I Needed No Kneaded Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I saw a picture of a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread online and that was it. I knew I would make it. It’s an enriched bread dough, stretched into a long rectangle, filled, and rolled up to make a swirl. It doesn’t require kneading, which is nice, although my Kitchen-aid mixer doesn’t really mind.

A few things I discovered as making the bread. When rolled out, stretch the rectangle to at least 18” and better if you can make it 10” x 22”. The longer the rectangle, and thinner the dough, the more rolls there will be and the better the cinnamon/sugar filling will be distributed.

If you have spring back when stretching the dough let it rest 5-10 minutes. The gluten is trying to contract and letting it rest will help. Other than that, the recipe is pretty accurate. BTW: it is delicious.

No Knead Cinnamon Bread

Makes 2 loaves
INGREDIENTS

DOUGH
• 6 cups (768g) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• ¼ cup (55g) granulated sugar
• 2½ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1½ cups (340g) buttermilk or milk
• 1 cup (236g) water
• 6 tablespoons (¾ stick, or 86g)) unsalted butter, melted
• Baking spray with flour
FILLING
• ¼ cup (32g) flour, for dusting the counter + 4 tsp to stabilize filling
• ½ cup (110g) granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
• (Optional raisins, diced to less than ¼”)

METHOD
DOUGH:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and water. Stir to combine, then heat to 100 -110F.
  3. Add the milk and water mixture then the melted butter. Mix until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture forms a sticky dough ball. (I added an additional ¼ c flour before it formed a good shaggy ball.)
  4. Cover and set aside in a warm spot to rise until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
  5. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375°F. Grease two 8.5-by-4.5-inch loaf pans generously with the softened butter.
  6. Release the dough from the sides of the bowl and pull it toward the center, then tip out onto a lightly floured bench. Gently deflate the dough and form into a rough ball.

ASSEMBLE THE BREAD:

  1. Separate the dough into two equal pieces. Using as much flour as necessary, dust your hands and the exterior of the dough, and shape each half into a ball. Let the dough balls rest, covered for 20 minutes without touching.
  2. Transfer one round to the clean, flour dusted bench and gently stretch the dough into a rough 9×20-inch rectangle. (The thinner the rectangle, the more swirls and better distribution of the filling.) If the dough springs back while stretching, let it rest 5 minutes, covered.( In a small bowl, mix 4 tsp AP flour, the sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Use a small sieve and evenly distribute the filling over the dough with half of the flour-cinnamon-sugar mix, saving the other half for the other dough ball. (Optional: thoroughly mix and coat diced raisins, no more than ¼” in size, into the mix.)
  3. Beginning with one short end, roll it tightly into a coil and place it in a sprayed loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining round. Do not cover the pans. Let the coils rise on the countertop near the oven (or another warm, draft-free spot) until the top of the dough just crowns the rim of the pans, about 10 minutes. (It took mine 20+ minutes in the proofing drawer)
  4. Transfer the pans to the oven and bake until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch, 40 to 45 minutes. Check the loaves after 20 minutes. The tops were browning and the internal temperature was only 135F. I tented each loaf with aluminum foil and set the timer for an additional 10 minutes. Check every 10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 185F.
  5. Remove the loaves from the oven, turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool on their sides for 20 minutes before slicing.

NOTES:
According to KAF adding flour to the cinnamon/sugar mix and assuring any added fruit chunks are less than ¼” diameter, will reduce the gaps between the rolls of dough.

Hot Dog! Hamburger Rolls

I like to keep a dozen or so hamburger rolls in the freezer for ‘impulse’ dinner nights. (You know what I mean: “What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been… hamburgers. We always agree on hamburgers. My supply was down to three, meaning there was plenty of room in the freezer for more.

Since I found (and made) a new recipe for dinner rolls with one of my granddaughters yesterday, I decided to make some hamburger rolls today. Also, I wanted some homemade hotdog rolls and this was a perfect opportunity to fulfill that wish. This bread is very briochey. The addition of milk, butter and eggs enriches the normal bread dough resulting in a soft, moist, delicious bread.

