Saturday, January 2, 2021

KAF Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls


In my email box was a recipe from King Arthur Baking Company (formally known as King Arthur Flour) entitled, 2021 Recipe of the Year.  This intrigued me and I read on..."There's something magical about warm-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls."Well, that had me hook, line and sinker!  

Reading on, I discovered the ingredients called for making a Tangzhong, a yeast bread technique popularized by cookbook author, Yvonne Chen.  It involves cooking some of the flour and liquid together to form a paste-like substance.  Bringing the temperature of the flour and liquid to a 149F-degree (65C-degree) pre-gelatinized the flour's starches, which makes them more able to retain liquid.  This technique gives the name, Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls their validity and one I've used several times over the last months when making Japanese Milk Bread.

Over the last 10 months, I have baked a lot of bread, even more than I normally do because it's become a comfort food to make during this Pandemic.  These cinnamon rolls brought back memories of going to the Thousand Oaks Mall with my daughters after school and indulging in a treat of cinnamon rolls while the girls had a special Lime Rickey drink.  We talked about their school day and shopped a bit, but mostly it was allowing us a special treat for having a good day together.

The rolls are easy to make and like the recipe promises--they are Perfectly Pillowy, which they claim will last, well-wrapped a couple of days at room temperature or you can freeze for up to 1-month.

1/2 cup (113g) whole milk
3 T King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until no lumps remain.  Place the pan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring regularly, until a thickened,  paste-like, and the spoon or spatula leaves lines one the bottom of the pan.  This should take 1 to 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.

2/3 cup (151g) whole milk, cold
2 1/2 cups (300g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 tsp. salt
2 T granulated sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
4 T (57g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Add these ingredients to the mixing bowl, in the order listed.  The heat from the Tangzhong will hel- to warm the cold milk.

Mix on low speed to bring the dough together.  You'll know it's ready to be kneaded, when no more dough clings to the sides of the bowl.  Knead (I use a silicone mat a friend gave me) until it's smooth, elastic, and just a bit tacky.  Try to resist adding more flour as this will toughen your dough.  Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl you have buttered.  *My trick is to place my bowl in the microwave with 1 tablespoon of butter and heat for 40 seconds.  The bowl is warm and you can use a pastry brush to coat the sides of the bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic food wrap and set in a warm place in your kitchen to let the dough rise until puffy, but not necessarily doubled in bulk--60 to 90 minutes.

Make the filling while the dough is rising.

1 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 T King Arthur unbleached Bread Flour
3 to 4 tsp. cinnamon
1/16 (a pinch) of salt

Put the melted butter in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring the mixture until it has the texture of damp sand. Set aside.

To assemble the rolls: Transfer the dough to either a lightly greased work surface or as I did, use my silicone baking mat.  Press into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle that's about 1/2-inch thick.  Try to actually create a rectangle (with corners) and not an oval.

Spread the filling over the surface, covering all but a 1/2-inch strip along one long side.

Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log.  Score the dough into eight (8) equal 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces.  This generous size is part of their charm!  For the cleanest cut, you dental floss, but a bench knife or sharp knife will work too.  Place the rolls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 2" apart away from the edges. 3 - 2 - 3 arrangement works well. To prevent them unraveling, tuck the ends of the spirals underneath the rolls to hold them in place.  I use a small, clear, garbage bag to cover my baking sheet, but you can use plastic food wrap as well.  Again, place them in a warm part of the kitchen and allow to rise 30 to 60 minutes.  The rolls should be puffy and the dough shouldn't bounce back immediately when gently pressed.  About 20 minutes before they are ready, preheat oven to 375F-degrees

Bake the rolls for 14 to 18 minutes.  Mine took 15 minutes until they were a light golden brown and a thermometer in the center of one roll read 190F-degrees.

Remove from the oven and brush with 1 1/2 T melted butter.  Let rolls cool 10 to 15 minutes before icing them.

1 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/16 (pinch) salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1 to 2 T milk, cream, or buttermilk (I used half-&-half)

Combine all the ingredients, mixing until you have a smooth icing.  I placed a dollop on each roll, then used an offset spatula to spread.

The last few days have been rainy and cool, so the thought of a warm cinnamon bun put a smile on my face.  These are worth trying--Enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Holiday Shortbread Tidbits

 Holiday Shortbread Tidbits

Shortbread has always been a favorite in our home; hubby is Scottish and it's his favorite!  I made many batches of these little bites this holiday and thought it would be a good recipe to share.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. Almond extract

2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 T + 2 tsp. multi-colored nonpareils

Step 1

Heat oven to 325-degrees F.  Line a 8-inch square baking pan with plastic food wrap, leaving at least 1-inch overhang.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Step 2

In a stand mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar and almond extract.  Beat at medium speed, scrapping the bowl often, until creamy.  Reduce speed to low add flour, salt, and nonpareils.  Mix until combined.

