Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hällakakor #BBB


Norrländska Hällakakor is a traditional flatbread from Sweden.  And while the typical Knäckebröd is a crispbread, Hällakakor is more like a soft, flat, thin cake.  It is often consumed generously spread with nice, salty butter and most definitely while still warm.  Cheese is another common topping.  These breads were originally baked as thin flat cakes in a pan or on a scorching hot flat stone over an open fire. I believe if they are pan fried, they can also be known as stekpannebröd.  Made with a little fat and syrup, (Swedish syrup appears to be very similar to golden syrup), they should be baked only briefly to keep them soft. The dough can be seasoned with aniseed and fennel, or caraway, or left plain.  I chose caraway for mine since I went with a wholemeal spelt and rye mix for my dough and caraway and rye are best friends.  (Also found out that caraway is called cumin in Sweden.)  However, Hällakakor can be made with any combination of flours, or just all purpose if desired.  I have seen many combinations of wheat, rye and barley in various recipes.  I have seen them used as a taco shell, topped with all manner of breakfast options like eggs and salmon mousse and caviar and also used as the bread for the Swedish Sandwich Cake, (Smörgåstårta), which is a layered presentation sandwich.

As far as the rolling pins are concerned, I was able to get the deep, notched pin, called a kuskavel, on amazon, which is unfortunately not currently available now.  However, I was never able to find a large randkavel with wide grooves and contented myself with a tagliatelle cutting roller.  At the time that was the widest cutter available, but recently I have seen a pappardelle cutter, though you would have to be careful not to press hard at all!  And another option that is more a roller than a cutter and could be a good pattern!  Even a meat tenderizer that has the diamond shaped nubs on the end could work.  But as these breads were originally just flat breads and can still be cooked plainly that way, I figured I could always make something work with a pizza wheel or just simple and generous docking.  (If you want to see a babe who went all out on testing out shaping without getting a new rolling pin, go see Elizabeth's post!)  I do like having the notched pin because that can work for all kinds of crackers and flat breads.  Hubby does love rye crisps...

Randkavel

Air bubbles and the brown border are the signal to pull it out.   Thinner breads are more likely to have air pockets, and you don't want to over bake, lest they lose their softness.  My breads rolled solely with the notched roller did not tend to have pockets, but the ones rolled thin with a regular pin and then the grooved cutter and notched roller did have them.  I observed that the pre-packaged, store bought Hällakaka seemed to be much thicker than all the homemade Hällakakor versions I saw online.  
 
Purchased Hällakaka
 
I went with the thinner versions and baked only a few minutes to not over crisp them.  Evidently in Sweden it used to be customary for residents to hang their Hällakakor in the attic and dry them.  The dried bread was for the winter rations and they were quite hard.


Hällakakor can be frozen and then reheated straight out of the freezer on a flat toaster, toaster oven, or hot pan.  They should refresh well and taste like they were freshly baked out of the oven.  They are lovely with butter and jam or syrup, or with mascarpone and jam.  They are just as good with an herbed cheese spread or to sop up stew or curry.  We would love for you to try out this flat bread with us this month and share how you used it!  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.


Hällakakor - Swedish flatbread
Makes: 8 pieces

350 g wholemeal wheat flour (I used fresh milled)
62 g wholemeal rye flour (I used fresh milled)
1 g (¼ tsp) deer horn salt (baker's ammonia), dissolved in water (you can use baking powder instead)
6 g yeast
8 g sea salt
25 g golden syrup or honey
20 g butter
235g milk (dairy or non dairy works fine) (You may need an extra tbsp or so depending on the flour used, some of the babes had their dough turn out a bit dry and too stiff as written)
(crushed caraway, aniseed or fennel may be added - I used ~½ tsp caraway, crushed in a mortar/pestle)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead thoroughly for 15 minutes. Let rise for 6 hours at room temperature and knock back and briefly knead 2-4 times in between.  (The dough can also be chilled overnight.)

