Thursday, February 10, 2022

Sinful Cinnamon Buns

 These are so easy it is sinful... but taste like heaven.

Start with making the dough.

1. I used a stand mixer but a hand mixture should be great as well. Combine 2 cups of flour, 1/3 cup of white sugar, 4-1/2 teaspoons of yeast (2 packages)(yes that's a lot of yeast) and 1 teaspoon of salt and blend them. 

2. Then take 1-1/2 cups of water and 6 tablespoons of butter/margarine and microwave them together for 2 rounds of 15 secs until quite warm but not hot. Dump the whole thing into the flour mixture along with an egg. 

3. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed gradually adding another cup of flour. Stop and scrape down the walls of the bowl, then beat another 2 minutes on high. Add enough flour to gradually have the dough form a ball (about another half cup to a cup should do it)

4. Turn out and knead it by hand for 6-8 minutes until the dough feels smooth (you will likely need to add flour as you knead the dough, it will be sticky). Form a ball and cover the dough for a 10 minutes nap.

5. The filling is simple, 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, mixed together. Soften 3 tablespoons butter/margarine to spread on the dough.

6. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10 by 15 inch square (25 by 38 cm). I always measure it to be sure. Spread the butter/margarine over the dough staying back about a half inch on the long sides. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough (i always press the sugar into the dough a bit to keep it in place),

7 Working from the long edge, roll the dough tightly and evenly as possible and pinch the seams to make a log. Cut the log into 12 pieces (I used dental floss as a cutting garrot, worked great and didn't compress the dough)

8. Gently place the cut dough into a 13 by 9 inch greased baking pan (I also use parchment, these can really stick to a pan). With cut side up (which ever side looks prettier). 

9. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

10. Pre heat the oven to 350. Bake for 25-30 minutes (I took the whole 30 minutes and sometimes even a bit more). They should be starting to turn golden brown on top.

11. Carefully turn out onto a cooling rack and let sit for at least 20 minutes.

12. While you are waiting mix 2-1/2 cups of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons butter/margarine 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. 

13. Spread that sweet icing over those delicious buns and enjoy!! 

By the way... once the icing sets try separating them and freezing them... when you take them out of the freezer microwave for about 30 seconds and wash them down with a nice cup of coffee :-) 

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Easy Way to have Baguettes Today

This is a very clean and simple recipe to have hot baguettes ready for supper. It really is this easy.

1. Combine 3 cups of flour (all purpose unbleached is what I used), 1 to 1 & 1/4 cups of lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons of yeast, and 1&1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl and mix manually until you have a shaggy dough evenly hydrated (just takes a minute or two)

2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes

3. Knead the dough by hand (about 10 mins) or mixer (about 7 mins) until smooth. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for about 90 minutes (they always say until doubled in size but I have no idea how to measure that in real life so I go by time).

4. Fold the dough over on itself several times (I actually kneaded it just for a minute or so) then return it to the bowl and let it proof for another 90 minutes. 

5. Divide the dough into three portions  (I recommend actually weighing them to get them as even weight as possible). Roll them into balls and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. 

6, Shape your baguettes. If you don't have a method already, I found this video works well  

7. Gently place your baguettes on parchment on a baking sheet or if you are using a baking stone in the oven, just on the parchment and use your peel to place them in the oven when ready. I used a baking stone and pizza peel, so just placed them on parchment. Cover the baguettes for the final rise, it takes about an hour. 

8. Preheat the over to 450F 

9. When the baguettes are ready, the dimple you make by pushing your finger into the dough, should linger afterward, then you are ready. 

10. Make 3 diagonal slices in each and slide them into the oven, give them a good spray of water just as you are closing the oven on them. 

11. Bake at 450F for about 20-25 minutes (I was closer to 25) they should be a deep golden brown on top. 

12. Now you have 2 options, you can cool them on a rack on the counter, or you can turn off the oven, take the pan out but return the baguettes to the oven directly on the rack to let them cool (with the oven door cracked open a couple inches). Either way, you should get great results. 

Try to wait until they are cooled to cut them... good luck with that :-)