Friday, September 16, 2022

Pletzel (Jewish Onion Board) #BBB


We've gone from pretzels to pletzel this week!  Only similar for the alliteration and rhyme, this month's Bread Baking Babes pick is an Ashkenazi Jewish flatbread and is sometimes called an Onion Board.  The flavor is quite similar to the onion and poppy seed bialys we have made before.  I recall liking those very much!  This is just a larger and arguably easier version that feeds a crowd as far as I am concerned.  The dough can vary from a lean dough like this one, to leftover challah dough, a much richer option.  I think this lean dough is ideal and of course I love my onions.

Not wanting to turn on my oven still, I divided the dough in half and made two boards in my toaster oven.  (I am still thrilled with this new toaster oven!)  They turned out a perfect size for our family and everyone that tried a piece liked it.  The second batch, I topped with some furikake as the closest thing to everything bagel seasoning I had on hand.  Figured it would be good!

We would love to have you try out this savory flat bread with us this month and share how it turned out! New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.  If you would like to post your results with a Buddy badge on a blog, let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

Pletzel (Jewish Onion Board)
makes 1 large or two medium onion boards


375 g (3 cups) all purpose flour
7 g (2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
7 g (2 tsp) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (That is only 1 tsp sea salt by weight)
3 tbsp, olive oil, divided
294 g (1¼ cups) warm water (about 110º F)


1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for stretching
3 large yellow or brown onions, about 3/8 inch dice
1¾ grams (½ teaspoon) kosher salt
1 tbsp (plus more if desired) poppy seeds
Flake sea salt (optional)


Mix the flour, yeast, salt, 2 tbsp oil, and water until all of the flour is absorbed.

Grease a large bowl or dough rising bucket with remaining oil and scrape the dough into it. Turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise overnight, about 10 to 15 hours. It should double.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator while you heat the oven and prepare the onions.

If you have a baking stone, set it on a rack in the middle or slightly below. Heat your oven to 450º F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is translucent and slightly browned about the edges, about 20 to 30 minutes. When they are almost done, stir in the salt. Remove the onions from the pan and let cool in a bowl.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scrape the dough onto the parchment and spread it by dimpling it with your oiled fingertips while pushing to the edges. If the dough is resistant, let it rest for 10 minutes, and start spreading it again (until you have about a 10 inch by 14 inch rectangle).

Brush the edges of the dough lightly with olive oil. Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border. Sprinkle with onions with the poppy seeds. Lightly sprinkle with the optional sea salt. Let rest, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

First half board

Second half board

Place the baking sheet on top of the baking stone and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut with a pizza wheel or kitchen scissors. It's best fresh from the oven, but can be reheated, just like pizza. 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes



Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Toffee Apple Pretzels #BreadBakers

Our BreadBakers theme this month, hosted by Cook with Renu, is everything pretzel!  Any type of pretzel, be it bread, buns, crisps, you name it, was on the table.  I have made soft pretzels once before and they were delicious.  And though I did have a different kind of pretzel pinned to try, this idea for Toffee Apple Pretzels popped into my head.  I knew what I had in mind and took cues from a bunch of recipes and techniques.  I wanted them stuffed but not streuseled, and decadent but not as messy as some other options I had seen.  These are still a bit messy, but oh my goodness.  They got the "WOW" from hubby.  All the sweet comes from the toffee bits and icing and it is plenty.

You might be wondering if you can make these without the boiling step.  Technically the answer is yes, but they will not be the same and in my opinion, not worth it.  Better to make something else because the result is quite different and so much better as a pretzel and not just a filled bread product.  I tried it both ways to be sure; much better pretzeled and very worth the extra few minutes.

Toffee Apple Stuffed Pretzels
makes 6 pretzels

1½ cups (340g) water (110-115°F)
2½ tsp (9g) instant yeast
3½ cups + 1½ tbsp (450g) bread flour
½ tbsp (7g) brown sugar
1 tsp (6g) sea salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 large granny smith apple, peeled and small diced)
2 tbsp (14g) brown sugar
½ cup toffee bits (such as bits o' brickle)

Egg wash:
1 egg
2 tsp water

For boiling:
6 cups water
2 tbsp baking soda

Butterscotch Icing:
(Recipe follows)

Mix together the water, yeast, and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

In medium bowl combine the flour, cinnamon and salt. Add to the yeast mixture and knead for a few minutes until it forms a cohesive mass.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  If dough is very sticky, you may add 1-2 tbsp flour until it stops sticking to sides. 