Cut off ~85 g portions and shape into round balls.  Flour lightly and let rise briefly, about 20 minutes.  Roll out round dough circles to about 25cm or 9in with a notched or regular rolling pin.  Dock well if using a flat rolling pin.  If using a grooved pin, follow with the notched pin.
 



Preheat the oven to the highest possible temperature (~500ºF/260ºC) and ideally place the flatbread directly on a baking stone or steel and bake them into golden, soft flatbread.  Bake for 3-4 minutes each.
 


 
 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

 
 

 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Butternut Dinner Rolls #BreadBakers


Our Bread Bakers theme for this month is the wide variety of dinner rolls, hosted by Zesty South Indian Kitchen.  I chose the lovely rolls that I have made every year for Thanksgiving with family.  They are easy to make ahead, freeze, and reheat on the day of feasting and they are delightfully soft.  Absolutely brilliant with a little butter and cranberry sauce!  The original recipe called for pumpkin, and any hard winter squash should work, but I do really like butternut squash for delicate color and flavor.
 

I suggest roasting over steaming if making your own puree, to get a consistency closest to canned puree that will work the best with the flour quantities listed.  Steamed puree tends to need significantly more flour.  These are an easy recipe roll and forgiving on time.  You can let them rise once, or twice, depending on how busy you are, or if you forget about the dough for a while... 😉  I use millet flour or meal instead of corn because of corn sensitivities, and millet lends a nice corn flavor to the rolls.  Feel free to use the original cornmeal though!  This recipe is half the original recipe, which makes both loaves and rolls, so this can easily be doubled to make 24 rolls, or a dozen rolls and a loaf, or two medium loaves and 6 rolls.


Butternut Corn Dinner Rolls
Yield:  12 dinner rolls

2 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
½ cup warm water (105˚ to 115˚F)
½ cup warm buttermilk or kefir (105˚ to 115˚F)
2½ tbsp melted butter or oil
2 tbsp + 2 tsp maple syrup or golden syrup
¼ cup butternut squash purée (pumpkin or delicata works as well, canned is fine)
1¼ tsp sea salt 10g
½ cup fine-grind yellow cornmeal (I like to use millet flour)
½ cup medium rye flour light rye 53g (I used freshly ground, lightly sifted)
2¼ to 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour

2 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing

In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter/oil, syrup, yeast, and pumpkin purée.  Add in salt, cornmeal or millet flour, and rye flour, and beat for a few minutes until smooth.
Add the all-purpose flour or bread flour ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough is achieved.  (You may need more flour depending on the water content of your puree.)  Knead until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, either by hand or with a dough hook.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double, about 1½ to 2 hours, depending on your kitchen temperature.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal portions.  Bring the edges of each piece together repeatedly to form a ball.  Place in a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel.  
 

Let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 20 minutes.  You can also place in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.
 
 
Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375˚.  While the oven is heating, brush the tops with half the melted butter.  (If you want a shiny, well-browned top like the top picture, brush rolls with a mixture of egg and milk).
 

Bake on the center rack of the oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with the remaining butter before cooling on a rack.  Rolls may be served warm or reheated later in the oven.
 

(adapted from Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger)

 #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.

 

BreadBakers

 

Be sure to check out the rest of our delicious dinner rolls:

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Pumpkin Shaped Bread or Rolls #BBB

 

Our kitchen of the month chose a rustic pumpkin shaped and pumpkin based sourdough loaf for us to make this month!  Of course I have seen posts decrying the PSL, (pumpkin spiced latte), crazed autumn lovers for a few weeks now.  Rest assured, this is not PSL flavored if you don't go for that, and it easily could be if you do!  Since I had already done a large pumpkin sourdough loaf before, I decided to go with something a little more compact this time.  I think they look quite like the Jack-Be-Little mini decorating pumpkins you can find in the produce section with the decorative winter squash.

