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.

3.5.3251

 

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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.

3.5.3251

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

 

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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.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Get your pumpkin fix with these hearty Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel. Pumpkin purée makes these muffins extra tender, but it’s that crunchy pecan streusel that’ll have you coming back for more. Sunnyland Farms‘ Raw Georgia Pecan Halves lend unbeatable farm-fresh flavor to the streusel, and bring a touch of nuttiness to this irresistibly sweet and spicy recipe. This will be your go-to breakfast all season long!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel
 

Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (244 grams) canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • Pecan Streusel (recipe follows)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, melted butter, eggs, and milk. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, and fold until well combined.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling three-fourths full (about 74 grams each). Spoon 2 tablespoons (about 22 grams) Pecan Streusel on top of batter in each muffin cup.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Serve warm.

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Pecan Streusel
 

Makes about 2 cups
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (57 grams) chopped pecans*
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) pumpkin spice
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, pecans, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice. Add melted butter, stirring until large clumps form. Squeeze mixture together with hands to create clumps. Freeze until ready to use.

Notes
*We used Sunnyland Farms Raw Georgia Pecan Halves

3.5.3251

 

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Cheddar Sage Dutch Oven Bread

Sage and half a pound of white Cheddar pump up the savory, herbaceous volume in a classic dutch oven bread. Let the dough have a long, cold rest in the refrigerator for the best flavor—then let a very hot Dutch oven and 35-minute bake take you the rest of the way.

Cheddar Sage Dutch Oven Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups (381 grams) bread flour
  • 1 cup (130 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (425 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 1 (8-ounce) block (226 grams) extra-sharp aged white Cheddar cheese*
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) rubbed sage
  • Corn flour, for dusting

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, place bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and yeast. Add 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (425 grams) warm water, and stir with hands until fully incorporated and a sticky dough forms. (Alternatively, place bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons [425 grams] warm water, and beat at medium speed until a sticky dough forms, about 30 seconds.)
  2. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 2 hours. Then, refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) or up to 5 days. (The longer the dough stands, the more the flavor will develop.)
  3. Divide block of Cheddar into 2 (113-gram) pieces. Cut one half into ½-inch cubes, and finely grate other half. In a small bowl, stir together grated cheese and sage.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, dust dough lightly with flour, and roll to 1-inch thickness. Sprinkle roughly two-thirds of cubed cheese and grated cheese-sage mixture onto dough. Starting on left side and working clockwise, fold edges of dough toward center, pressing lightly. Reroll dough to 1-inch thickness, sprinkle with remaining cubed cheese and grated cheese-sage mixture, and repeat folding dough to center. Turn dough ball over, and using both hands, cup dough, and pull it toward you. Turn dough 90 degrees, and repeat until you have a tight, sealed round. It is OK if some of the cheese cubes are poking out through the dough.
  5. Heavily dust a sheet of parchment paper with corn flour; place dough on parchment, seam side up. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 1 hour.
  6. When dough has 30 minutes left to rise, place a 6-to 7-quart Dutch oven and lid in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  7. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid, and quickly turn bread into Dutch oven so seam is now on bottom. Score top of bread (being careful not to touch hot sides of Dutch oven). Cover with lid, and place back in oven.
  8. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 450°F (230°C). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), about 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes
*We used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Premium Naturally Aged Cheddar Cheese.

3.5.3251

 

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Persimmon Scones

The floral sweetness and spicy undertones of persimmons really sing in these extra-tender cinnamon-scented scones, brimming with fresh pieces of the fruit. A maple syrup glaze brings an extra dose of warmth. For more ways with persimmons, pick up a copy of our November/December 2019 issue!

Persimmon Scones
 

Makes about 7 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (71 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup (134 grams) diced Fuyu persimmons
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 grams) plus
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract*
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • Maple Glaze (recipe follows)

Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons (42 grams) brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and cardamom. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Toss persimmons in flour mixture. Add ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 grams) cold cream and vanilla, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 4 to 5 times. Roll dough to 1-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 grams) cold cream. Using a pastry brush, brush top of scones with egg wash. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) brown sugar.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle with Maple Glaze. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes
*We used Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract.

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Maple Glaze
 

Makes ⅔ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons (53 grams) maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 grams) heavy whipping cream

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, place confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in maple syrup; slowly whisk in cream until smooth. Use immediately.

3.5.3251

 

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Pear Cardamom Buns

With a mesmerizing yet easy-to-execute shape, these buns are spiced with bold, complex cardamom—the ideal companion for the subtly flavored pear. Slathered in every twist and curve of the golden dough, the homemade Pear Butter is a great way to make use of overripe pears and melts in your mouth with every bite. 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Pear Cardamom Buns
 

Makes 16 buns
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (240 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C), divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast*
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 4½ to 4¾ cups (563 to 594 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons (2.5 grams) ground cardamom, divided
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ cups (360 grams) Pear Butter (recipe follows)
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk, room temperature

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together ¾ cup (180 grams) warm milk and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar, melted butter, sour cream, egg, vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup (60 grams) warm milk until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) cardamom, and cinnamon. Stir 4 cups (500 grams) flour mixture into sugar mixture. With mixer on low speed, add yeast mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in remaining ½ to ¾ cup (63 to 94 grams) flour mixture. (Dough should be slightly sticky.) Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  5. Punch down dough. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 20×16-inch rectangle. Spread Pear Butter onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on short sides. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and room temperature milk. Brush one border with egg wash. Fold dough in half crosswise, trimming if needed to create a 16×10-inch rectangle. Gently roll over dough to ensure filling is even. Cut dough into 16 (1-inch-wide) strips. Twist each strip, spiral dough, and tuck end under. Place on prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, about 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Brush buns with egg wash. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar and remaining ½ teaspoon (1 gram) cardamom. Top buns with cardamom sugar.
  10. Bake, one batch at a time, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or let cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes
*We used Red Star® Active Dry Yeast.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Pear Butter
 

