Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Master Recipe for Sweet Bread ...

to make many type of yummy sweet buns. This recipe was my first introduction to making wonderful breads. It has been well tested with my family, friends and coworkers, in the first few months after my class with King Arthur flour, I made 12 batches of this dough, mainly in the form of cinnamon rolls. While attending baking class at Le Cordon Bleu, I learned another simple sweet dough recipe, but my original recipe is still hands down the best according to the kids who are my best taste testers when it comes to eating cinnamon buns. So here it is for you to try.

Makes 2 loaves or one 9 X 13 pan of cinnamon buns

4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or 4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water (95 deg F)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (King Arthur brand)

1 cup whole milk, scalded
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups All purpose flour

2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup brown suger, firmly packed
1 tbsp cinnamon


1 jar Nutella
2-4 oz finely chopped dark chocolate


In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm area until bubbly and very active about 10 - 15 minutes.

Scald milk, pour into large mixing bowl, add butter, salt, vanillar and beaten eggs. Stir to melt the butter. When the mixture is lukewarm, add in the yeast mixture and mix together.

Add flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and scrape out the bowl. Lightly oil the bowl and set aside.

Knead the dough, using only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the board. The dough should be soft and pliable, and not sticky. (The secret to a soft, tender bread is a soft dough.)

Place dough into the oiled bowl, turn to oil all surfaces and cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled. Punch down dough and round into a ball.

Roll dough out into a rough rectangle roughly about 12 X 9 inches and 1/4 inch thick. At this point you can spread on the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon filling for cinnamon rolls or break open a jar of 'Nutella' and spread it on, then sprinkle over that with chopped dark chocolate. Roll up like a jelly roll, starting with the long side. Cut the roll into 12 slices at least 1 inch wide. Place the slices, cut side down in a prepared 9 X 13 pan. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled. Brush the tops of the buns with milk. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

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