Step 3

Knead the mixture 4 to 5 times in the bowl until dough forms a ball.  Pat the dough evenly into the prepared pan--I used a measuring cup to press the dough firmly into the pan.  Use the plastic wrap to life dough from pan.  Cut dough into 1/2-3/4-inch squares.  Gently place squares onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until bottoms are just beginning to brown.

These tidbits make a great gift filled in a decorative glass or mug for neighbors, teachers, or importantly, Front-Line Workers! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

October's Give-Away Apron

November snuck up, but I didn't want another day to go by without announcing October's Apron Winner.  Congratulations to Linda from "The Puddle Pond" blog!  Please contact me with your information where to send your gift.

Now, sadly and with heavy heart, I will be ending my blog.  I feel I've neglected it and all my lovely followers, so after 9 years, I will say good bye.  I will, however, try to stop in on your blogs from time to time and keep in touch.  Thank you for all your support, especially during the darkest time of my life when we lost our daughter--you all were a lifeline to hold on to.

As Shakespeare wrote..."parting is such sweet sorrow."  Have a wonderful holiday and a blessed new year.  Susan

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fall Pear Muffin with Cinnamon Oat Streusel

This morning was chilly...and for me to say that, it was cold.  In fact, I woke up at 2:30 a.m. and even turned the heat on for a bit.  So, baking this morning I was looking for those fall-flavors that would fit the weather.

Pears, like pumpkins and apples, are definitely a fruit we see in the markets and farm stands.  In fact, my best friend had so many pears this year in her orchard that she was canning for days!  It's thought that pears originated in Caucasus and spread to Europe and Asia where they were cultivated more than 4000 years ago. Both the Greeks and Romans valued the fruit for its flavor and medicinal properties.

Raw pears are 84% water, 15% carbohydrates and contains negligible protein and fat.  It has about 57 calories and is a good source of dietary fiber.  They are consumed fresh, canned as juice and dried, of course, jams and jellies, including butter and cider.

Fall Pear Muffin with Cinnamon Oat Streusel
1 large egg
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup firmly packed browned sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large Bosc pear, peeled and grated
3/4 cup Oat Flour
1 cup King Arthur All-purpose Flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Oat Topping:
1/2 cup Old Fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1/3 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
6 T firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 T unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375F-degrees.  Spray a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper cups.  Make the topping

Mix all the ingredients together and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in until it is chunky and only a few pea-size pieces of butter are visible.
Set aside.  Make the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter.  Add the milk, sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla whisk into combined.  Then stir in the grated pear.

(You can make your own oat flour by pulsing Old-Fashioned Oats in a food processor.)
Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and fold together into the batter.  Be careful not to overtax.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin wells.  Mound with equal amounts of streusel on top.

Baking 18 to 20 minutes for standard muffins or 25 to 30 minutes for jumbo size muffins.

Remove the pan from the oven and cool about 5 minutes.  Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to a rack to cool a little more.  I enjoyed my warm with my favorite cup of Harney & Sons tea. Enjoy!

My flowers are still beautiful with the days warm with the nights very cool!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Butter Pecan Angle Food Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

All a recipe has to say is "Butter Pecan" and it peaks my interest!  I found this recipe in a special release magazine called Fall Baking Cookbook on the newsstand at my grocery store and this is just one of many I'll be trying with the fall weather upon us.

Angel Food Cake originated in the United States and it's a type of sponge cake but made with egg whites, flour and sugar, with a whipping agent like Cream of Tartar.  It was so named because of it's unique light and fluffy texture and is said to resemble the "food of the angels!"  It first became popular in the 19th century and it differs from other cakes because it uses no butter, but rather gets it's structure from "protein foam" from whipping egg whites.  Egg whites, which are composed of many proteins, aid in creating the voluminous angel food cake.

If you're a Butter Pecan fan, like me (and my mother was), then this is the cake for you; my hubby loved it!

Butter Pecan Angel Food Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

Preheat oven to 375F-degrees.  Used an UNGREASED 10-inch Tube Pan, preferably one with "feet" to help properly cool the cake.

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely ground pecans
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T Butter flavoring
1 T Vanilla extract
1 T Vanilla Butternut Flavoring
1 cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, sift the confectioners' sugar and cake flour.  Add the salt and stir.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and flavorings until frothy on high speed.  Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until stiff and peaks form.  My mom always said, "if you can turn the bowl upside down over your head and none falls out, you've whipped it enough!"