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.  (The timing is very forgiving - mine got two rises because I thought I had toffee bits in the freezer and then didn't and had to run around for an hour trying to find a store that carried them.  Thank you Albertson's!)

Meanwhile, toss the chopped apples with the 2 tbsp brown sugar and set aside. 

Combine 6 cups water and 2 tbsp baking soda in a non-aluminum Dutch oven or large pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer while forming the pretzels.

Divide dough in two and roll out one half into a long rectangle about 20x9 inches.  Cut the rectangle into three long strips. 

Divide the apples into six portions and place one portion along the middle of each strip.  Leave any juice in the bowl.

 Sprinkle the toffee bits along the strip of apples, about 2 1⁄3 tbsp per pretzel.

Carefully fold over the long edges to meet and seal very well.  Gently stretch to around 20-22 inches. To shape the pretzel, take the ends of the rope and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.

Place the pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet(s).  Repeat with the remaining half of dough and filling ingredients.

Cut the parchment pieces apart to separate the pretzels.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Gently lower one pretzel into the simmering water mixture (leave it on the parchment to transfer); cook 15 seconds (the parchment will separate immediately and can be pulled out). Turn pretzel with a large slotted spatula; cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining pretzels.

Place pretzels on a baking sheet lined with fresh parchment. Whisk together the egg wash.  Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels.  Bake at 425°F for 12-14 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Ice when just slightly warm and serve.

These are best when fresh baked and just cooled, but may be stored in an airtight container for a day or frozen for up to 3 months.  They can be reheated directly from frozen in a low oven or toaster oven for 10-15 minutes.  Glaze will melt to form a crispy, crackle finish when reheated.

Butterscotch Icing Glaze:
¼ cup (57g) butter, cubed
¼ cup (53g) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (28g) milk
1 cup (114g) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Drizzle over cooled pretzels.  (I like to put the icing in a freezer ziptop bag and pipe it through a snipped off end.)

Be sure to check out the rest of our pretzel publications:

 #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 


Friday, September 2, 2022

Nutty Brookies: Testing out new appliances with their own recipes

Gremlins have hidden my old toaster oven.  It is very annoying.  Now that I have purchased a replacement it is almost certain that we will find the old one soon.  Murphy's Law and all that.  It was a very good little appliance for 22 years, a wedding present, and so I replaced it with the same brand (Delonghi), and high hopes for performance.  Somewhere in another dimension, it is sitting in my garage but the entrance to that location is not accessible at the moment.  Being the time of year for miserable weather for baking, I was very much not happy that I had to turn on the regular stove to make dinner last week.  I detest the stove we got to replace the old one when it died and would never purchase that brand again.  You blew it, GE.  There is no insulation and you can get second degree burns just by touching the front control area when the oven is on.  And it has an idiotic broiler in the bottom "drawer", you have to lie on the floor to use it.  Bottom line, never get a stove online.  Go check it out in store first.  Annnnyway, here is this new toaster oven to test out and I decided to give one of the recipes in the manual a bake to break it in.  

This is basically a brookie or a "drop brownie" recipe though it is technically named a chocolate nut cookie.  I have made similar cookies before and this one is more brownie like and less flourless cake like.  And heavy on the nuts!  I am pleased with both the new appliance and the recipe!  Extremely happy with the front glass insulative quality.  The double pane glass is a huge upgrade from the old one.  Making enchiladas in it tonight!  I am giving approximate temps as I used a program function and a thermometer to check.  It is also a convection oven so that makes a difference in time and temp. 

Chocolate Nut Cookies
makes 18-24

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted and reduced salt in recipe)
1 tbsp instant coffee powder (I used Pero)
2 tsp vanilla
1⁄3 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt (I used ¼ tsp)
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped (yes, you can reduce this amount)
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (I used sliced almonds) (consider adding some chocolate chips instead!)

Lightly toast the nuts in a dry skillet for a few minutes over medium heat, until slightly colored and fragrant.  Allow to cool, then chop.

Preheat oven to 350ºF or 325ºF convection.

Heat the chocolate chips, butter, and instant coffee in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a microwave in 30-second increments.  Stir until smooth, add vanilla, and cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, and set aside. 

Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until light in color and slightly thickened.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs, then add the flour just until combined.

Stir in the nuts.

Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto parchment lined sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes depending on the size of scoops.  *Note that the cookies will be less shiny the longer the dough sits before baking, but still tasty.  This is one of those bake-right-away recipes that does not benefit, at least visually, from a rest period.

