Posts tagged yeast
Salted Caramel Pecan Rolls
A happy plate of pecan rolls, gooey and crunchy and salty and sweet. 
Once upon a time I worked as a baker who made Danish, Croissant and Puff pastry. It was there when I learned how to make pecan rolls with Danish dough and a thing called pan smear. I've been hankering to make them again. Alas, I can't seem to find a similar recipe. Nothing rang my memory bell. However, I thought I'd shoot for easy overnight rolls.

I suppose you don't need to hold them overnight, but I think they work well for breakfast and I am not waking up early enough to make these from start to finish in the morning. Those days are behind me.

This is how we do it:

  • Dough
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • .5 cup granulated sugar
  • .5 cup water at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature
  • .25 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • .5 teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • Caramel Sauce:
  • .5 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • .25 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1.3 cups chopped pecans, toasted

  • Filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Put all the dough ingredients into the bowl of stand mixer. Knead until smooth about 5 minutes. Scrape together. Oil the bowl and the top of the dough. Cover and let rise 90-120 minutes. 
Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by spraying liberally with cooking spray. 
Near the end of the rise time, in a sauce pan combine the butter, brown sugar and salt. Melt together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream. Bring to a quick boil then off the heat, stirring the whole while. Into the pans toss the pecans, carefully pour the caramel sauce on top of the pecans. Set aside as you roll the dough. 

Divide dough into two equal portions and roll out each section into a rectangle. 
For the filling, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. Brush melted butter evenly on each rectangle and sprinkle with brown sugar cinnamon mix. Starting with the longer side roll up each rectangle. Cut each roll into 10 equal portions. Place rolls into prepared cake pans and brush with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature and proof until the pan is full. Bake until browned and baked through 20-30 minutes. 350 degrees. 

This is the tricky part. Don't let them cool in the pan!!! Put the serving plate over the rolls and flip them to where the caramel and pecans are on top.
New Orleans King Cake-American Cake
It is a very pretty cake. Very much delightful for breakfast. 

This is cake 3 from American Cake. It's a yeasted cake rolled around cinnamon, sugar and butter. There's a surprising half teaspoon of nutmeg in the dough, the icing has almond extract. These two flavors set it apart from a giant circular cinnamon roll. The outside texture of the cake does too in that it's dryer than you'd expect. Having baked yeasted pastry plenty of times, I anticipated to be directed to brush the roll with beaten egg or melted butter before baking. Having double checked the book that step wasn't called for.

She's a pretty little beast for sure. However, so far MBW Gingerbread aka Cake 2 has been  the stand out winner of the first 3 cakes.

Cake Recipe
.25 cup warm water
1 packet or 2.25 teaspoons yeast
.25 cup warm whole milk
.5 cup butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
.5 teaspoon nutmeg
.5 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 large eggs

6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1.5 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
.25 teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl combine water with yeast. Let foam. Add milk, sugar, nutmeg, salt and stir until the granules are few. Add milk and 1 cup of flour. Mix. Add the 2 eggs and blend it into the dough. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour.

Turn out on to counter and need for 5 minutes. Rest in a lightly greased bowl. When doubled knock out the air and roll it the dough 26x12 inches. Combine the sugar and cinnamon together. Brush with butter and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon. Starting on the long 26 inch side of the rectangle roll evenly. Transfer to a parchment covered sheet and form into a circle. You can cut it into slices like I did, but leaving it whole seems more typical. Also, I lost some filling through the slits. So I won't do that again.

Allow it rise 1 hour or until it looks soft enough. Bake 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then cover with icing. If you want to be even more current spring the icing with purple, green and gold icing sugar and throw some beads on it and shove a toy baby or whole nut inside.
Nice Spirals!
Hey 1995: Here's Your Focaccia
I remember when I was first introduced to focaccia. It was 20 years ago and it was delicious. The current flat bread fad would do well to remember it's forefather. Sometimes fluffy has a place that crunchy bread or fatty crackers just doesn't fill.

So here's a focaccia I recently made one night after work for an early evening pot luck. You can make this, rise it and be out the door in less than 90 minutes.

1.5 cup warm water
4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast-bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or turbinado sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup high gluten flour (or use 3 cups total of all purpose, I just happen to have both.)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
black pepper

In the bowl of a stand mixer place warm water, yeast and sugar. Add two cups of flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix lightly. Add the remaining cup of flour. Mix for about a minute until you have a cohesive ball of dough. It will be a little sticky. Add 1/4 cup of flour if needed. Remove the bowl from the stand, and paddle from the bowl. Pour a little oil over the dough and move the mass around the bowl until it is coated lightly with oil.
Oil a 13x9 cookie sheet well. Manipulate the dough into a rectangle and spread it out on the sheet the best you can. It will be a springy. Stretch the dough without ripping it. Cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise 40 minutes.
Preheat oven 275 degrees. 
Remove the dish towel, make dimples in the dough with your finger tips, pushing the dough into the corners of the pan. Press your fingers to the bottom of the pan, without poking holes completely through. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the dough, as evenly as possible. Distribute the oil best you can with your fingers without deflating the dough too much. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika. Now is when you'd add other flavorings, cheese and caramelized onions for example. Put the bread in oven and bake 35 minutes. Up the heat to 350 and bake 5 minutes longer. Or bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Pour over the remaining olive oil. Remove from the pan to cool. Cut into squares and serve.