightly flour a medium bowl; scrape dough into bowl. Fold dough in half, and press down; turn dough over, fold again, and press down. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Butter 2 (9×5-inch) loaf pans.
  5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide in half. Roll one half into a 12×6-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle into 3 (12×2-inch) strips. Starting at top, braid strips together. Pinch ends of braid together, and place into 1 prepared pan, tucking ends under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size or until dough reaches top of pan, about 2 hours. To test if dough is ready, make a dent in dough about 1 inch deep. If dough springs back fully, it is not ready. If dent remains and springs back only a little bit, dough is properly proofed.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush top of dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with seeds.
  8. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°F (93°C), 40 to 45 minutes, covering with foil after 35 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pans on a wire rack.

Notes
*Benne butter can be substituted.

Test the dough for proper gluten development by using the windowpane test. Pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute more, and test again.

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Cheddar Pecan Scones

Packed with sharp Cheddar cheese with a kick of black pepper, these Cheddar Pecan Scones are just as at home on the breakfast table as they are in your dinner time breadbasket. Their tender crumb and crisp, craggy exterior are guaranteed to keep you coming back for more, but the real star of this show is Sunnyland Farms’ Raw Georgia Pecan Halves. Sunnyland’s pecans are harvested, shelled, and packaged on their scenic family-owned farms in Albany, Georgia, right in the heart of pecan country. Their rich pecans stud the inside of the Cheddar Pecan Scones, lending addicting crunch and nuttiness to every bite—like no other pecan can.

Cheddar Pecan Scones
 

Makes 8 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup (71 grams) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped Sunnyland Farms Raw Georgia Pecan Halves
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) plus 1 tablespoon
  • (15 grams) cold heavy whipping cream, divided

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray an 8-well cast-iron wedge pan with baking spray with flour. (See Note.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cheese and pecans. Add ¾ cup (180 grams) cold cream, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and pat into 7-inch circle. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges. Place a wedge in each well of prepared pan. Brush tops with remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) cream.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes
You can also bake these scones in a regular 10-inch cast-iron skillet or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After you cut the circle of dough into 8 wedges in step 3, place scones about 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheet, and proceed with recipe. If using a regular skillet, transfer dough to skillet, and proceed with recipe.

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Herbed Sour Cream Pull-Apart Loaf

Packed with fresh herbs, this buttery Herbed Sour Cream Pull-Apart Loaf has an extra-fluffy texture thanks to the addition of sour cream in the dough.

Pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 for more ways with sour cream!

Herbed Sour Cream Pull-Apart Loaf
 

Makes 1 (9×5-inch) loaf
Ingredients
  • 3¼ cups (413 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) flaked sea salt
  • Garnish: chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh thyme, chopped fresh parsley

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together 1½ cups (191 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt by hand.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat sour cream, butter, and ¼ cup (60 grams) water over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C).
  3. With mixer on medium speed, pour warm sour cream mixture into flour mixture, beating until combined and cooled slightly, about 1 minute. Add egg, and beat at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 1¾ cups (222 grams) flour, beating until well combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl, about 1 minute.
  4. Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt.
  6. Divide dough into 36 pieces (22 grams each). With lightly floured hands, working with 1 piece at a time (keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out), roll each piece into a smooth ball. Dip each ball into melted butter mixture, and place in a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Pour any remaining melted butter mixture over dough in pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Sprinkle dough with flaked salt.
  9. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and garnish with rosemary, thyme, and parsley, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Basic Bagels

Plain and perfect, these bagels are the ideal chewy canvases for your choice of toppings, a customizable bagel experience for those who want an assorted spread. But any way you top them, these ringed beauties are primed for lox, schemers, and plenty of butter. 