Remove with paper to a wire rack to cool, then serve.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Inside Out Coconut Buns #BBB


Coconut lovers rejoice, we have a double header for coconut recipes this month!  Our last buns were a soft and subtle coconut dinner roll.  These buns are a coconut-rich sweet treat, sure to please folks that love a coconut filling.  The dough is actually quite similar between the two recipes but the results are quite different.  The shredded coconut filling gives a nice, pronounced coconut flavor and texture to these buns.  The dough is not overly sweet, so with the filling, these are the perfect not-too-sweet treat.  Be warned that these gorgeous buns are large enough to split between two people.  I made the six buns stated in the recipe but would either try going smaller or making a different shape that allowed for smaller portions!  That said, I have been splitting them and savoring one half at a time.  Yummy.

 There are various ways to shape the buns: plain snail buns, twisted round buns (what I chose), heart-shaped buns, and straight twists.  I might be inclined to try the straight twists if I wanted to make smaller portions, or maybe eight slightly smaller twists.  I have made blueberry twists to delicious effect.  Oh, don't worry about the turmeric adding any flavor, it is completely undetectable and just helps provide a nice color to the filling.  (Honestly, I wouldn't have minded a touch more filling, but these are still wonderful as is.)  I tried one half toasted with a little butter and honey this morning and it was amazing!  Really complements the coconut.

Inside Out Coconut Buns
makes 6 large buns

For the Dough :
175 ml coconut milk (or regular milk), (¾ cup)
30 g sugar, (3 tbsp)
3 g active dry or instant yeast, (1 tsp)
360 g bread flour, 3 cups (I used all purpose)
10 g powdered milk, (2 tbsp)
2 g salt, (½ tsp)
50 g butter, melted
1 large egg

For the Coconut Filling :
50 g unsweetened shredded/ desiccated coconut, (½ cup)
45 g sugar, (3 tbsp plus 1 tsp)
1/16 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
45 g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature (3 tbsp), melted
1 egg yolk, from a large egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/ extract

For Brushing :
Egg Wash or milk

To Make the Dough :

Combine the coconut milk, a little of the sugar, and the yeast in a small bowl.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

Add this and all other dough ingredients to a large bowl or stand mixer.  Knead until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Adjust liquid and flour in small increments, as required, to reach this consistency. The gluten should be developed enough to pass the “window pane” test.

Shape the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl.  Cover with a damp towel, plastic wrap, or a silicone lid, and let rise for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling :

Using a spoon, mix together all the filling ingredients in a bowl until combined. 

Cover and refrigerate the filling for about 10-20 minutes to chill.  It should still be spreadable.

To Shape the Buns :

Gently deflate the risen dough. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Working with one portion at a time, shape the dough into an oval or circle. Cover the other five pieces of dough with a towel while you shape the first bun.

Take the chilled filling out of the refrigerator and divide it also into six pieces. Each portion should be about 1½ tbsp worth of filling. The directions below are to shape twisted round buns.

Roll out one piece of dough until you get a rectangle of about 10 x 4 inches long. You don’t need to flour your work surface. Take one portion of the filling and spread it over half of the rectangle, along its length. Fold the other side over the filling and press lightly to seal the edges. You should now have a long and thin rectangle.

Using a sharp knife, make 2 or 3 cuts along the length inside the rectangle, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch at the short edges intact. Holding the short edges with your hands, pull very gently to stretch the dough, then twist the dough a few times. Fold into a knot. Tuck both ends under. The filling should show up in layers on the shaped dough. 

I made the twisted buns with just a slightly different method using the video linked up above.  The above method may help prevent rolling the filling out the edges!  Hence why I recommend not rolling all the way to the edges with the following method.

The filling portions were chilled as balls.  Looks like an egg!

Pull up the edges and seal.

Roll gently into an oval.  Avoid rolling all the way to the edge.

Make a few lengthwise cuts inside the edges of the dough.

Fold in half lengthwise.


Wrap the twist back around itself clockwise and tuck the end up under.
(Right handed.  Left would be counter clockwise I think.)

Place the shaped buns on a parchment lined tray.  Cover them loosely and allow to rise until almost doubled in size, about an hour.

When ready to bake, gently brush the tops with egg wash or milk.  (I used a mixture of egg and water.)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC (350ºF) for about 25 minutes until they are done and a rich golden brown color. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. These buns are best consumed while they’re still a little warm.  They reheat well and split and toast beautifully.  Good with butter, or marmalade, jam, or pepper jelly as well.  Or a spread of coconut butter if you really want to amp up the coconut!