My full sized pumpkin sourdough, pumpkin shaped loaf.

Myself, being a wayward babe, I chose my own pumpkin sourdough recipe, but you can check out our original full sized recipe, variety of grains, and excellent shaping pictures on the host's post.  (Mine has a smaller yield and is enriched with the use of butter and milk.)  For the following recipe, since you are starting it the night before, it doesn't really matter if the starter has been fed just recently.  I might not use a completely old and hoochy starter, but if it's been in the fridge for a week or so since feeding, it should still be fine.  Just might take a little longer to fully perk.  Mine hadn't been fed for at least a couple weeks. 

This is a fun shaped bread that, while it takes some time, is not difficult and will impress! It was absolutely delicious dipped into our chowder with dinner too.  We would love for you to try this shaping method with us this month!  Bread Experience is the host kitchen this month. If you want to bake along with us and receive your Buddy Badge, please send a photo and link by October 29th to be included in the roundup.  Send an email to breadexperience at gmail dotcom and include BBB October Submission in the subject.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
 
Pumpkin Sourdough Rolls
makes 10-12
 
¼ cup (56 g) butter (cold)
2½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour or any combination of flours  (I added a touch of millet flour)
½ cup (125 g) sourdough starter discard 
½ cup (122 g) pumpkin puree
½ cup (120 g) milk (dairy or plant based) (I used coco-cashew this time)
2 tbsp (40 g) golden syrup or honey (may reduce or omit if desired)
1 tsp (5 g) salt

Late the night before (or early the morning of) when you want to make the rolls:
 
Chop the cold butter into small pieces and toss with the flour in a stand mixer.  Rub the butter pieces into the flour with your fingertips until it is an even, mealy mixture.  Add the starter, syrup or honey, pumpkin and milk to the bowl.  Knead until a fairly homogenous dough is formed.  At this point, you can either cover the bowl and let the dough sit at room temperature for 8-10 hours, or you can cover and chill overnight to have the dough ready for later the next day.
 
On the day you want to bake:
 
Turn out the dough and knead and fold on a floured surface until the dough is springy and smooth.  Return to bowl and allow to rise until doubled.  This may take all day for chilled dough, or it may be ready to go in the morning for an overnight ferment, depending on the current strength of the starter. While the dough is rising, cut some kitchen string into forty 8-10-inch strands.  Place the strings in a bowl and toss with a little oil to coat.  Set aside for shaping later.
 
Once the dough has doubled, divide into 10-12 equal portions and roll into rough balls.  (10 if shaping into pumpkins, 12 if baking as plain rolls in a 9x13 dish.)  If desired, reserve about 15-30 grams of the dough to shape into little stems.  These stems may be plain or they may be colored with a little matcha or cinnamon or cocoa powder.  (I used some cinnamon and matcha.)  Roll each large portion of dough into a round ball by cupping your hand over the dough and pressing and rolling lightly in a circular motion for 10 to 15 seconds.  Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 4 pieces of string on your work surface, first in a cross, then an X, for eight equal divisions into a star shape.  Place a dough ball, smooth side-down, onto the center point. Carefully and firmly tie each string into a knot over the center of the roll. Snip off excess string using scissors.  (Do not tie the string too tight, just evenly against the surface of the dough.)

Place each tied roll, knot side down, onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strings and dough balls.

Let rolls rise for about 30 minutes or until they are slightly puffy against the strings.

Shape the reserved dough into "stems" and place them on the sheet next to the rolls.  The shapes should endeavor to be like little cones with a wider end and a narrow end.  (Pumpkin stems attach at the wide end, but it doesn't have to be a huge difference.)

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Cut strings off of each roll at the tops and peel down carefully and slowly to remove. Peel as far as possible and if the strings have baked into the sides, the strings may be pulled through from the bottom.  Cut a small hole in the tops of each roll and press "stems" into each hole, wider side down. Transfer pumpkin rolls to a serving platter.
To reheat rolls later, spritz with a little water, place directly on oven rack and preheat oven to 350ºF.  Rolls will be fully heated through when the oven is done preheating.

