Conchas Mexicanas Pan Dulce

One of my sons asked if I could make conchas as a surprise treat for his wife for Mother’s Day. Of course, I said yes, then searched the internet to see what the hell conchas are. I found three or four recipes that seemed sensible, watched two YouTube videos on technique, then tried two “practice” batches.

The first batch was ok, but the texture was wrong. They were tight crumbed and tough, although the flavor was acceptable. Bear in mind, I had never eaten (or heard of) a concha before this week, but I do know what good bread texture and flavor is. QC reminded me I couldn’t even pronounce “concha” until a friend corrected me. My pronunciation was so off, she didn’t know what I was talking about until I showed her one and she said “Oh! Concha. I love them.” The sugar topping used vegetable shortening rather than butter. The author thought the resultant topping would be less grainy. I liked the ones with butter better.

Do not press the embossing concha press through the topping or it will slide off, even if the tops of the conchas were well buttered.

The second batch was better. I used butter based topping and bread flour rather than AP. The crumb still wasn’t acceptable but the flavor remained good. QC thought they needed a little more cinnamon so in the final batch I doubled the cinnamon from one-half to a full teaspoon.

Ingredients for yeast conditioner

If you make conchas do not over knead the dough. It will be, and should be, very slack,. Proof in a warm, dry, draft free environment. I did as one of the authors recommended, when I started, I turned one of my ovens to “Proof” then just before putting in the dough, turned it off. If you don’t have a proofing oven, just put the light on and leave it on. Proof this way for exactly two hours.

I changed how the topping was formed. After rolling, pressing and buttering the dough balls I rolled the topping out between two sheets of parchment paper, then chose a round cookie cutter the same size as the flattened dough balls. This worked much better than using my hands to flatten the topping into disks to put on the buttered dough balls. Trust me on this.

Conchas Mexicanas Pan Dulce

INGREDIENTS:
(Makes about 8-12 conchas it all depends on how large you want them. 10 conchas will be about five inches diameter each.)

DOUGH:
• 1 cup evaporated milk
• 1 tbsp instant yeast-
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 4 cups (560 g) flour (remove 4 Tbl flour and add 4 Tbl cake and bread enhancer.
• 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tbsp vanilla
• 3 eggs
• 8 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1/2 tsp salt

TOPPING:
• 1 cup AP flour
• 1 cup powder sugar
• 8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
• 1 tbsp vanilla
• (Optional To add chocolate flavor add 1 -2 tsp Hershey’s cocoa)

METHOD

DOUGH

  1. If you have a “proof” setting on your oven turn it on now. If not, turn on the oven light to create a warm environment
  2. Heat evaporated milk for 30 sec in microwave
  3. Add 1 Tbl of the ¾ c sugar and 1 Tbl yeast to the warm milk, mix thoroughly and let sit for 5-10 min
  4. Sift flour, sugar, and cinnamon into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well combined
  5. Add room temperature (soft) butter, vanilla, and yeast/sugar/evaporated milk mixture to the dry ingredients
  6. Add eggs on at a time start timer for 10 minutes
  7. After 5 minutes add salt and continue kneading
  8. Coat bowl with a light coating of cooking spray, form dough into a ball and cover.
  9. If you turned ON the proof setting turn the oven OFF now
  10. Place covered bowl into your OFF oven with the oven light on and set timer for 2 hours

    TOPPING – (Make the topping after the dough had proofed for 1 ¾ hours to keep it fresher and more pliable)
  11. Sift powdered sugar and flour into a medium sized bowl
  12. Add room temperature butter and vanilla and mix into a smooth paste. (I found it easiest to “knead” with my hands.)
  13. If you are flavoring the topping add the cocoa now and mix thoroughly. You can divide the topping and only flavor half)
  14. Wrap tightly in plastic.

