Monthly Archives: December 2011

Cinnamon rolls


This is one recipe which really does make me smile every time I make them. Great with coffee at any time.
Thanks to Monika for this version of a classic. The recipe was adapted from La Mia Vita Dolce by Monika from Zagreb) yields 15 rolls

For the bread dough:
100g butter, at room temperature
60ml water
240ml whole milk
1 extra large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
90g sugar
10g vanilla sugar
570g bread flour
7g (1 envelope) instant dry yeast.

Directions :
Gently melt the butter over low heat (do not let it boil!). Add the water and milk and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add the remaining ingredients, in the order listed above. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes or until the dough starts coming together. Switch from paddle attachment to dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and shiny, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should no longer stick to your fingers or to the sides of the bowl.
Form a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and then a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours.

For the cinnamon filling:
150g brown sugar
10g vanilla sugar
20g ground cinnamon
100g butter, at room temperature

In a small bowl combine sugar, vanilla sugar and cinnamon.
Cream the butter with a spoon until creamy and spreadable.

Assembling and baking:
Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured work surface and punch some of the air out.
Grease a 30x40cm baking tin with butter.
Roll out the dough to a 35×55 cm rectangle so that the longer side is closest to you. Mark off a 2cm border along the edge of the dough closest to you. Spread the butter over dough, making sure to leave the 2cm border edge clean (so that you can seal the roll). Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter, making sure not to sprinkle on border edge. Gently press the cinnamon sugar mixture with the palms of your hands so that it sticks on the butter.
Using a pastry brush, brush a bit of water on the border edge of the dough. Roll the dough gently towards you into a log, pinching gently to seal and keep it rolled up. Using a sharp knife, trim the left and right ends of the log (approximately 2cm on each side).
Cut the log into 4cm pieces and transfer them to a baking tin, cut side up, so that they are at least 1.5cm apart from each other and the sides of the tin.

You can freeze the rolls a this point. Cover the tin with aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to two months. When you want to bake the rolls, take them out of the freezer the night before and leave at room temperature to thaw and rise for 10-12 hours before baking. Then proceed according to baking instructions.

At this point you can also store the rolls in your refrigerator overnight if you don’t want to bake them right away. Just take them out of the fridge at least 2 hours before baking so they reach room temperature and bake according to instructions.

If baking the same day, cover the tin with plastic foil and a kitchen towel and let them rise for 1 hour. During that period, the rolls should rise enough to touch each other and the sides of the tin.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown colour. Let them cool a bit in the tin and serve warm.


Pork pie and variants

A colleague of mine was asked to supply a porkpie “wedding cake”. As you can see from the photo, each tier is different from the others. We have pork and game, traditional pork and pork with fruit and a collection of small traditional pork.
Here is the recipe I use for a good, meaty traditional pie suitable for a 4 inch pietin.
250g broken pork bones and pigs trotters
1 onion
Bouquet garni
600ml water
Make the jelly the day before by putting all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds.
Strain and allow to cool.
Place in the fridge and allow it to set. When it has set, you can skim off the fat.
250g cubed pork: mixed lean and belly
4 rashers bacon sliced
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Take the jelly from the fridge.
Put the cubed pork and bacon into a bowl. Add the cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Set aside to marinade while you make the pastry.
100ml milk
125g lard
250g plain flour
Pinch salt
30ml water
1 beaten egg
Warm the milk and half the lard over a low heat and leave to cool.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Cut the remaining lard into small pieces and gently rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the cooled milk mixture. Mix together to make a pliable dough.
Assembly of the pie
Preheat the oven to 180C
Divide the dough into two pieces, one larger than the other.
Roll out the larger and line the pie tin easing it around the sides and drape the excess dough over the sides.
Spoon in the pork mixture.
Roll out the smaller piece of dough to make the lid. Cut off the excess pastry and seal the edges of the pastry by pinching together.
Make a small hole in the centre of the lid, brush with beaten egg and bake on a baking tray for one hour.
Turn down the heat to 160 C and cover with a piece of damp greaseproof paper and bake for another hour.
Remove from oven and, when cool, pour in the jelly which you can warm over some boiling water.
Place the pie in the fridge to set.
For a game pie, substitute 60-80% of the pork with chopped mixed game. Try adding various dried fruit such as apricot or raisins smoked in port!