Friday, September 26, 2014

Kanelbullar! Swedish Cinnamon/Cardamom Rolls

I always take some baked goods in to the office I work at on Wednesdays. I usually take in a recipe I have never tried before and this Wednesday was no different. The staff is used to my baking adventures, so I can depend on them to give me honest feedback. However, this week I walked in and there were only two other people in the office....and shortly thereafter, one salesman left, so there was just another girl and myself....and all these rolls. She had one and raved, so I had one and instantly fell in love with this recipe. She had another...then I went in and hid two away on a plate to take home to my step-mom and her nurse....she went in and quietly wrapped up two to take home to her hubby.....I went in and took one more for my trip home......By this time, more of the salesmen had come in from their golf outing....and there weren't many rolls left - tee hee! 

These really are delightful - Not too sweet, and with a melt-in-your-mouth dough. Plus, they are oh-so pretty, which makes me love them even more. 

(or Swedish Cinnamon/Cardamom Rolls)

¼ Cup warm water
1 Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
¾ Cup warm milk
2 ½ -3 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ Cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. salt
1/3 Cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

½ Cup sliced almonds, ground in a food processor (or use almond meal)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp.  ground cardamom
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 egg, beaten
Pearl or crystal sugar for sprinkling

(Process pics for roll formation are below, tho' they're not great pics - LOL!) 

Pour water into EZ DOH bucket and stir in yeast. Let sit 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour, then remaining ingredients.  EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until a smooth dough has been produced (you may need that additional ½ cup flour to avoid a very sticky dough). Remove dough from bucket. Spray interior of bucket with cooking spray and place dough back in the bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.  

While the dough rises, prepare the filling by placing the almonds and the sugar in a food processor and blend thoroughly (the original recipe describes this as resulting in almond paste. I didn’t really find that to be true, though I kept blending and blending J . ) Combine this, along with the other filling ingredients, in a bowl and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Remove the dough from the bucket and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out into a large rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and fold dough into thirds, lengthwise. Lift one-third of the rectangle towards the center of the dough, then lift the final third over that, aligning the edges of the dough. Cut into 12 strips. Cut each strip down the middle, stopping about 1 inch from the top . Twist “legs” and join ends to make a bun. Place in a paper baking cups that have been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, till golden.

Adapted from a recipe at
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Almond Streusel Rolls!

The morning temperatures here in Ohio tell me it's time for a "wake 'em up and wow 'em" sweet roll.....I don't know anyone who minds turning on the oven when it's forty-five degrees outside!  And it's so much fun to hear the "oooo's & ahhhh's" when family or friends are treated to extra special rolls like these. This recipe is definitely "extra special".......just a little different from your basic cinnamon roll. One thing I really love about this recipe is the streusel - it dresses things up a bit, adding to the "wow" factor (though the taste alone could wow anyone!) 

Just a couple of notes before you dive into making this: 1.) Be sure to buy almond paste, not almond filling - they are definitely two different animals! Almond paste can be a little pricey, but it's fun to splurge on specialty baking products once in a while. 2.) The rolls can be made in the evening - just cover the "just-rolled-out/just-filled-and-cut" rolls with plastic wrap before rising and place them in the fridge overnight. In the AM, remove them from the fridge 1/2 hour before baking and sprinkle them with the streusel. Then just proceed to bake and enjoy!! And trust me, you WILL enjoy! 

  Almond Streusel Rolls  
1 pkg/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
¼ Cup  + 2 Tbsp. warm water
2 ½ -3 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
¼ Cup  + 2 Tbsp. warm milk
¼ Cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. salt

¼ Cup almond paste
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
¼ Cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Streusel topping:
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. butter

¾ Cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.
In a mixing bowl, beat filling ingredients together. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a 12” square. Spread filling over the dough. Roll up, jelly-roll style and seal seams. Cut into 6-8 large rolls or 12 smaller rolls. Place in a greased 9” round or square baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the rolls. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until golden.  Carefully turn out rolls onto a wire rack to cool. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over rolls.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Just Plain Bread