    ASSEMBLY
  15. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  16. Pour dough onto a very lightly floured surface and form into a log
  17. Divide the dough into the number of conchas desired. (8 conchas will be about 5-6” diameter.)
  18. Roll each portion by cupping your hand over the portion and rolling on the table until the little dimple on the bottom disappears. (You may need to pinch the dimple together)
  19. Place the portions on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  20. Rub butter on each roll covering the entire surface
  21. Divide the topping into the same number of conchas
  22. Place each topping portion into a ball then roll between parchment paper sheets to about 1/8” thickness
  23. Cut flattened topping with a round cookie cutter just larger than the diameter of the dough ball
  24. Place a disk of topping on each dough ball and press down firmly. (some people recommend pinching the edge of the topping and dough together .)
  25. Use a concha cutter (or knife) to emboss the traditional “shell” pattern being sure not to cut all the way through the topping.
  26. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  27. Cover concha’s and let rest 30-45 minutes
  28. Bake 15-20 minutes, until bottom is light brown. Don’t be surprised if it requires 28-30 minutes for the bottoms to brown.

Honey Pumpernickel Bread

After a grueling day of golf yesterday, praying to the golf gods the storms would stay away (they did) and preparing for another round tomorrow, I needed something to occupy my time today

I haven’t made white sandwich bread in a while so I made the dough early this morning. It needs a minimum 8 hour refrigerated rest which will be over at 2:30 this afternoon. I can then shape and bake it. If the results are good there will be a second post later.

While waiting for the sandwich bread to rest and ferment I decided to make a recipe of honey Pumpernickel bread. I am glad I did. I made this once or twice before but never with such great results. Great flavor, texture and crumb.

Mini Loaf Pan

HONEY PUMPERNICKEL BREAD

INGREDIENTS

• 2 ½ cups warm water (100°-110°F)
• 50 g (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
• 40 g (2 Tbl) molasses
• 170 g (1/2 cup) honey
• 3 ½ cups (400g) pumpernickel flour
• 2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 Tbl Vital Wheat Gluten
• 13.5 g (1 ½ tbl) instant yeast
• 1 tsp (6g) salt
• 240-360 g (2-3 cups) bread flour
• rolled oats (for dusting loaves)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a dough hook, stir together water, oil, molasses, and honey until mixed well.
  2. Add pumpernickel flour and Vital Wheat Gluten to water mixture.
  3. Add cocoa, yeast, and salt, and stir until blended.
  4. Allow 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. The dough should weigh about 1880 g.
  6. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap.
  7. Allow dough to rise in the bowl until doubled, about 30-60 minutes.
  8. For two 9×5 loaves
    • Divide into 2 pieces.Each should weigh about 940g.
    • Cover each piece with greased plastic wrap, and let dough rest for 5 minutes.
    • Shape pieces into loaves, and sprinkle with oats.
    • Place each loaf in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.
    • Let dough rise until doubled, about 30-60 minutes.
    • Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 F.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 200 F.
  9. For 16 mini-loaves
    • Divide into 16 balls 112 g each.
    • Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let dough rest for 5 minutes.
    • Shape pieces into loaves, and sprinkle with oats. (Gently roll into a small cylinder, don’t deflate!)
    • Place 8 loaves in a greased 8 cell mini loaf pan.
    • Place the remaining 8 balls in the refrigerator.
    o Let dough rise until doubled, about 30-60 minutes.
    o Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 F.
    o Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 200 F.
    o Cool on a cooling rack and remove the remaining balls from the refrigerator
    o Gently place the second batch in the still warm to touch baking sheet and repeat 20 minute baking. Don’t roll these. Just gently place in the mini baking sheet.

Rustic Italian Bread

I ran across a four ingredient, no knead, no stretch and fold, Italian bread. I am on my third bake of this bread, each with minor tweaks.

Version 1 was as presented. Version 2 was as presented but baked in a Dutch oven (my preferred baking method.) Version 3 included Cake and Bread Enhancer (fifth ingredient) and was baked flat on a baking stone.

Version 1 was excellent. Version 2 was excellent. Version 3 was excellent. All three had great, crispy crusts and a soft tender crumb on the inside.

My current favorite is (was) my high hydration honey no-knead bread, but this may be my new go to. It’s even easier than the honey no-knead. Simply mix everything together the let it ferment for 2 hours. Gently pour out, (I do mean pour, it is high hydration, slack and sticky,) minimally shape and bake. All done!