A question I am often asked is: “how do I know when I have the right amount of flour in the dough?” I am not sure mine’s the ‘correct’ method, but once the dough starts to clean the sides of the stand mixer bowl, I add flour by the tablespoon until the bottom is clean as well. The two short videos following show the dough cleaning the side of the bowl, and, after adding a few more tablespoons, the bottom.

You probably already know this but the difference between dinner rolls as posted yesterday and the hamburger rolls in todays post is how far apart each ball of dough is positioned when baked. The dinner rolls were allowed to grow together in a baking pan and the hamburger rolls were more widely separated on a baking sheet.

I found a few methods of forming the dough logs to make the hotdog rolls. One is to press or roll a portion of dough into a 3”x3” square, perform an envelope fold, pinch the joins together then roll out into the cylindrical shape, about 6” long and 1” diameter.

The other method (and the one I used for hotdog rolls #2 – 12) is to stretch and tension each portion of dough into a ball then roll out into a log 6” long. It seemed easier and faster than the fold and roll method.

Roll to make the center thinner than the ends. The rise and oven spring tends to enlarged the center more than the ends.

I like to cover the dough with a paper towel, then plastic wrap before putting them into the proofing drawer. I read this time somewhere that the paper towel reduces sticking. It works for me.

After proofing, the rolls are egg washed and baked for 12 – 14 minutes or when the tops are a nice brown and the internal temperature is about 180F.

Enriched Dinner, Hamburger and Hotdog Rolls

INGREDIENTS
• 488 g (2 cups) warm milk
• 2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
• 50 g white granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 6 tablespoons butter softened
• 2 large eggs
• 750 g all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon melted butter

METHOD

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine and mix all ingredients except the flour.
  2. Add in 5 ½ cups of flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and increase speed slowly to keep the flour from flying all over. Slowly add the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (I watch the bottom of the bowl and add flour until the dough just comes clean from the bottom.) The dough mixture should be sticky and soft.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise 60 minutes, (until doubled.)
  4. Punch down the dough and form into 24 rolls. (My dough weighed 1630 g therefore, each roll should be 68g.) Place in an 11×15” greased baking pan. Cover and let rise 45 – 60 min.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake the rolls for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter. Best when served warm. To cool, let rest in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Once cooled completely, store in a plastic bag.

To Make Hamburger and Hot Dog Rolls

Use the same recipe as above. There will be enough dough to make twelve 70 g hamburger rolls and 12 hotdog rolls.

Hamburger

  1. Cut 70g portions of dough and stretch into a ball. Pinch the bottom together and tension each ball with the rolling “cupped hand” technique.
  2. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. If you want the rolls to touch, during baking space the rolls about 1” apart. If you want to keep them separate, increase the spacing to 2”.
  3. Cover the rolls with a paper towel to keep them from sticking to the plastic wrap on top.
  4. Let the rolls rise for 45 min, until doubled.
  5. Coat each roll with an egg wash (1 whole egg::1 Tbl water)
  6. Bake at 375F for 12 minutes, until nicely browned and the internal temperature is 180F

Hot Dogs

  1. Cut 68g portions of dough. There are two options (that I tried) to form the hot dog dough into logs.
    a. Fold and roll method
    i. Form the portion into a 3”x3” square
    ii. Envelope fold the dough into an approximately 1”x3” log, then roll as you would a breadstick, or pretzel etc until the log is about 6” long and 1” thick.
    b. Roll Method
    i. Stretch the portion into a ball and tension as will the dinner rolls above
    ii. Roll the ball into a 6” log. (Why take the extra step to fold?)
  2. In either case try to make the center 3-4” of the log a little thinner as when the dough proofs and oven rises the centers tend to rise more than the ends.
  3. Bake the hamburger and hot dog buns as described in the hamburger roll section above.

Enriched Dinner Rolls

I have a recipe and method for making dinner rolls that receive great reviews and are in constant demand. With such a success why wouldn’t I try and new recipe, enriched this time?

I forgot to photograph the final rolls, so took this on the way to Grace’s house. Due to time restraints I had to remove the rolls from the pan early which led to their distortion. Believe me, they were perfect coming out of the oven.