Today my 5-year old grand-daughter had surgery. After my daughter and son-in law had walked through difficult months of tests, blood work, medication, lots of prayers and tears and what seemed like hundreds of doctor visits, they were unspeakably grateful to have Corinne's problem finally diagnosed as something relatively "simple" to correct with out-patient surgery. Still, there's something heart-stopping about a 5-year old undergoing anesthesia and everything else that comes with such hospital visits. Corinne's sister, Cana, was probably more scared than Corinne over all of this, so my hubby and I kept her this morning rather than her worrying at the hospital. We took a walk, we did crafts, we visited great grandma and....we made bread! Just plain bread. Nuthin' fancy. In fact, we were so busy doing other things, we let it over-rise a bit. Even though it was a little homely when we took it out of the oven, it sure was good!! Light, airy, tasty. We all enjoyed big,warm, buttered slices for lunch. And then, before we knew it, Corinne and her parents were at the door. Cana shouted for joy and greeted Corinne with a big hug....and a slice of bread! 
It's the simple things that make life special....Love, faith, family....and a little homemade bread! 

       Just Plain Bread          

½ cup warm water
1 Tbsp/ 1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In EZ DOH bucket, combine undissolved yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve and let rest for one minute. Add one cup of flour, then remaining ingredients. EZ DOH-it until smooth and elastic, usually 2-3 minutes. Remove dough from bucket. Spray inside lightly with cooking spray. Return dough to bucket. Cover and let rest till double.

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray (or two small loaf pans). Remove dough from bucket (Divide in two, if making the smaller loaves). Roll out to a small rectangle, then roll up tightly, starting with a long edge. Pinch seam, tuck ends under the loaf and place in loaf pan. Cover lightly and let rise till bread is above the top of the pan. Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on size of loaf. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Brush top with butter while warm. Slice and enjoy!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sun-dried Tomato and Asiago Cheese Bread!

Last weekend, we celebrated Labor Day with a outdoor bread bake! I am very blessed to have a large Italian-made, ceramic-lined, wood-fired outdoor oven that my father and step-mom totally and completely surprised me with at Christmas many years ago. It's been a family tradition since that time to have several "bakes" throughout the summer, but with my father's illness that just didn't happen this year. In honor of Dad's passing, tho', we couldn't let the summer get by without at least one, so I spent last Sunday/Monday EZ-DOH-ing lots of tasty breads -- and that night,  family and friends feasted!  On the menu was a HUGE salad, along with a Cheddar-cheese bread; a jalapeno/cheddar bread; a sunflower/raisin/flax bread; a traditional long-rise Italian bread and this sun-dried tomato and asiago bread. Everyone had their favorites, but this is the recipe friends asked for. 

Sun-Dried Tomato and Asiago Cheese Bread  
This recipe is easy, but  takes a lot of "resting" time - It can be a little messy to handle at one point, but the taste is ALL worthwhile!!

¼ tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast 
1 ¾ Cup warm water
3 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 Cup finely grated asiago cheese
2 tsp. dried basil
½ Cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
                Note: For oil-packed tomatoes: Drain and pat dry before using in the bread.
                           For dehydrated tomatoes: Hydrate tomatoes briefly in warm water and pat dry.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the EZ DOH bucket. Let rest 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and “EZ DOH-it” till well-combined. The mixture will be sticky! Cover the bucket with a plate or plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for 12-18 hours. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a kitchen surface and carefully “pour” dough onto the floured surface and form/pat/push it gently into a ball. Sprinkle with additional flour and let rest for 20 minutes. At this point, because this dough is so “loose”, I like to use some type of form. Usually, I used a double French bread form, lined with baking parchment. Using a VERY sharp knife, or a bench knife, carefully cut the dough in two. Now comes the messy part: With a generous amount of flour and a bench knife, push each dough piece “in” on the sides and lengthen it. Carefully and quickly, pick it up and place it on one of the parchment-lined forms, lengthening it as you lay it in. Repeat with the second piece. (Ta-da- the worst is over!). Lightly sprinkle with flour, cover and let rise 1-2 hrs. Heat the oven to 425 thirty minutes before baking. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until  nicely browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. 

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