These were just lovely with baked potato soup!
 
(I took half of my dough and made 5 rolls for dinner, the other half I rolled out, spread with a little butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon, and rolled up into cinnamon rolls!  I sliced them into five rolls and baked for about 30 minutes at 375ºF in a pie dish.  Then topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze.)

Leftover dough yumminess.




The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

 


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Tangzhong Kolaches #BreadBakers


Our BreakBakers theme for this month (hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories) was to bake a bread using a tangzhong, which is a roux of flour and water (or sometimes milk), which is cooked, cooled, and then added to the bread dough. It has the desirable effect of turning almost any dough into soft and fluffy bread. The tangzhong helps the dough hold onto moisture and stay fresh and works for all manner of applications from bread to rolls to pastries. As I looked for recipes I figured, what would be better suited for an even more soft and fluffy result than a pastry known for being soft and fluffy! Kolaches are exactly that: soft and fluffy Czech pastries filled with cheese or fruit.
 

They are sometimes topped with a streusel called a posypka topping among other names, depending on the region.  Not absolutely required but definitely tasty!  Having never tried one before, I was happy to give the recipe a go!  They did not disappoint.  The only thing I would change is to make 8-10 instead of 6.  At six per batch, you have to split them with someone!  But SO fluffy!  I might consider docking the center as well: this was extremely happy dough.  Flatten that center well... well.
 

Tangzhong Kolaches
makes 6-10
 
Tangzhong:
3 tbsp water (43g)
3 tbsp milk (43g)
2 tbsp flour (14g)

Dough:
2½ cups (335g) flour (may a few tbsp need more if adding sourdough starter or using an extra large egg)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp + 1 tsp (30g) sugar
2 tsp (6g) instant yeast
optional - 1 spoonful sourdough starter
4 tbsp (56.5)g unsalted butter softened to almost melted
1 large egg at room temperature
½ cup (245g) warm milk about 115ºF
Extra butter for brushing dough

Posypka topping (streusel):
¼ cup flour (35 grams)
1 tbsp sugar (12 grams)
Tiny pinch of salt
4 tsp cold butter (18 grams), cut into small chunks

Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened (114 grams) (Quark is an oft-used option)
2 tbsp sugar (25 grams)
½ of an egg yolk
~½ tsp lemon zest
~1/8 tsp vanilla
Raspberry preserves (optional)

Instructions
 
To make the tangzhong: Whisk together the 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp milk and 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and whisk for about 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and whisk leaves a trail on the bottom of the saucepan. Scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer (or another bowl if you wish) and let cool slightly.
 
To the bowl add the milk and starter if using, and whisk together.  Add the 2½ cups flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the softened butter and the egg and stir to make very soft dough.  Place the bowl on the mixer stand and begin kneading with the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add flour 2 tbsp at a time while the machine kneads, until the dough no longer clings to the side of the bowl. This should be Goldilocks dough: not too sticky, not too dry; just a perfect, easy to handle, smooth dough.
 


Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
 
 
Turn the dough onto the counter or a pastry mat. The dough should be workable by hand with no sticking, but if for some reason it is sticky you can flour the the counter or your hands. Divide the dough into 6-10 equal portions. Shape each into a ball by folding in the sides and corners a few times. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.  
 

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.
 

While rising, mix together ingredients for the Posypka Topping and the cream cheese filling:
Posypka Directions: In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Toss the butter with the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingers until it is a powdery streusel.  Work the crumbs until they stick together in clumps that are the size you desire.  Chill to hold the crumbs in that size range.
Cream Cheese Filling – Mix together softened cream cheese and sugar, then stir in the egg yolk. Mix well, adding the lemon zest and vanilla.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.  If you’d like to introduce steam into the oven (to help with rise and promote a soft crust), put an empty cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.  Make an indentation in each risen ball and fill with filling.  (I used a combination of cheese filling and preserves for mine.)
 