These buns will keep for 2-3 days, but it for longer storage, freeze them.  Warm them up before eating. 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Samoan Coconut Rolls (Pani Popo) #BreadBakers

Some recipes stay on the back burner for a long time, until there is an excuse to make them.  Such was the case with these coconut rolls.  I only wish the excuse had presented itself sooner!  Aside from being delicious in their own right, these coconut buns hit me with a massive wave of nostalgia.  They taste so much like the lunch rolls that our amazing school cook used to make for us.  If you never grew up with a lunch lady that was all about feeding everybody with love, I am so sorry.  When I exclaimed to my hubby that these tasted like school lunch rolls, he got a look of horror on his face, having been subjected to "institutional quality" school lunch fare as a student.  Poor boy, he was never fortunate enough to have tasted the likes of Lucille's sticky buns.  Well, aside from my bakes of her recipe, fortunately preserved in a community cookbook.  Our principal used to sneak her fresh baked goods on the days we had them.  The coconut is fairly subtle, hence my nostalgia for our lunch rolls which were not coconut flavored.  It's surprising, considering there is an entire can of coconut milk in and on the buns.  The milk, butter, and sugar yield a roll that is wonderfully soft, tender, and delicious.  If the extra sugar topping is used, they are truly a treat.  Seeing as this was already a fairly sweet dough, I left that topping off.  Baked in a portion of the coconut milk as a sauce, these are a rich and delightful accompaniment to a meal.

Depending on the amount of coconut milk used to sauce the rolls, there may be a touch left after baking that will leave a little bit of a thin pudding layer to the bottom of the rolls.  It soaks in as they cool and some people choose to use a little less milk so that it bakes in completely.  All personal preference.

Coconut, if it wasn't clear, is the theme for our BreadBakers bake this month, hosted by Palatable Pastime,  and you will see yeast bread, quick bread, sweet, and savory options!

Pani Popo (Samoan coconut rolls)
makes 12 rolls or one loaf

1 pkg (2¼ tsp) Active dry yeast
3 tbsp warm water 105F- 115ºF
1 can coconut milk 14-15oz, divided in half
4 tbsp (56.5 grams) butter
1 large egg
¼ cup (17 g) powdered milk
½ cup (100 g) sugar (may be reduced if desired)
½-1 tsp (2.5 - 5 g) salt
3½ - 3¾ cups (450 - 490 g) all-purpose flour
2-3 tbsp (28.12 - 42.18 g) raw sugar (optional) for the top

In a stand mixer combine the warm water and yeast to dissolve. Let it stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

In a microwave safe glass measure, combine 1 cup coconut milk, butter pieces, sugar, and salt.  Heat for about a minute; stir until everything is melted and combined and let cool until just warm. Lightly whisk the egg and powdered milk into the butter mixture.

Add to the yeast mixture and stir until well combined.

Add about 3½ cups of flour and continue mixing.  Add enough additional flour (if needed) to make soft dough.  Knead well either by hand or with a mixer for 8-12 minutes.  The dough may stick to the sides of the bowl slightly but will scrape down easily.  After the first rise it will not be sticky anymore and should be very easy to handle.

Cover dough loosely with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.  Since this is a sweet dough, it may take longer to rise.

Once the dough has doubled, deflate and shape.  The dough maybe shaped into a loaf and placed seam side down into a greased loaf pan, or divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.

Place in a greased 9x13-inch pan to bake. The rolls may be refrigerated before baking for up to 24 hours.  Remove and let rise at room temperature until quite puffy and nearly doubled.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Add some or all of the remaining coconut milk over the rolls in the pan. Gently brush the tops of the loaf or rolls with coconut milk and sprinkle with sugar if using.  Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes for rolls or 35-40 minutes for a loaf.  The loaf and rolls will be around 200-205ºF internal temp when done.

Remove from the baking pan and let cool slightly.  These rolls are delicious warm. 