I showed Grace how to cut the dough into small portions (68 g for this recipe) using a bench chopper. It took her a few try’s to figure out when to add or subtract dough from what was on the scale. When I say a few, I mean very few. Three or four tries and she could cut 68 g portions in seconds.

She tried to form dough balls with her hands, but alas, at 5 years old this size dough ball was too large for her to handle. We ended up with her cutting and weighing, and me forming the balls. I like to stretch the dough by pulling the it from front to back with my thumbs, rotating and repeating. Pinch the rough backside together, place on a dry counter, cup your fingers over the ball and quickly roll around the counter top. This will smooth and tension the dough providing a great shaped roll.

Enriched Dinner Rolls

INGREDIENTS

• 488 g (2 cups) warm milk
• 2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
• 50 g white granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 6 tablespoons salted butter softened
• 2 large eggs
• 750 g all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon melted butter

METHOD

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine and mix all ingredients except the flour.
  2. Add in 5 ½ cups of flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and increase speed slowly to keep the flour from flying all over. Slowly add the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (I watch the bottom of the bowl and add flour until the dough just comes clean from the bottom.) The dough mixture should be sticky and soft.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise 60 minutes, (until doubled.)
  4. Punch down the dough and form into 24 rolls. (My dough weighed 1630 g therefore, each roll should be 68g.) Place in an 11×15” greased baking pan. Cover and let rise 45 – 60 min.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake the rolls for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. (The internal temperature reached 180 F.)
  6. Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter. Best when served warm. To cool, let rest in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Once cooled completely, store in a plastic bag.

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

Hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving has a safe and peaceful one this year, a much needed culinary respite from life’s trials and tribulations. (Note: you have the means to read this, no doubt we are the most fortunate of all.)

This year I decided to take a turkey to our family dinner.

Of course, it is a turkey made of bread. I also brought a couple of dozen dinner rolls and a high hydration honey bread as a hostess gift. This morning was another good baking session.

You can find the method and recipe here: https://youtu.be/s1peTKP0fvg

Enhancing the Scarlet Pumpernickel

Amazingly, each batch of pumpernickel bread seems to be better than the previous. Today I enhanced my recipe with KAF Cake and Bread Enhancer.

This product is an emulsifier which “enhances” the ability of fats and liquids to combine more easily. This in turn makes the bread (or cake) softer, moister and stay fresh longer. Other than this addition (one Tbl per cup of flour) this recipe is the same as the last one. The result was exactly as advertised, great taste, soft, moist and delicious.

A quick story about how I came to have Cake and Bread Enhancer. I was visiting my home state which also happens to be the home of King Arthur Baking. We decided to take a road trip, not that I needed anything. Well, a couple of hours and -$395 later I had the mini loaf pan, enhancer and dozens of other baking items I did not need. QC no longer allows me to go into that store with any credit cards.☹️

Choose the Short Straw

I watched Valerie Bertinelli make manchego cheese and fig puff pastry straws on YouTube so I said to myself …why not?

If you have read other posts of mine using puff pastry you know while I have made it from scratch before, I prefer either Pepperidge or Trader Joe’s puff pastry. Pepperidge Farms puffs up 2 or 3x more Trader Joe’s so choosing which to use depends on what you are making. This time, I used Pepperidge Farms puff pastry.

This recipe resulted in a flavorful treat with a good snap, provided you bake them long enough. They are best warm so if you have them in more than one sitting, warm them up in an oven or toaster-oven. Be sure they are warm!

Oh! I also made a batch of blueberry drop scones for freezing for quick breakfasts

Manchego Cheese and Fig Straws

INGREDIENTS

• All-purpose flour, for dusting
• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
• 1 tablespoon fig jam
• 1 cup grated manchego cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
• 1 large egg

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two 18-by-13-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the puff pastry into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, cut the dough in half horizontally: Measure 7 inches up the side, mark the dough and cut in half, using the mark as a guide.
  3. Evenly spread the fig jam over the bottom half of the dough, leaving a little room at the edges. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the jam. Top with the other half of the dough, pressing down lightly to adhere to the cheese and jam. With a pizza cutter, cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 24 strips).
  4. Twist each strip four or five times, then pinch the ends together to prevent unraveling while baking. Place the twists on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Mix the egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl and brush onto the twists. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before releasing the straws from the parchment with an offset spatula. Let cool completely.
  7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Idle Hands Make…