Basic Bagels
 

Makes 12 bagels
Ingredients
  • 7 cups (889 grams) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¾ teaspoons (5.25 grams) instant yeast
  • 2⅓ cups (560 grams) warm water (120°F/49°C to 130°F/54°C)
  • ½ cup (170 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (42 grams) barley malt syrup, divided
  • 8 cups (1,920 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • Toppings: everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, freshly grated Asiago cheese

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast by hand. Add 2⅓ cups (560 grams) warm water and 2 tablespoons (42 grams) barley malt syrup, and beat at low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough pulls away from sides and bottom of bowl, about 8 minutes. (Dough will be elastic but may not look completely smooth.)
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Place a large sheet of parchment paper in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C); dust parchment with flour.
  4. Divide dough into 12 portions (about 107 grams each). Shape each portion into a ball. Place 1 ball in your hand. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch a hole in center of ball, and stretch hole to about 3 inches wide. Place on prepared parchment. Repeat with remaining dough. (Once dough contracts, the hole should be 1 to 1½ inches wide.) Cover and let rise until puffed, 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  6. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups (1,920 grams) water and remaining ½ cup (170 grams) barley malt syrup to a very low simmer over medium-low heat. (Do not boil.) Carefully drop bagels, 1 to 2 at a time, into water. Cook for 10 seconds per side; immediately transfer to prepared pans.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with desired toppings.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

You won’t ever go back to classic cinnamon rolls again. We filled these golden rolls with chocolate, but not just any chocolate—Mexican cinnamon chocolate. Stone-ground, Mexican-style dark chocolate is filled with warm cinnamon spice and has a subtle grittiness that gives these cinnamon rolls even more explosive flavor and complex texture. Once you smother the rolls in the luscious Cream Cheese Glaze, serve them straight from the skillet to keep them warm and gooey.

For more cozy ways to bake with cast iron, pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 issue!

Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
 

Makes 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 3½ to 3¾ cups (438 to 469 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast*
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • ⅔ cup (152 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup (113 grams) chopped Mexican-style stone-ground cinnamon chocolate (3 disks) (see PRO TIP)
  • Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe on opposite page)
  • Garnish: ground cinnamon

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, yeast, and 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) salt.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup (120 grams) water, milk, and ⅓ cup (76 grams) butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add egg, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 cups (250 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, smooth, and somewhat sticky dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 8 to 9 minutes. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, cinnamon, remaining ⅓ cup (76 grams) butter, remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt.
  7. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Spread cocoa mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Starting with opposite long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to 18 inches long and even thickness, if necessary. Using a serrated knife dipped in flour, cut log into 12 slices (about 1½ inches thick). Place slices, cut side down, in prepared skillet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in skillet for 10 minutes. Top with Cream Cheese Glaze; garnish with cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes
*We used Red Star® Active Dry Yeast.

PRO TIP: We used Taza Chocolate Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Mexicano, available at Whole Foods, local Hispanic grocery stores, or online. Very minimally processed, Mexican chocolate has a grainier, chalkier texture than the chocolate you might normally get and offers more-complex, explosive flavor. Any type of Mexican cinnamon dark chocolate, available at most grocery stores, or 50% cacao dark chocolate will work in this recipe.

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Cream Cheese Glaze
 

Makes about ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces (110 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ tablespoons (10.5 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 grams) whole milk

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Add milk, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until fluid.

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Barbecue Pork Buns

These buns represent dim sum heaven at home. We created our own makeshift steamer basket out of disposable aluminum foil cake pans, but feel free to use a steamer basket if you have one. 

For more recipes inspired by Chinese New Year celebrations, pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 issue.

How to Shape and Steam your Buns

 

  1. Create your makeshift steamer basket by poking 20 evenly spaced holes in bottom of 2 (9-inch) round foil cake pans. Place 1 cake pan, upside down, in a large Dutch oven, and pour water to a depth of ½ inch in pot. Carefully flatten remaining cake pan to use as a steamer rack.

2. Divide dough into 12 portions (about 59 grams each). Shape each portion, one at a time, into a ball, and press into a 3-inch disk. Using a small rolling pin, roll edges of disks to ¼-inch thickness, creating a 4½-inch circle, keeping the center thicker than the edges. (The thinner edges will help your pleats have better definition.)

