Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Both of my great-grandfathers were bakers; if that’s an inherited trait, I’m officially thanking them both here for instilling in me a love of yeast and flour. Working with yeasted doughs and breads is quite satisfying, and it has been something I’ve dabbled in since high school.
I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website recently and decided to try it out. Eggy and not too sweet, I’ve put some of the dozen buns aside for Christmas breakfast. And, as an extra bonus, the smell of baking dough has filled our apartment.
Ingredients – Buns
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads, lightly crushed
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur recommended)
- 1 TBSP instant yeast
- 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs (1 will be separated)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients – Topping
- 1 large egg white (reserved from dough) mixed with 1 TBSP cold water
- OPTIONAL coarse sugar (pearl sugar recommended)
- OPTIONAL golden raisins
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat (or microwave safe bowl in the microwave), heat the milk and saffron to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Set the mixture aside to allow the butter to melt and cool to lukewarm which will be about 30 minutes time.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, flour, potato flour, salt and sugar.
- Separate one of the 3 eggs and set the white aside to use in the topping.
- Pour the lukewarm mix/butter mixture over the dry ingredients. Now add the two whole eggs + the 1 egg yolk and the vanilla. Mix to combine and then knead (use the dough hook) for about 7 minutes by mixture (or if you’re a purists, mix for 10 minutes by hand) until the dough is smooth and supple.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour until it’s quite puffy (but it doesn’t have to double in bulk).
- Gently deflate the dough (give it a punch, it’s okay) and divide it into 12 equal pieces. If you use a scale for this each piece weighs about 92 grams or 3 1/4 ounces.
- Shape the dough into rough logs and let rest covered for about 10 minutes.
- Roll each log into a 15 or 18 inch rope; shape each rope into an “s” shape by rolling the ends into opposing coils. If you are using raisins, you can tuck a raisin into the center of each side-by-side coil (I skipped the raisins).
- Place buns on lightly greased sheet (or on parchment) leaving about an inch between each piece. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. While dough rises, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brush each bun with the egg white/water mixture. Sprinkle with coarse pearl sugar if desired.
- Bake buns until golden brown (about 18 to 20 minutes). King Arthur Flour recommends tenting the raising with foil for the last 3 minutes to prevent the raisins from burning (which is yet another reason I skipped the raisins).
- Remove the buns from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
Granola recipes are nearly a dime a dozen, and once you’ve read through one (or baked it), you can pretty much adapt that recipe to suit your personal taste or to suit whatever you have in the house for fruits and nuts. This past June, we traveled to Waikiki and I was reintroduced to a granola variation when I ordered an Acai Bowl. The granola in the bowl had a definite local tropical influence – macadamia nuts, dried tropical fruits, ginger. It was stunning and I’m still working to duplicate it.
Usually I end up making a batch of granola about once a week. While I no longer follow a recipe, if you’re more comfortable using one, here’s a good granola recipe from Alton Brown of the Food Network. The following is – and should be – readily adapted according to taste preferences.
- 3 cups rolled oats (NOT quick!)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cups pecan pieces, chunked up macadamia nuts, or other nut meats
- 1 cup dried fruit (dried ginger, dried pineapple, raisins – or any combination you prefer)
- scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 TBSP cinnamon (have also used ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon – the ginger is strong so go easy!)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (oil of preference; use something light & neutral tasting if you don’t have coconut oil – safflower for example)
- About 1/2 cup of real maple syrup
- Mix all the dry ingredients together first. My suggestion is to use your hands and toss everything together as you add each ingredient.
- Add the oil and maple syrup. Combine thoroughly – this time I’d switch to a spoon! The mixture should just appear to be moist – not soaked.
- Spread on a cooking sheet lined with parchment. Pop into a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes – stir the mix around at that point so it will toast evenly. Return to the oven for about another 15-20 minutes. At this point, you want to keep an eye on things so the granola doesn’t burn. It should be toasty golden brown, not burned looking or tasting.
- Cool on the sheet and store, refrigerated, in an air tight container.
Adapted from: Chang, Joanne. Flour: Spectacular recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe. (2010). San Francisco: Chronicle Books LLC. p. 50.
My Comments: Lucky enough to live in the Boston Metro area (well, that’s a
Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography.
little stretch – a 40 minute ride puts me downtown though), I’ve been to 2 of Flour’s locations. If you have too, you know how awesome this bakery/cafe is — no wonder lines stretch around the counter and there’s SRO! Last week, I treated myself to Joanne Chang’s cookbook and this recipe seemed like the place to start for me.
Recently I have been told to try to cut wheat products from my diet. Not willing to give up on my love of baking, I am discovering some new flours to use. Today I substituted a gluten free baking flour from Bob’s Red Mill. Since I don’t have to totally eliminate wheat, I kept about a cup of the wheat flour in the recipe. Not sure how a total replacement would have gone, but this substitution was just fine (yes indeed I have had this scone at Flour!).
I’m not publishing Joanne Chang’s recipe here; seriously — if you love baking buy the book!
As this inaugural foray into Flour’s recipes takes place on Mother’s Day, we treated ourselves to quite a breakfast spread: smoked salmon (for Adrien), Vermont brie, raspberries, homemade vanilla/honey yogurt sprinkled with homemade granola, and of course, the scones. I don’t think we’ll be eating again until tomorrow.