Sprinkle with posypka topping. Let rise for about 10 minutes or so.  Once the oven is preheated, carefully pour about 2 or 3 cups of cold water into the hot skillet for steam.  (This step is optional.)
    
Bake Kolaches for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until very lightly browned and baked through.




#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

 

BreadBakers

 
    Be sure to check out the rest of the fluffy bakes:

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Filled Wool Roll Bread #BBB

 

If you haven't tried a tangzhong method bread, this is a great recipe to try it out and a fun shape as well!  Our host has chosen a uniquely shaped loaf for us this month. This wool bread has been making the rounds as an impressive looking loaf meant to look similar to a roll of wool.  It is usually made with a milk bread or soft and fluffy tangzhong bread.  I chose a relatively simple recipe for mine and it did indeed turn out a supremely soft and fluffy loaf!

The dough was a milk bread tangzhong recipe from allrecipes.  I reduced the sugar by a tbsp and if using a sweet filling, it could probably be omitted altogether though the 2 tbsp did yield a very nice and lightly sweet crumb.  I decided on an almond filling because I love almond pastries.  I whipped up a quick batch of homemade almond paste and ended up with a bit more filling than I needed.  Too much almond filling may ooze a bit, but is so tasty!  I used more almond paste than called for and would stick to the recipe next time, though hubby thoroughly approved of the final results for the bread and filling.  So soft and fluffy!  I think this is the fluffiest milk bread I have ever made, and am definitely keeping the recipe.  It turned out a very soft and pleasant dough.


This bread is versatile since you can make it sweet or savory, filled or plain.  It's just a wonderfully soft and tasty loaf, any way you make it.  We would love for you to try this fun shaping method with us this month!  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
 
Wool Roll Bread
makes 1 large loaf
 
For the Tangzhong:

    ½ cup water
    ¼ cup all-purpose flour

For the Dough:

    ½ cup whole milk, warmed (I used 2%)
    2 tsp active dry yeast (I used scant 2 tsp instant yeast)
    2 tbsp white sugar
    ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
    (I also added a spoonful of unfed sourdough starter)
    desired filling, or leave the bread plain
    2 tbsp whole milk (I used 2%)
 
(I used an almond filling):
½ cup (125 g) almond paste (or make your own: In a food processor finely grind 8 oz (225 g) blanched almonds. Process in 8 oz (225 g) powdered sugar. Then knead in 1 egg white. Store in the refrigerator.
¼ cup (60 g) packed brown sugar (I used 30 g light brown and 30 g dark brown sugar)
¼ cup (55 g) softened butter 
 
 
To make the tangzhong, (water roux), whisk together the water and flour in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a gummy paste is formed. The mixture should reach at least 150ºF (65ºC). Remove from heat and let cool completely.

While the roux cools, pour ½ cup warm milk and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and let bloom for 10 minutes.

Add the cooled roux, sugar, salt, beaten egg, flour, and butter to the yeast mixture. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, knead on low speed until a smooth, elastic, slightly sticky dough forms, about 10 minutes.

Cover dough and let rise until doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
 
For the almond filling I used, mix together the almond paste, brown sugar, and softened butter until smooth.  Cover and set aside until needed.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and press into a round disk. Divide dough into 5 equal portions. Form each piece into a ball, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Butter a 10-inch springform pan, or 10-inch round cake pan.  Set aside.

Take one ball of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface into an oblong shape, about 4-5 inches wide by 9 inches long. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, make lots of lengthwise cuts, about 1/8 inch apart, starting 1/3 of the way from one of the ends, slicing all the way through the dough to the opposite end, forming many equal-sized strands of dough. (Sharp knife worked much better for me.)  When done, two-thirds of the dough will be sliced, and one-third will not be.  (I would do half sliced and half whole, to allow for better spread of filling in my case.  There is still plenty of string coverage when rolling up.)
 