3. Place a circle of dough in the palm of your hand. Place 1 rounded tablespoon filling (about 24 grams) in center. Using the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, pleat and pinch dough edges to enclose filling, rotating dough in your palm as you go.

4. Tightly pinch together the top to seal, pulling dough up to a point and pinching off excess dough. (For best shape, place shaped bun on a work surface and gently cup with both hands to round it out.)

Barbecue Pork Buns
 

Makes 12 buns
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) canola oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves (10 grams), minced
  • 1½ teaspoons (8 grams) minced fresh ginger
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cooked pork*, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons (27 grams) hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) oyster sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) rice vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons (48 grams) plus 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (4 grams) finely chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) cornstarch
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • Garnish: chopped fresh chives

Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon (14 grams) oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pork, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in chives. Let cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir together ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar, and yeast until combined. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch. Add flour mixture, milk, salt, remaining 3 tablespoons (36 grams) sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) oil to yeast mixture. Beat at medium-low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth, elastic dough forms, 8 to 10 minutes. (Dough should pass the windowpane test; see Note.) Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  4. Poke 20 evenly spaced holes in bottom of 2 (9-inch round) foil cake pans. Place 1 cake pan, upside down, in a large Dutch oven*, and pour water to a depth of ½ inch in pot. Carefully flatten remaining cake pan to use as a steamer rack. Cut out 12 (4-inch) squares of parchment paper.
  5. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead a few times to release air bubbles. Divide dough into 12 portions (about 59 grams each). Shape each portion, one at a time, into a ball, and press into a 3-inch disk. (Keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out.) Using a small rolling pin, such as a fondant rolling pin, roll edges of disks to ¼-inch thickness, creating a 4½-inch circle, keeping the center thicker than the edges. (The thinner edges will help your pleats have better definition.)
  6. Place a circle of dough in the palm of your hand. Place 1 rounded tablespoon filling (about 24 grams) in center. Using the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, pleat and pinch dough edges to enclose filling, rotating dough in your palm as you go. Tightly pinch together the top to seal, pulling dough up to a point and pinching off excess dough. (For best shape, place shaped bun on a work surface and gently cup with both hands to round it out.)
  7. Place each bun on a parchment square, and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. (It’s best to begin steaming buns about 30 minutes after shaping. If you need more time to shape your buns, loosely cover buns with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to keep them from overproofing.)
  8. Place 3 buns, still on parchment squares, on prepared steamer rack; place over inverted cake pan in prepared pot, and cover with lid. Bring water to a boil over high heat; immediately reduce heat to medium-high, and steam buns for 15 minutes. Immediately turn off heat, and let buns stand in the unopened pot for 2 minutes.
  9. Using two pairs of tongs, carefully remove buns by lifting steamer rack from pot. Remove buns from rack. Repeat with remaining buns, adding additional water to pot as needed. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Notes
*We used Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Pork Belly. Instead of a Dutch oven, a deep skillet or wok can also be used.

Note: Test the dough for proper gluten development using the windowpane test. Pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute more, and test again.

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Orange Sweet Buns

A nod to the classic sweet bun recipe, these Orange Sweet Buns have the same sunny disposition, only with a new and improved crème fraîche frosting.

Orange Sweet Buns
 

Makes 12 buns
Ingredients
  • 4¼ to 4½ cups (532 to 563 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) whole milk
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) packed orange zest (about 2 large oranges)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Orange-Crème Fraîche Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: orange zest

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and ½ cup (113.5 grams) butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg, and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2¾ cups (344 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape dough hook and sides of bowl as needed. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. (Dough should pass the windowpane test [see PRO TIP] but may still stick slightly to sides of bowl.)
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together zest, cardamom, remaining 1 cup (200 grams) sugar, and remaining ½ cup (113.5 grams) butter until well combined.
  7. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Using a small offset spatula, spread zest mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Starting with opposite long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to 18 inches long and even thickness, if necessary. Using a serrated knife dipped in flour, cut log into 12 slices (about 1½ inches thick). Place slices, cut side down, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 25 to 30 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Using a small offset spatula, spread Orange-Crème Fraîche Glaze onto rolls. Garnish with zest, if desired. Serve warm.

