Archive for January 22nd, 2013

Baking

Posted January 22, 2013 By Ruth

Its been cold enough today that the woodstove can’t quite keep up.  So rather than turn up the heat I decided to bake instead.

 

First up, Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls:

Ingredients:

For the Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups heavy cream
For the Filling:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Icing:
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cream and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough dough comes together. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. If the dough seems dry, add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Roll the dough into a 9×12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the surface of the dough. Starting at one of the long sides, roll the dough into a cylinder. Cut the cylinder into 8 equal pieces. Press down on one side of each piece to flatten slightly, then transfer to a pie plate. Repeat with all the pieces.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk and drizzle the icing over the biscuits. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

I used store bought frosting, and I had to add an extra 1/2cup of flour to the recipe.  But they turned out awesome.

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And Soft Pretzels:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (around 110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons if you’re using bulk yeast)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for bowl and parchment paper
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Coarse salt

Instructions
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm water, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it sit for 5 to 8 minutes, until it gets a little foamy.
Add the flour and melted butter and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Once there’s no risk of creating a plume of flour dust, increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl walls, climb up the hook and appears smooth. This should take 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the dough and shape it into a smooth ball. Grease the bowl with a little oil, place the dough ball into the bowl and turn it so that it gets a thin coating of the oil. Cover the bowl some plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and a towel to keep it warm. Let it rise for approximately one hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Combine water and baking soda in a large, wide pot and bring to a boil.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and generously grease the paper. Set prepared pans aside.
Turn the dough out of the bowl and onto a slightly oiled counter top. Gently deflate it a little and shape into a ball. Cut dough into quarters and then cut each quarter in half (so that you have 8 pieces of approximately the same size).
Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope and twist it into a pretzel shape (see above for detailed instructions). Place on the greased parchment paper.
When all the pretzels have been shaped, give each one a 30 second turn in the baking soda-spiked boiling water (a slotted spoon or spider is the best tool for this job). Return boiled pretzels to their positions on the baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake pretzels until they reach a deep, brown color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and serve warm (ideally with some coarse ground mustard). These pretzels are best on the day they are made, but can be refreshed in a hot oven on the second day. For longer storage, freeze them in a ziptop bag.

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They turned out very nice.  I didn’t have any pretzel salt, so I grated chedder cheese over mine instead.