Perhaps a bit over generous with the filling...
 
Roll the unsliced part of the dough to flatten to 1/8-inch thickness. Place desired filling in the center of the unsliced dough, and roll it up, keeping the sides tucked and even, until the filling is covered and you've reached the beginning of the cuts.  Then carefully roll up to form a "wool roll," being sure to not crush the sliced edges of the dough strands.  Finish with the seam on the bottom. Transfer to the prepared pan, and place on the bottom, just barely touching the edge of the pan. Repeat four more times, placing the rolls around the inside of the pan to form a ring.
 

Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).

Brush the bread's surface lightly with remaining milk.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

 


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Jujube Mantou #BreadBakers


Our Breadbakers theme for this month is Chinese Breads and our host is A Day in the Life on the Farm. I was sorely tempted by all the scallion breads, but intrigued by the beautiful shaping of the flower buns that is an option when making mantou. I was also curious about the Chinese dates/ red dates/ jujube. They are quite different from Medjool dates, not sticky, not nearly as sweet, and rather spongy with a tenacious pit. They reminded me very much of dried apples with a bit of caramel flavor. The ones I found were enormous compared to what I saw in all the pictures online!
 


Traditionally, these steamed buns are made with bao flour, which is bleached and yields a nice creamy white bun. I have made bao before with all purpose flour and they turned out fairly creamy white. I was surprised that this batch turned so caramel colored after steaming and I wonder whether it was the jujube fruit, or the fact that I added a bit of corn starch to my flour to approximate a low/medium gluten bao flour.
 

These mantou are a sweet version, but mantou can be savory as well and filled with many different things or eaten plain.  (I definitely want to try filling them with a scallion omlette!)  The jujube was an interesting flavor that grew on us, especially with the soft and fluffy steam bun presentation.  Like most steamed buns, mantou are best served warm, but may be refrigerated or frozen and then reheated in the microwave or steamer basket.  I took this particular version of mantou from a youtube video by Kimiya Lim.


Jujube Mantou
makes 6 medium steam buns

Yeast mixture:
90ml warm water
5g (1 tsp) fine sugar
3g (1 tsp) instant yeast

Dough:
190g (1¼ cups) Bao flour (can be replaced with all purpose flour)
½ tsp baking powder
30g (1/8 cup) Caster sugar
15g (1 tbsp) melted butter (or oil)
35g (5~6 pcs) Jujube / Red dates - finely chopped (mine were HUGE and I used 3 - 2 would have been better)

oil to brush the dough 
 
Activate yeast by stirring into the water, with the 5g sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Pour into the yeast mixture and stir together to form a shaggy mixture. Pour the melted butter over the top and add the chopped red dates. Combine well. Turn the rough dough out onto a work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.  Place in a clean bowl, cover and let rest for 40-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Turn out the dough and knead for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Form each piece into a round, then slightly oval ball. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.


 To shape the buns into a decorative flower, roll out each portion to form an oblong.  Brush the top of the dough with a little oil.  Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut about five lengthwise strips within the oblong, taking care not to cut all the way through the edges.  Pick up the dough and twist the ends, bringing them back together and tucking the ends under to form a spiral flower.  Set each bun onto a piece of parchment or a muffin liner.  Arrange on a bamboo steamer tray with enough room so the sides do not touch.  Cover and let rest for 35-45 minutes until almost doubled in size.




 

Steam with high heat for 12 minutes.  Let stand with the lid closed or just barely cracked open for 2 minutes when done to ensure the buns are finished and will not deflate.

Serve warm.  The buns will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or may be frozen for a month.  Reheat in the steamer or microwave to serve.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

 

BreadBakers

 
Be sure to check out the variety of Chinese breads by our other bakers: