Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Fabulous Baker Boys

My sons have become very interested in cooking of late. My youngest son, in particular, has taken to the kitchen like a duck to water. It's school holidays so we have plenty of time to hone our baking skills. As my current obsession is with all things Scandinavian the first cab off the rank was Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls.

Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls 
from  Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess
For the dough:

4 cups flour
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
scant 3 tablespoons (3 ¼-ounce packages – yes, really) of rapid-rise yeast or 3 tablespoons fresh yeast scant ½ cup butter
1 ⅔ cups milk
2 eggs

Ingredients for filling:
½ cup + 2 tablespoons soft, unsalted butter
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
roasting pan approx. 24cm × 35cm  inches or large square pan, lined with parchment or wax paper

Preheat the oven to225 degrees C.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Melt the butter and whisk it into the milk and eggs, then stir it into the flour mixture. Mix to combine and then knead the dough either by hand or using the dough hook of an electric mixer until it’s smooth and springy. We added a bit more flour. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it to rise for about 25 minutes.

Take one third of the dough and roll it or stretch it to fit your pan; this will form the bottom of each bun when it has cooked.  Roll out the rest of the dough on a lightly floured surface, aiming to get a rectangle of roughly 20 by inches. Mix the filling ingredients in a small bowl and then spread the rectangle with the buttery cinnamon mixture. Try to get even coverage on the whole of the dough. Roll it up from the longest side until you have a giant sausage. Cut the roll into ¾-inch slices, which should make about 20 rounds.Set the rounds in lines on top of the dough in the pan, swirly cut-side up.  Don’t worry if they don’t fit snugly together as they will swell and become puffy when they prove. Let them rise again for about 15 minutes to let them get duly puffy.

Put in the hot oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, by which time the buns will have risen and will be golden-brown in color. Don’t worry if they catch in places. Remove from the pan and leave to cool slightly on a rack – it’s easy just to pick up the whole sheet of parchment and transfer them like that – before letting people tear them off, to eat warm.

We were on a roll (get it?), so Joey got his Junior MasterChef cook book out and we made Beef Quesadillas for dinner. You can get the recipe here - Beef Quesadillas.

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