My goal is to create larger holes in the bread. Version 2 (center) and 3 (right) were the best. I overworked the fermented dough a little too much in Version 1. Try, try, and try again!

Rustic Italian Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 380 g AP flour + more for dusting
• 20 g (3 Tbl) Bread Enhancer
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 350 g warm water
• 2 tsp active dry yeast

METHOD

  1. Add the flour, enhancer, salt and yeast to your stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix and combine so no dry patches remain.
  2. Add the warm water and mix until everything is incorporated and a soft, wet dough forms. It will be a slack, sticky dough.
  3. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic and let the dough rise at room temperature (See tip below) for 2 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Dust your kitchen counter with flour and scrape the very sticky dough out with a bowl scraper.
  5. With floured hands shape the dough into a ball (or batard,) deflating it as little as possible.
  6. Line a banneton with parchment paper. (See tip below)
  7. Place the ball of dough in the lined banneton smooth side up and let it rest while your oven heats up.
  8. Use a sharp knife or lame to lightly slash an X in the top of the loaf.
  9. Preheat your oven to 450 F with a dutch oven inside for about 45 minutes before baking the bread. Fill an oven proof bowl with 2 inches of water and place it on the bottom rack.
  10. Once hot, carefully transfer the bread loaf into the dutch oven using the parchment paper.
  11. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown on top. The internal temperature should be 205 F
  12. Remove the bread from the dutch oven and transfer to a cooling rack or it won’t stay crispy.

TIPS

  1. Lining a round banneton: Crumple parchment paper starting from the edges. You should end up with a ball which will smooth out to fill the round banneton
  2. Room temperature proofing: I like to put the bowl in an “off” oven with the light on. In the winter my kitchen tends to be cool (62-65 F) My “off” oven with the light on is 78o F.

From King Arthur Baking’s Cake and Bread Enhancer: A “miracle” ingredient for your cakes!

(From KAB) Our bakers have called this the “miracle” ingredient for many reasons: it makes cakes and other baked goods softer, moister, and helps them stay fresher longer. Our blend contains vegetable fats that act as emulsifiers, allowing the fats and liquids in your favorite recipe to combine more easily. The enhancer also acts as a stabilizer and texture enhancer. Cake enhancers are commonly used in professional bakeries to keep breads fresh and soft, and help cakes stay light and fluffy. It’s especially great for making soft sandwich loaves.

Dede’s Bakery President’s Day Continued

While I was waiting for other items to mix/chill/rise/etc I made a few other items this morning.

We were nearly out of bread (amazing.) I made a loaf of my honey high-hydration no-knead bread. This may be the prettiest loaf I have made. The slashes on top were well defined and kept the bread from blowing out anywhere else.

Oh, by the way, there are three-berry scones in the background. I like to freeze them, then on golf days take them from the freezer and snack on them on the course. They don’t seem to help my game, but do make it more enjoyable.

This time, I made the scones bigger than usual. I used some frozen berries we had (ever frugal) and had trouble incorporating them into the dough. They ended up being delicious!

Nana, Nana, Bo-bana. Banana-fana Fo-fana

So what are you supposed to do when you wake early, and as you walk through the kitchen on you way to turn on the TV to watch the replay of the Olympics (that you slept through last night) and you see 3 small, very ripe bananas sitting there?

Answer: make raisin banana bread. As I opened the drawer where the bread pans live, I saw two small bread pans I bought to make some Tangzhong Pillowy White Bread. Knowing I would give half the bread away, I felt these would be a perfect size.

There is nothing exceptional or fancy about this bread other than it’s tender, has a great crumb, and is neither tough or dry. (Be sure to take it out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 190 F. Over-baking can reverse all its good characteristics.)

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
  • 1⁄2 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sparkling 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 Pam and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar.
  6. Bake for about an hour, until golden brown. (In the small pans it only required 40 minutes of baking. Start checking internal temp at about 30 minutes.)
  7. Cool completely before slicing.

One for the Sour, Two for the Dough

All through the pandemic’s shut downs, social isolations and maskings I resisted joining the crowd and never made sourdough bread. Things are starting to open up, so I made my first ever sourdough boule.