Remove bowl from the stand and gently fold in the flour/confectioners' sugar mixture in thirds until it's fully incorporated.  This can get a little messy, but gently folding ensures you have a light cake!
Spoon mixture into the 10-inch Tube pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes--mine actually took 38, so watch it after 35 just to be sure.
If you don't have a 10-inch tube pan with feet, you will have to invert the pan onto a top of a bottle. Let it cool completely.

Browned Butter Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
10T unsalted butter, cubed and browned

In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it turns a medium brown and has a nutty aroma--about 8 minutes.  Have your confectioners' sugar and salt in a medium bowl and when the butter is ready, pour over the sugar through a fine-mesh strainer.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour over the inverted cooled cake and decorate with additional chopped pecans. Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pumpkin Pie Crumble

Autumn is definitely upon us--leaves  are changing, nights are cooler, and retail stores already have Christmas products on the shelves!  Seriously, I was out on Saturday shopping and I see rows and rows of Christmas decorations, lights, and cards out.  Well, I'm taking my time and relishing in the season.  I've waited all summer for the days to be less humid and turn the air conditioning off.

However, Thanksgiving is getting close enough to start planning this year's meal.  I usually do Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake, but I thought I'd try some new things this year. (Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!)  This has all the flavor, and texture of pumpkin pie, but with a cake base and a lovely crumble topping.  Easy to make and may surprise your guest as well.

Pumpkin is native to North America, but I doubt if the first Thanksgiving had it on the menu.  It was the nineteenth century when pumpkin pie appeared in cookbooks or became popular as dessert at the Thanksgiving table. In England, the "pie" took on a different look; the pumpkin was stuffed with apples, spices, and sugar and baked whole.  I think I prefer our method:-)

Pumpkin Pie Crumble
3/4 cup + 2T (110g) cake flour*
1/2 cups + 2 T (125g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 cup (110g) cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees (175C).  Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  I grated the butter into the mixture, then use a pastry cutter to mix it into the dry ingredients.

Add the egg and stir until the dough started to come together.
Transfer the dough to the springform pan and flour your fingers. Press the dough every into the pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until it's puffy and browns a little. Remove from oven, but leave the oven on.

1/4 cup (30g) King Arthur All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
2 T firmly packed brown sugar
1.4 tso, ground cinnamon
2 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (60g) pecans, chopped

In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then use the pastry cutter to cut the butter into the mixture. Add the chopped pecans, then stir until the mixture comes together in clumps.

1 (15oz/425g) can pumpkin puree
2 T brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80ml) milk

In a medium bowl, mix the first four ingredients, stirring with a whisk or rubber spatula.  Add the egg and then the milk and stir until smooth.

Pour the filling evenly over the cooled crust, then sprinkle the crumble evenly over top.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until the filling is set and the topping is golden.  Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
I served a slice with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, but actually, it's just as good on it's own. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Autumn Roasted Pear Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

I love the flavors of Autumn!  I bake a lot with pumpkin and apples, but when a good friend mentioned she had a wonderful slice of Roasted Pear Cake in a tavern in Maine, well my taste buds began salivating and I couldn't wait to come up with something my family could enjoy.

Pears, like apples are Fall fruits and although there may not be as many varieties as apples, there is a pretty good variety.  I used Bartlett in this recipe, but next time, I'm trying Bosc or Anjou just to see if the flavors change.

Autumn Roasted Pear Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

2 1/2 lbs (about 5) pears
3 T water
3 T granulated sugar
juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375F-degrees.  Peel, core and chop the pears into 1-inch pieces.  Transfer the pears to a baking dish and toss them with the lemon juice, water, and sugar.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the pears are soft and cooked through, 30-45 minutes.

 Remove the foil and let the pears cool to room temperature, then mash them, leaving some larger bits of pear in the sauce.  Measure out 2 cups of pear sauce and set aside--you can save the rest to have with breakfast ;-)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup creme fraiche
3 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cardamon
2 cups Pear Sauce

Turn the oven down to 350F-degrees.  Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil and brown sugar together until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the creme fraiche and mix to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and the pear sauce, mixing just until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap on the counter top to release any air.  Bake the cake until golden and cooked through--55 to 65 minutes.  Let the cake cool about 10 minutes in the pan, then invert it onto a rack to cool completely.

Browned Butter Glaze
6 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 4 T milk
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook the butter until it lightly browns and smells nutty.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.  Add a pinch of salt.  Let cool completely.

Whisk in the confectioners' sugar adding milk as needed to create a pourable glaze.  Pour over the cooled cake.

I wish I could say we were actually having Autumn, but's been in the upper 80s/90s and feels more like July!  However, a bite of this wonderful cake, I can imagine.  Enjoy!