Makes about 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds (1,814 grams) Bartlett pears (about 8 large pears), peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (240 grams) water
  • 1 tablespoon (3 grams) lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ cup (120 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (18 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg

Instructions
  1. In a large stainless steel stockpot, bring pears, 1 cup (240 grams) water, lemon zest and juice, ginger, and star anise to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; boil gently, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard star anise.
  2. Working in batches, transfer mixture to the work bowl of a food processor; purée just until a uniform texture is achieved and no large chunks remain. (Do not liquefy. It should look like applesauce.)
  3. Return mixture to pot; add sugars, vanilla bean paste, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sugars are dissolved. Reduce heat to medium; boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape with a spoon and liquid does not separate, 45 to 55 minutes. Refrigerate for up to 1 month, or freeze for up to 1 year.

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Champagne-Poached Pear Muffins

We’re taking poached pears to a whole new level with these Champagne-Poached Pear Muffins. Studded with Bosc and Anjou pears, these tender muffins feature the luxurious pairing of crisp Champagne and rich Heilala Vanilla. Heilala’s premium vanilla beans heighten the Champagne-based poaching liquid with their complex notes, and the muffin batter itself is infused with Heilala’s vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract for a sweet and smooth flavor. Piled in a basket on the breakfast table or served with afternoon coffee, these Champagne-Poached Pear Muffins are sure to be a new fall favorite.

Before you get to baking, stock up on Heilala Vanilla and get 20% off your order on their website! Simply use the code BAKEFS12 at checkout. Code valid until February 29, 2020.

Champagne-Poached Pear Muffins
 

Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (147 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (18 grams) vanilla bean paste*
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract*
  • 2 cups (250 grams) plus 1 tablespoon
  • (8 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole buttermilk
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) (¼-inch) chopped Champagne-Poached Pears (recipe follows)
  • ⅔ cup (75 grams) sliced almonds
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups (250 grams) flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
  4. Pat chopped Champagne-Poached Pears with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid. In a small bowl, toss together pears and remaining 1 tablespoon (8 grams) flour. Fold pears into batter. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle almonds onto batter.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes
*We used Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste and Extract.

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Champagne-Poached Pears
 

Makes 2 poached pears
Ingredients
  • 2 large Bosc or Anjou pears (484 grams)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) water, plus more if needed
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 (1-inch-wide) strip orange zest (4 grams)
  • 2 (187-ml split) bottles Champagne

Instructions
  1. Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Using a melon baller, core pears from bottom.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup (240 grams) water and sugar over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil. Add vanilla bean and reserved seeds, cinnamon stick, and zest. Add Champagne; return to a boil. Add pears; reduce heat to medium-low. If pears are not fully submerged, add more water until liquid covers pears and they start to float. Shape a small sheet of foil into a circle. Place on top of pears to keep them fully submerged in poaching liquid. Simmer until pears are fork-tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Transfer pears to a bowl. Pour poaching liquid over pears, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week.

Notes
You will make more Champagne-Poached Pears than is required for the muffins. The leftovers make a nice topper for ice cream or yogurt

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Apple Oat Bread

There’s nothing more comforting than the aroma of this Apple Oat Bread brimming with fresh apple chunks and a symphony of fall spices wafting through your kitchen. We souped up the familiar yeasted apple bread by adding a hefty dose of apple cider to the dough of our Apple Oat Bread for a crisp, tangy kick and a thick Oat Streusel topping for epic crunch.

Apple Oat Bread
 

Makes 1 (9×5-inch) loaf
Ingredients
  • 3⅔ cups (466 grams) bread flour
  • 1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast*
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) warm apple cider (120°F/49°C to 130°F/54°C)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (121 grams) chopped Honeycrisp apple (about 1 apple)
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • Oat Streusel (recipe follows)
  • Softened butter or apple butter, to serve

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, salt, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves by hand.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together warm apple cider and melted butter. Add cider mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add apple, and beat until most of apple pieces are picked up by dough, about 1 minute.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently to completely incorporate apple, about 5 times. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape dough into a smooth ball, and place in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  5. Lightly pat dough into a 9-inch circle. Fold top third of dough to center, pressing to seal. Fold bottom third over folded portion, pressing to seal. Fold dough in half lengthwise so long edges meet. Using the heel of your hand, firmly press edges to seal. Place dough, seam 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.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush top of loaf with egg wash, and sprinkle with Oat Streusel.
  8. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with softened butter or apple butter.

Notes
*We used Platinum® Yeast from Red Star®.

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Oat Streusel
 

Makes ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (15 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add melted butter, and stir until mixture is crumbly.

3.5.3251

 

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Cheddar and Onion Beer Bread

This stir-together loaf can be made in a pinch with ingredients you probably have on hand, but don’t let that fool you–this isn’t your average quick bread. Beer’s natural leavening abilities give this a little extra lift, and gluten-inhibiting alcohol lends it an especially tender crumb. Amber ale deepens the bread’s flavor with complex, toasty notes of amber malt and bright citrus, which are complemented beautifully by the earthy tang of Cheddar cheese and oven-roasted sweet onion.

Cheddar And Onion Beer Bread
 

Makes 1 (8½×4½-inch) loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 small sweet onion (about 215 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle (340 grams) amber ale
  • 1 cup (84 grams) freshly grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
  2. Clean and quarter onion Separate layers and place in a single layer on a small rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt.
  3. Bake until tender and brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool completely; dice.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8½×4½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, and remaining 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) salt. Add beer, stirring just until combined. Fold in diced roasted onion and cheese. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Pour melted butter over batter.
  6. Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm.

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