Notes
PRO TIP: Test the dough for proper gluten development by using the windowpane test. Pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat 1 minute more, and test again.

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Orange Crème Fraîche Glaze
 

Makes about 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) cold crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) packed orange zest
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

3.5.3251

 

The post Orange Sweet Buns appeared first on Bake from Scratch.

5 Recipes You Should Be Baking to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

January 25 kicks off the Lunar New Year, a 15-day-long celebration of the beginning of the new year in the traditional Chinese calendar. For those who celebrate, the very light takes on a bright red hue. For these 15 days in China and all other countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, the cheery glow of red lanterns illuminate the roads, with red paper pasted over windowpanes and doorways for good measure. At night, fireworks shout across the horizon in rapid succession and burst in dazzling, rhythmic fashion—an unsurpassed spectacle considering the Chinese invented fireworks. At the close, thousands of lanterns are lit and sent to the sky, with hopes and dreams scrolled on the paper that will soon be consumed by the growing internal flame. 

But perhaps the quietest tradition is the most important: the reunion dinner, held on Lunar New Year’s Eve. The entire extended family gathers around the dinner table to dine on an multicourse meal made up of dumplings, rice cakes, and more. Food plays an integral part in welcoming the new year, and there is much to feast on. Start this new year, the Year of the Rat, in sweet fashion with our five home baker-friendly recipes featured in our January/February 2020 issue. We’re sharing two of our favorites here, but pick up a copy of the issue for the rest!

Walnut Cookies (hup toh soh)

A common treat found in pastry shops in China year-round, during Chinese New Year, home bakers often make hup toh soh as a crunchy treat to welcome visitors and family to their home. Supposedly, the original walnut cookies contained no walnuts in the dough. The “walnut” in the name might have been used to refer to the cookie’s crunchy texture, or its wrinkly, golden appearance. 

Pineapple Buns (bolo bao)

Instantly recognizable with its crosshatch design on top, pineapple buns are a treasure to have come out of Hong Kong bakeries in the 20th century. Contrary to what its name would have you think, no pineapple is used in making these buns. Instead, the title refers to its similarity in appearance between the crispy top and a pineapple’s bumpy exterior. The base bun is made of a milk bread dough—sweet and fantastically fluffy.

Coconut Almond Rice Cake (nian gao)

For Chinese New Year, a number of rituals ensure luck and fortune: wearing red, not cleaning, burning fake money and coins, and, most deliciously, eating nian gao. This traditionally steamed sticky rice cake is almost 2,000 years old, first coming to prominence around AD 200. The cake’s potential luck is due to being a homonym, with nian gao sounding similar to the Chinese characters for “higher year,” meaning you’ll have a bountiful year by eating a slice of this iconic rice cake. Of course, consuming cake is always lucky in our book. Click here for our recipe!

Sweet Egg Tarts (dan tan)

Hailing from the city of Guangzhou in the 1920s, the Chinese variation of the egg tart features a crisp, crumbly shortcrust made with lard and a luminous, egg-rich custard. Once the dish came to Hong Kong, it transformed again, getting a tender cookie-like pâte sucrée crust but keeping the reflective custard. Though a relatively new addition to the Lunar New Year feasting, the egg tart is one more sweet way to celebrate the new year. 

Barbecue Pork Buns (char siu bao)

A Cantonese and dim sum classic, this bao is special because it is steamed rather than baked, making it both fluffy and sturdy. Once steamed, the dough will form a chewy skin while staying snowy white and gently heating a tender filling of barbecue-style pork (or char siu). Pork is symbolic during the Chinese New Year, standing for strength, wealth, and blessings. Click here for our version of this dum sum classic.

The post 5 Recipes You Should Be Baking to Celebrate the Lunar New Year appeared first on Bake from Scratch.