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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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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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.

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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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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®.

3.5.3251

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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Chestnut, Cranberry, and Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi

Fresh rosemary and fragrant chestnuts lend warm savory notes to this buttery Chestnut, Cranberry, Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi studded with sweet cranberries.

Chestnut, Cranberry, Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi
 

Makes 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 3⅔ cups (466 grams) plus 1¼ cups (159 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 1¾ cups (420 grams) plus 2 teaspoons (10 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C), divided
  • 2⅛ teaspoons (4 grams) instant yeast, divided
  • 6 teaspoons (18 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups (183 grams) Roasted Chestnuts (recipe follows), chopped
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (4 grams) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 cups (480 grams) ice water
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) olive oil

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1¼ cups (159 grams) flour, ½ cup
  2. (120 grams) warm water, and ⅛ teaspoon yeast. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 16 hours.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat yeast mixture, 1¼ cups (300 grams) warm water, 4 teaspoons (12 grams) salt, sugar, remaining 3⅔ cups (466 grams) flour, and remaining 2 teaspoons (4 grams) yeast at medium-low speed for 6 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. Add Roasted Chestnuts and cranberries, beating just until combined, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, shape butter into a 10×8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with rosemary, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Position oven rack to lowest level, and place a large cast-iron skillet on rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Freeze dough for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Unwrap butter block, and place in center of rectangle. Fold dough edges over to enclose butter block. Roll dough into a 24×8-inch rectangle. Fold one short side over 3 inches. Fold other short side over 9 inches, making ends meet. Fold dough in half, creating an 8×6-inch rectangle. Roll into an 18×8-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter, creating an 8×6-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll dough into a 19×11-inch rectangle. Trim ½ inch off all sides of dough. Cut dough in half lengthwise, creating 2 (18×5-inch) rectangles. Starting at one long side, roll up 1 rectangle, pinching seam to seal. Transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
  8. Using kitchen scissors, make a 45-degree cut into dough 1 inch from end, leaving about ¼ inch of dough uncut. (Be careful not to cut all the way through dough.) Lay dough piece over to one side. Make another 1-inch cut, and lay to other side. Repeat process until you reach end of dough. Repeat with remaining loaf.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 2 teaspoons (10 grams) warm water. Brush egg wash onto dough. Pour 2 cups (480 grams) ice water in cast-iron skillet, and place loaves in hot oven.
  10. Bake until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons (6 grams) salt. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Roasted Chestnuts
 

Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 cups (892 grams) whole chestnuts in shells

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Using a sharp paring knife, cut an “X” in rounded side of chestnuts. (This lets steam escape, and will prevent them from exploding.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up.
  2. Roast until shells curl away from nutmeats, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Wrap hot chestnuts in a kitchen towel, and squeeze gently to further loosen shells. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel shells from nutmeats. Use immediately, or store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

 

The post Chestnut, Cranberry, and Rosemary Laminated Pain d’Épi appeared first on Bake from Scratch.

St Lucia Buns

Every December 13, across the snowy towns of Scandinavia, families rise early in the dark to begin preparing for a centuries-old winter solstice celebration, a festival of lights. The eldest daughter of each household wakes first. Donning a white gown with a red sash and a candle-lit wreath crown, she carries a tray of brilliant golden St Lucia buns from room to room, singing carols and serving the sweet saffron-scented buns to family and friends in honor of St. Lucia. Soon they will take to the streets for a processional, where a girl—nominated by her town as “Lucia”—carries a basket of St. Lucia buns, handing them out to the merry masses. She is accompanied by girls in white dresses and boys with star-coned hats. They twirl and sing along the streets. This is St. Lucia Day.

You can’t talk about St Lucia buns without mentioning the shapes. The soft, supple dough allows for a variety of them—from a braided wreath to the wilder prästens hår (“priest’s hair”). The classic S shape, with each end of the dough rope curling up in an opposite direction, is the most common and easy to execute. The origin of the S shape and its connection with St. Lucia is fairly unknown, but there are several theories. The most prevalent is that the S is supposed to resemble curled-up cats, hence the name lussekatter. In his new cookbook, The Nordic Baking Book (Phaidon Press, 2018), Magnus Nilsson asserts that the real lussekatt shape has four curls, and the common S shape is actually called jugalt, which means “Christmas boar.” 

No matter the shape, St Lucia buns are vibrant enough to bring warmth to even the coldest of Scandinavian winters. In the spirit of this season, do as the Swedes and take to the kitchen to bake out the dark. Rest assured, St Lucia buns will bring the light.

These Swedish ST Lucia Buns are made with sour cream and vodka. The traditional version requires the saffron to infuse in vodka overnight so it can develop an intense color, but our method is much faster. 

St Lucia Buns
 

Makes 19 buns
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon saffron, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) vodka
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • Garnish: Swedish pearl sugar*

Instructions
  1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar and saffron. Place in a small bowl, and add vodka. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat ⅔ cup (160 grams) milk and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 110°F (43°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat. Whisk in yeast; let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and 1 egg (50 grams); whisk in saffron mixture.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place yeast mixture. With mixer on low speed, gradually add half of flour mixture, beating until incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next, about 5 minutes total, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, beating until incorporated. Continue beating until dough is smooth and elastic, about 16 minutes.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Shape dough into a smooth round, 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 1½ hours.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 19 (50-gram) pieces. (Keep dough covered while shaping so it does not dry out.) Roll each portion into a 12- to 13-inch rope, letting ends taper. Roll each end into a tight spiral in opposite directions, meeting in the middle to create an S shape. Place at least 3 inches apart on prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) milk. Brush top and sides of each bun with egg wash. Top with pearl sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on a wire rack. Buns will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

Notes
*We used Lars Own Swedish Pearl Sugar.

 

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