Be sure to check out all the other coconut creations this month!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Soaked Ezekiel Bread with Freshly Ground Flours

Ezekiel bread is one of those healthy sounding and health claim asserting bread options.  It's healthful because the grains are supposed to be sprouted.  This makes them easier to digest and the nutrients more bio-available.  The bread contains spelt, barley, millet, whole wheat flour, and legumes as well as seeds. This makes it rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, B6, folic acid, calcium and zinc.  So it really is a nutrient dense and healthful bread, though certainly not calorie or carb light!  But the fiber and protein are hard to beat as far as breads go.  Now if the grains and legumes used to make it are not sprouted, it will be hard to digest ("gut bomb") and the nutrients will be competing with phytic acid and other absorption inhibitors.  For many folks, sprouted grains and legumes are either unavailable, too expensive, or are otherwise difficult to procure and not worth the time.  This is where the soaking option shines.  With an easily available acidic medium of whey, vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water, the benefits of the sprouting process are reproduced without the necessity of either sprouting and drying your own grains, or buying them at a premium.  I.e., it's much easier for most people.

We have a favorite soaked whole wheat recipe that I used to make often.  This week I combined that technique with this bread and got a really nice loaf out of it!  That makes me happy, as the last time I tried an Ezekiel bread recipe, it did not turn out nearly as well.  Side note: I don't know why the need for so much honey in a loaf - half a cup for one loaf?  So I cut that in half.  Honey is already sweeter than sugar and this is supposed to be a "health bread".  It doesn't need to be a tasteless hockey puck, but it certainly does not need that much sweetener.

And now that we have had a chance to taste this loaf, it is very much a winner, hooray!  The last Ezekiel attempt made it's way to the compost; this one will be devoured with great relish.  It is soft and slightly delicate, with a delightful texture almost like a moist sponge cake.  Flavor is reminiscent of squaw bread or anadama bread, which I always loved.  The honey in it smells lovely.  Kiddos loved it with butter, I may have had too many pieces with butter and whipped honey.  This would make great sandwiches and spectacular toast.  You absolutely must wait until it is cool to slice, or the crumb will be damaged and likely gummy.  Let the starches set and then cut it.  Because it is soaked overnight and the ingredients are finely ground and sifted, this does not have the coarser texture of a multi-grain or seeded bread, just the wonderful flavor and beautifully soft crumb.  (Since I used sprouted wheat berries, my crumb is potentially a little more open and delicate than if using regular wheat berries.)

Soaked Ezekiel Bread
makes 1 loaf

1¼ cups minus 1 tbsp (270g) water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
30g millet
30g barley (I had pearled barley on hand)
238g whole wheat berries (I had whole sprouted red wheat to use up, feel free to use hard white wheat for a lighter colored crumb and slightly milder flavor)
90g spelt berries (I used the last of my whole sprouted spelt mixed with sprouted red wheat)
12g pinto beans or chickpeas  (I used chickpeas)
25g green lentils
12g dry kidney beans
12g dry great northern beans or navy beans (I used navy beans)
5g golden flax seed
¼ cup (84g) honey (original recipe called for twice that!)
¼ cup (50g) olive Oil

1½ tbsp (21g) water
8.5g active dry yeast
pinch sugar
7g sea salt

Combine the beans in a high-powered food processor, blender, or spice grinder.  Blitz into a flour and add to the remaining grains.  Process the grains into flour using a grain mill or high powered blender.  (Because the flax seed is such a small amount, and mixed into the rest of the grains, you do not need to worry about running it in a regular grain mill, which would normally be avoided for an oily seed like flax.) Sift the flour to remove the beans skins and bran that is larger.  There may be up to ¼ cup or more.

Combine the water, vinegar, honey and oil in a measuring cup.  In a large bowl, combine the ground flours with the water mixture using a dough whisk or your hands, until all ingredients are evenly moistened.  It is not necessary to knead the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

The next day, stir the yeast and pinch of sugar into the 1½ tbsp of warm water until it dissolves. Let it sit for 5-8 minutes to activate dry yeast until a creamy foam domes up.  Meanwhile, fold and knead the salt into the resting dough mixture.  The dough will have more structure to it by now.

Once the yeast has activated, mix it into the dough.  This may take some hand squooshing and mixing to incorporate the liquid into the dough.  Knead the dough until it can be formed into a fairly smooth ball.  It can be turned out onto a floured surface to help the process.  (Mine was a bit sticky at this point.)

Cover with plastic or a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place until double in size, about about 1 hour.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times.  Flatten the dough into a rectangle and roll into a loaf shape.

Grease a loaf pan (I used an 8x4" pan) and place the loaf into the pan. Feel free to top the loaf with rolled oats or sesame seeds or a seed mixture if desired.  Cover with a damp cloth.