As it so happens I kept my copy of King Arthur Baking’s February 2022 catalog that has a recipe for multigrain sourdough, and as it happens, I bought a jar of King Arthur’s sourdough starter when I was in Vermont last summer. This starter has been nurtured in New England since the 1700’s. KAF recommends feeding their starter within 10 days after receiving it. Well, it was a bit longer for me… nearly 10 months. It was a lot of work to revive it, but it was certainly worth the effort!

I had most of the ingredients on hand, but had to make some substitutions. Apparently, malted wheat flakes are in short supply so I used rolled oats instead. To created the malt flavor I added 2 tablespoons of diastatic malt powder. I am also not a fan of sunflower seeds so substituted roasted pine nuts, which I crushed after roasting but before mixing into the dough. For some reason, lost in the mists of baking history, I had some KAF Artisan Bread Topping —perfect.

Other than those substitutions I followed KAF’s instructions below, which resulted in an outstanding loaf with a great crust and crumb. Oh! I almost forgot. I baked it in an Dutch over with extra steam from hot water poured in a hot pan at the bottom of the over when the bread was put in the over.

Sourdough Pine Nut Boule

INGREDIENTS
Soaker
• 1 cup (120g) rolled oatmeal
• 2/3 cup (152g) boiling water
• 2 Tbl Diastolic Malt Powder
Dough
• 1 cups (227g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
• ¾ cup (170g) to ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (190g) lukewarm water
• 3 ½ cup (420g) bread flour
• ½ cup (71g) toasted pine nuts
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
Topping
• 1 – 2 tablespoon sesame seeds or The Works Bread Topping, or your favorite blend of seeds

METHOD
For the soaker

  1. Put the oatmeal and diastolic malt powder in a heat proof bowl and mix in boiling water.
  2. Stir until combined and cool to lukewarm

For the dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the ripe starter and ¾ cup of water, mix to combine
  2. Add the soaker and remaining ingredients, and mix and knead approx 8 minutes until you’ve made a soft dough, adding additional water or flour as needed.
  3. Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise until it’s almost doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it. Shape it into a large round.
  5. Place the round in a covered baker, about 4.2-quart and 10″ diameter, that’s been sprayed with non-stick baking spray and put on the cover. Let the loaf rise until it’s very puffy, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  6. Just before baking, brush with water, and sprinkle with seeds. Use a lame or a very sharp knife to make four slashes across the top of the loaf, in a crosshatch pattern.
  7. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F and uncover the loaf if in a covered baker, and continue to bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. (A loaf baked on a baking sheet will need to bake for 38 to 45 minutes total.)
  8. Remove the bread from the oven, let sit in the baker for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a rack.

Il est temps pour un pain français batard

I wonder if my 9th grade French teacher would be proud of me? I looked up how to say “it’s time for a french bread batard” in French on Google Translate all by myself!

This is not my first rodeo with this bread, but it is the best loaf to date. While the Covid travesty has been horrible, my baking skills have improved enormously. Most of the METHOD steps are from KAB, but I added my own comments in places.

(Oh, I also baked a dozen chocolate chip cookies from dough I have in the freezer. The oven was on! What choice did I have?)

French Bread – Recipe and method from KAF which should be KAB now.

INGREDIENTS

Starter
• 1 cup (227g) cool to lukewarm water (90°F to 100°F)
• 1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
• 1 1/4 cups (149g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
• 1/4 cup (28g) King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
Dough
• all of the starter (above)
• 1 cup (227g) lukewarm water (100°F to 115°F)
• 3/4 teaspoon active dry or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
• 1 tablespoon (14g) sugar
• 3 3/4 to 4 cups (450g to 480g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
• 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, to taste