This afternoon’s ‘to do’ list contained nothing pressing. Tuesday I hard boiled eggs to include in our dinner salad and to make egg salad Wednesday. Today I baked a loaf of sandwich bread because I love egg salad on fresh baked bread. And as long as I was making bread I decided to replace the hamburger rolls I froze a few weeks ago. (I wasn’t happy with the rise of those whole wheat buns.) Today I mixed a double recipe of bread dough and shaped half into a loaf to bake at 425 deg and the rest into hamburger rolls to be baked at 375 deg.

To make a softer crust I coated the top of the loaf with melted butter before baking (hence the darker crust) and once again after it was baked, but still hot.

I also had a cup of heavy cream to use before it expired, and as long as the oven was on, I dropped the temperature and made some multi berry scones, baked at 400 deg.

Remember the hamburger rolls that baked at 375 deg? Well, as long as the oven was going to be dropped to 375 deg and as long as I had some frozen chocolate chip cookie dough that also bakes at 375 deg, I figured, what the heck.?

I have to find more chores to add to the ‘to do’ list. Today was exhausting.

The best part of the day was participating in the Grandparents Drive-Thru Car Parade at Grace’s school! (Unicorn car. You can’t see the fuzzy pink tail.)

Speaking of Grace, here we are making the aforesaid chocolate chip cookies.

Banana Bana Bo-Bana Raisin Bread

So what is a person to do with two very over-ripe bananas? Throw them out? I think not! Being both thrifty and whimsical I found an easy recipe for banana bread and at QC’s request added some raisins. In hindsight, I should have added more raisins. Next time I will use a whole cup instead of half. (Below recipe modified)

As I write this post I am eating a slice of the Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake. It really is pretty good!

The recipe called for two tablespoons of sugar to be sprinkled on the top of the loaf prior to baking. This added a nice crunch and caramelization to the loaf. However, one tablespoon would probably be adequate. (Below recipe modified.)

Banana Raisin Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3⁄4 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1⁄4 cup oil
• 1⁄4 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 ripe bananas, mashed
• 1 cup raisins
• 1 tablespoon sugar

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Pour in loaf pan sprayed with baking spray with flour and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
  6. Bake for about an hour, until golden brown.
  7. Cool completely before slicing.

Mini Loaf Pan – Pumpernickel

After my success with the whole wheat bread yesterday I bit the bullet and created my own pumpernickel bread recipe based on what I learned yesterday and two other recipes. The results were excellent. (Whew!)

PUMPERNICKEL MINI LOAF BREAD

INGREDIENTS
• 2 ½ cups warm water (100°-110°F)
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• 2 Tbl molasses
• ¼ cup honey
• 3 ½ cups (400g) pumpernickel flour
• 2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
• ¼ cup Vital Wheat Gluten
• 1 Tbl lemon juice
• 1 ½ tbl (13.5g) instant yeast
• 1 tsp (6g) salt
• 2-3 cups (240-360g) bread flour
• rolled oats (for dusting loaves)

METHOD

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, oil, molasses, and honey until mixed well.
  2. Add pumpernickel flour to water mixture.
  3. Add cocoa, yeast, and salt, Vital Wheat Gluten, lemon juice and stir until blended.
  4. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in bread flour, one cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and almost clears the sides of mixer, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Continue to knead with the dough hook for 6-8 minutes
  7. Turn dough out on a lightly greased counter and knead by hand for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and supple.
  8. Divide dough by weight into 8 equal portions. Mine were 192 g each.
  9. Place each portion into a mini loaf pan and dust with rolled oats.
  10. Allow dough to rise in until it is about 1 inch above the the edge of the pan, about 30-60 minutes. Take note of how high the bread is before starting proof. Mine was almost an inch to begin and I let it rise to 1 1/2 to 2”. There was a lot of oven spring also.
  11. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 F.
  12. Bake at for 18-25 minutes. (Internal temp should be 190-200 deg. F)

New KAF Mini-Loaf Pan and RASPBERRY/PLUM Preserves

While on vacation I stopped by King Arthurs store in Norwich, Vermont. They had lots of real cool stuff that I didn’t need, so only bought a shopping cart full. One pan that I didn’t need and bought was their mini-loaf pan. There will be more cool stuff to come.

