Thursday, July 3, 2014

Puerto Rican Sweet Bread Rolls!

Happy July 4th everyone!! What a privilege it is to be celebrating the freedoms we enjoy!

I'm someone who really enjoys reading biographies....One of the most moving and inspiring biographies I've ever read was John Adams by David McCullough. This book chronicles the life of one of the founding fathers of America - his struggles, his ambitions, his sacrifice - everything it took to help "birth" the United States. It's been years since I've read it (I MUST read it again!), but I remember being so humbled by this great man, wondering if I would have ever had it in me to make the sacrifices he and his family did, all the while not knowing what the outcome would ever be. What also struck me was all the different personalities that came together for this uncertain cause, and how everyone's gifts worked together to weave this beautiful, rustic tapestry that is our country. And so it is today......this nation is still a place where the varying gifts of so many are put to work, continuing to add to the tapestry. And  today we celebrate those gifts! 

In keeping with that celebration, today's bread comes from the US territory of Puerto Rico. These delicious, soft, slightly-sweet rolls are a perfect way to celebrate just about anything. I love that I can whip up the dough in the evening and pop it in the frig for the night. The next morning, I just roll, cut, rise and bake! Oh....can't forget that generous "shake" of powdered sugar over the top!! And then, of course, enjoy while warm! These make for a very tasty, beautiful celebration!

       Puerto Rican Sweet Rolls  
1 pkg/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
¼ Cup warm milk
¾ Cup warm water
4 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. sugar
½ Cup melted, cooled butter (Plus 1-2 Tbsp. additional melted butter for brushing rolls)
3 ¼ Cup unbleached bread flour
½ tsp. salt
Powdered sugar 

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and ½ Cup melted butter. Set aside.

In the EZ DOH bucket, whisk together the warm water and the yeast. Let rest one minute. Add one cup of flour, then remaining ingredients, including the butter/egg/sugar mixture.  EZ DOH-it until just combined. Cover and let rest at room temperature for two hours, then refrigerate overnight.

Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll dough out into large rectangle (dough should be approximately ¼” thick). Cut the dough into approximately evenly-sized strips. (the pieces should be the length of the short edge of the rectangle) Roll each strip into a coil (or “snail”), tucking the end under the bun. Place on parchment, spacing evenly. Press down very lightly with your palm on each roll. Cover loosely and let rise for 30-40 minutes. Generously brush each roll with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Cool on a wire rack. Sift generously with powdered sugar. Enjoy while warm!! 

Just a note: The original recipe called for making 6 very large rolls from this amount of dough. We preferred to make 10 large rolls. Also, the day-old rolls make wonderful grilled sandwiches!  Adapted from Mallorca 2009


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