METHOD

  1. To make the starter: Stir all of the starter ingredients together to make a thick, pudding-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 2 hours. For best flavor, let the starter rest longer; overnight (up to 16 hours) is best.
  2. To make the dough: Stir down the starter with a spoon and add the water, yeast, sugar, 3 1/4 cups (390g) of the flour, and the salt. The dough will be a loose, messy mass. Let it rest for 12 to 15 minutes, then stir it again; it should become more cohesive and a bit smoother. Dough handles better once it’s had time for the flour to absorb the water while resting and relaxing. By using this method, you’ll tend to add less flour, and have much bigger holes in your finished bread.
  3. Knead the dough, adding up to an additional 3/4 cup (90g) flour (as necessary to make a soft dough), 10 to 12 minutes. I use the dough hook on my stand mixer. For me, the dough should clean the sides of the mixer bowl. That’s how I know when adequate flour has bee added.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or plastic container, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until almost doubled (depending on the weather, this could be 1 to 2 hours). If you’re going out, or if you prefer, let the dough rise slowly in the fridge. If your dough has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature before shaping; it’ll warm up and rise at the same time. I used my proofing oven with only the light on for warmth. The same for the final proof below.
  5. Deflate the dough gently, but don’t knock out all the air; this will create those “holes” so important to French bread. For one large loaf, form the dough into a round ball; for two loaves, divide the dough in half and shape into two balls. For loaves, form into a battard about 2” diameter and 4” shorter than bread tray. Place on semolina floured French bread tray to rise..
  6. Place a semolina- or cornmeal-dusted piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. (Note to self: Don’t go crazy with semolina. It WILL fall off the paper and onto the floor when transferring the loaves from the peel onto the baking stone in the oven,) Gently place the ball(s) of dough on the baking sheet, seam-side down. It is easiest to roll the loaves onto the baking peel.
  7. Cover the bread gently with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it’s puffy and about 40% to 50% larger, anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes if using the proofing drawer..
  8. Preheat your oven to 475°F.
  9. Dust each loaf with a little flour. Slash or cross-hatch it with a sharp knife or lame. Spritz water into the oven with a clean plant mister, and place the bread in the oven. Reduce the heat to 425°F and spritz with water every few minutes for the first 15 minutes of baking.
  10. If you are using parchment paper, remove it after the first 15 minutes of baking.
  11. Bake the bread for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until it’s a rich golden brown, and its interior temperature registers at least 190°F on a digital thermometer. The smaller loaves will bake more quickly, so keep your eye on them.
  12. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store bread, loosely wrapped in paper, for a couple of days at room temperature; wrap it in plastic and freeze for longer storage.

Pain de Cristal

I subscribe to King Arthur Baking’s newsletter and occasionally they distribute a new recipe, or technique that I cannot resist trying. Well, this is one of those times. They included a video that demonstrated the techniques required to handle very high hydration breads. This one is 100%, which means 1:1 water to flour ratio and I could never have made this bread without their technique, (which worked perfectly.)

QC says it’s like eating air.

Big holes and perfect crust. Pair with butter, honey, or oil and vinegar. Oh my!
This was my dessert tonight. Buttered Pain de Cristal and honey.

While KAF’s videos demonstrating the bowl and coil folds I decided to make my own. (Theirs are better quality, mine may be truer to life.)

Mix all ingredients then let rest 20 minutes
First fold with extremely slack dough. With wet hand stretch a portion of the dough up and into the middle of the dish. Repeat at least 12 times then rest, covered, 20 minutes
This is the second (or third, I forget) coil fold. With wet hands pick up the dough about 3/4ths of the way, stretch it up and let it fall back under the bulk of the dough. Repeat with the other end, then repeat the entire fold several times. Note the dough becomes easier to handle and less sticky with each coil fold. There are a total of 4 coil folds.
Tip the dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Cover top with more flour so there are no sticky spots. Use a bench knife to cut into four equal pieces and flour the edges where you cut.
Carefully, without deflating, shape the dough and place on parchment paper. Let rest for 2 hours.
Note the bubbles formed in the dough. For future bakes I would let the dough rest longer than 2 hours to develop more aeration, bubbles and holes in the final brea.

Ingredients

  • 500g water (80 F in warm weather, 100F if cold)
  • 500g Bread Flour
  • 2.5g (3/4 teaspoon) instant yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 15g olive oil

 

METHOD

  1. Pretty much see the captions in the above videos.

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.