I have a new recipe for soft, light, fluffy whole wheat bread. I rarely have any luck in making whole wheat bread light and fluffy, but keep trying.

This pan was excellent and the recipe even better. I believe one ingredient and two method instructions make the difference. The ingredient is Vital Wheat Gluten. I use this with any flour that doesn’t have high gluten content such as wheat, pumpernickel, etc. I needed to replenish my supply and luckily the KAF store had it in stock. (OK, this was one thing I needed.) The two method steps that helped were to let the dough rest for 15 minutes before adding the balance of the flour and second, after the mixer finishes kneading the dough, give it a 5-10 minute hand kneading.

Whatever was responsible for making this the best whole wheat bread I ever made, I am glad I tried this new recipe

MINI WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/small-batch-whole-wheat-bread/

INGREDIENTS
• 5-6 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
• 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (see note)
• 2 3/4 cups warm water
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
• 1/3 cup oil
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 tablespoon salt


METHOD

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together 3 cups of the whole wheat flour, yeast, and gluten. Add the warm water and mix well. Cover the bowl and let the mixture rest for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon juice, oil, honey, and salt. Mix on low speed.
  3. With the mixer running on low speed, continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (don’t over-flour! A little stickiness is ok as long as the dough forms a ball and doesn’t leave a lot of residue on your fingers).
  4. Let the mixer knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly greased counter and divide in eights. (I found each loaf to be 159 g.) Shape each half into a taut loaf and place in a lightly greased mini-loaf pan (8 loaves per pan.)
  6. Cover the loaf pan and let the loaves rise until they are 1-2 inches above the edge of the loaf pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure an oven rack is in the middle/center position. Bake the loaves for 28-32 minutes until golden and baked through (an instant-read thermometer should register 180-190 degrees in the center of the loaf).
  8. Turn the bread onto a wire rack. Brush the tops with butter, if desired. Let cool completely.

NOTES
Letting the Dough Rise: this bread recipe does not require the dough to rise before being shaped into loaves and letting the loaves rise in the bread pans. However, if you find your bread is a little dense after baking and cooling, letting the dough rise after kneading may help with that, as well as making sure the dough isn’t over floured.

Vital Wheat Gluten: is often found in the baking aisle at the grocery store (near the flour). Many brands of vital wheat gluten have Vitamin C added; those are ok to use in this recipe. I buy mine at KAF.

RASPBERRY/PLUM JAM

INGREDIENTS
• 1 lb raspberries (454 grams)
• 3 lbs plums , sliced and pits removed (leave skins on) (1360 grams) (picked from our tree)
• 5 cups granulated sugar (1000 grams)
• ½ cup bottled lemon juice (120 ml)
• Zest of 1 orange (picked from neighbors tree)

METHOD

  1. Combine the raspberries, sliced plums, sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium high heat and stir frequently as the sugar dissolves and the fruit begins to release its juices.
  2. Continue to cook, stirring frequently as the jam simmers and thickens. Skim any foam off of the surface with a spoon.
  3. While the jam is simmering, remove plum skins with a spider strainer. Clean the strainer often to reduce the amount of jam removed.
  4. Place a plate in the freezer and when the jam thickens wipe a little on the plate and return to the freezer for 2 minutes. Repeat until the jam stops running and has the consistency you want. Mine heated to 220 deg F.
  5. Once the jam is reduced and thickened, remove from heat and ladle jam into sterilized jars. Top with a lid and screw on with a ring. This recipe made 7 half pints.
  6. Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes for 5,000+ ft elevation). Remove from water bath and let cool. Check that lids have sealed by pressing down into the center of each one. It should not move.
  7. Store jam in a cool dry place like a pantry and consume within 1 year.