Return the pan to a warm location and let rise until the center is an inch above the top of the pan, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Bake loaves for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown, and the bottom is cooked.  (My loaf baked perfectly at this temp, but for less time than called for and it did require a foil tent to prevent over-browning.  I might use 350ºF and 45 minutes next time.)  This loaf should be done at about 205ºF internal temperature.  

Remove from the oven and place in a cooling rack.  Turn out the loaf after 10 minutes.  Do not slice until completely cool.  The loaves can be reheated after cooling and then sliced warm if desired.

Place in air-tight bags or containers for longer life and store in the refrigerator or slice and freeze.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Easier Flaky Crescent Rolls #BBB

 Does lamination scare you?  Here is a recipe you can try out that eases into the process!  I have had a number of "fails" with lamination.  Oh, the breads turned out perfectly edible, but nothing smells quite like scorching butter oil that has leaked out as the item bakes.

My consistent issue has been, I finally figured out, with the butter temperature.  I keep my fridge really cold, and I have a chest freezer that works pretty fast.  Usually with the times listed for chilling in a laminated recipe, I end up with my butter layer too hard, which then breaks into little lumps while rolling out, which in turn messes up the lamination, which results in a lot more butter leakage during baking.  It also makes a difference whether the butter is a high fat, less water, European style butter or a cheaper butter which likely has higher water content.  For Americans, the most widely available lower moisture butter brands are Plugra, Kerrygold, and Lurpak.  Other brands may tend to get hard faster, leading to breakage during lamination and leaking during baking, both from exposed butter melting, and from the extra water steaming and melting the butter.  Even while making these rolls, I noticed that the butter got hard enough to break at less than 10 minutes.  (I was just using butter on hand.)  So I modified my method a little for my kitchen temps: I took the dough out and let it warm up for 5 minutes until the butter felt pliable instead of hard.  If I felt breaking while rolling, I stopped and let it sit for a while longer.  Fingers crossed!  The trick is for the butter and dough to be about the same temperature, which is more of a challenge than one might assume.

We would love to have you try out this everyday treat with us this month and share how it turned out! Despite my continued battle with lamination, these turned out amazing, with no butter leakage.  And they freeze amazingly well and split and toast up even better than fresh.  Highly recommend trying them toasted, with butter and whipped honey.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.  If you would like to post your results with a Buddy badge on a blog, let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

Easier Flaky Crescent Rolls
makes about 18-20 rolls

¼ cup warm water ~105-110ºF [60 grams]
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast one packet [7 grams]
2 tsp sugar [8 grams]
¾ cup warm milk (not boiling) [183 grams]
1 egg
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted or softened [14 grams]
1 tsp salt [6 grams]
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling [375 grams + more for rolling]
8 tbsp salted butter, softened [113 grams]
1 egg beaten and or melted butter, for brushing


In a large glass bowl or stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar to dissolve the sugar and yeast.  Let the mixture sit for about five minutes until it is puffed up and foamy.

Add the warm milk, egg, 1 tbsp butter, salt and flour. Using the dough hook, a dough whisk, or your hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.  The dough will seem sticky at first, but it will eventually become smooth and springy.

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface.  Lightly knead into a smooth ball.  Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out a large rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick. Gently spread the 8 tbsp softened butter all over dough, leaving about an inch around the sides of the rectangle.

Fold the dough in thirds by folding one side of the rectangle towards the center and folding the other side over as well on top of the first layer so that there are three dough layers.  Carefully move the dough to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 7-10 minutes.  (If you find the butter getting too hard, chill for less time or switch to chilling in the fridge for 20 minutes, especially on subsequent roll outs.  Don't attempt to roll if the butter is not pliable.)

Roll the dough again into a long rectangle (being careful of the butter - if it is breaking, let it warm up for a while longer) and fold dough again into thirds like a book. Place back in freezer for 5-7 more minutes. Repeat this process two more times for a total of three folds (and 30 minutes in the freezer.)  (I ended up just going to the refrigerator for my last chill, the butter was hardening too fast.)

After the three folds, you can either go ahead and shape for baking or you can wrap your dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight or up to three days.

To shape, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise, cut the strips into triangles. Roll each crescent up using both hands.  

Broken butter bits - butter was too cold.


 Place on a lined baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart.  Cover with a tea towel and set in a room temperature place to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  (Not too warm or the butter will melt and there will be fewer layers.)

While the rolls rise, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.  Before baking, brush each crescent with the beaten egg wash. Bake rolls for 10-14 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  If desired brush with melted butter.  Serve warm with butter and honey or jam.

 The rest of the Bread Baking Babes