Cinnamon Breakfast Ring {ModBak}

The third bread in the Yeast-Risen Specialties section of The Modern Baker is Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Ring.

This recipe starts with a batch of quick brioche dough. After turning the dough out of the food processor, I pressed it out to a square, then rolled it into a rectangle.

I spread the dough with a mixture of butter, cinnamon, and sugar, then sprinkled it with pecans. The recipe also called for raisins, but I omitted them so the girls would eat it.

I rolled the dough from the long end, then curled the dough into a ring on the baking sheet.

It didn’t come out as even as I had hoped, and I had a bit of trouble getting the ends to stay together. But in the end, it looked fine.

I cut slits in the ring from the outside about 3/4 of the way to the center.

Then I twisted each section 1/4 turn, so that the filling was visible.

After letting the shaped dough rise for about two hours, I brushed the surface with an egg wash and sprinkled it with more pecans.

I baked the ring in a 350° F oven for about 25 minutes. It looked and smelled terrific when it came out of the oven.

This was an impressive-looking loaf that would be great to serve to company or for a casual brunch. And it was really delicious — soft, gooey with cinnamon, but not overly so. Definitely a dish to make again and again.

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Sweet Dough Explosion — Artisan Breads Every Day

I recently found myself with family unexpectedly coming to town. I wasn’t sure who would be here, how long they would stay, or whether we would be eating here or at restaurants. Flush with my recent audience with Peter Reinhart and my success making his sticky buns recipe, I decided that I would mix up a big batch of sweet dough and at least have breakfast covered. When I say big batch, I mean a double batch. Enough to make at least four recipes.

I mixed up the dough, then grabbed my dough bucket and packed it in. The recipe says to make sure there is enough room in the container for the dough to double. No problem, as the dough bucket holds more than six quarts, and the dough barely reached the two-quart mark. I put the dough in the refrigerator for an overnight rest. When I opened the fridge later that evening, I was surprised at how much the dough had grown already. But, again, I wasn’t concerned, as I knew there was plenty of room in the container and the dough does most of its rising at the beginning, when it is still warm.

So imagine my surprise when I found this beast in my refrigerator the next morning:

The top and bottom were both bulged way out, but to its credit, the container held. I donned an oven mit and popped the seal.

With that bit of excitement behind me, I used half the dough to make creamy caramel sticky buns and, at my daughter’s request, cinnamon rolls.

The sticky buns were every bit as good as the first two batches I made from Peter’s recipes. In fact, I liked the creamy caramel buns as well or better than the honey almond ones.

With all the hubbub around here, I didn’t get a picture of the cinnamon rolls after they had been topped with  cream cheese frosting, so you’ll have to trust me when I say they looked and tasted fantastic. I didn’t think I could love another sweet as much as sticky buns, but these rolls were amazing.

A few days later, I made crumb cake with half of the dough that was left.

It was really good, too, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. I had some fresh blueberries, and I was going to put them on the crumb cake, but I forgot. Had I remembered them, I think the crumb cake would have stood up well next to the other sweet dough recipes.

By this time the family had gone, and my sweet tooth was more than satiated. So I froze the rest of the sweet dough to use another day. My father-in-law just brought us several quarts of fresh blueberries from his bushes, so that day may be soon.

Noon Rogani, aka “Cinnamon Turban Bread”

The July BOM (bread of the month) for the Facebook Artisan Bread Bakers group was Noon Rogani, a breakfast bread from Azerbaijan. We followed the recipe posted on the King Arthur website. This simple yet impressive bread is filled with cinnamon, sugar, and butter, and looks almost like a giant cinnamon roll. The shape is supposed to resemble a turban: hence, the name my daughters gave it — Cinnamon Turban Bread.

The dough is fairly straightforward and consists of flour, yeast, water, salt, sugar, and vegetable oil. My six-year-old helped me mix up the dough. We began by weighing the flour.

Then we mixed the flour, yeast, and water to make a slurry, which we allowed to rest for 10 minutes.

We mixed in the rest of the dough ingredients and kneaded everything together. The recipe was rather vague on the kneading time, saying only to knead “until the dough is smooth and elastic”. I didn’t time myself while I kneaded the dough, but I’m pretty sure I under-kneaded and didn’t develop the gluten enough. The next time I make this recipe, I’ll knead the dough for about 10-12 minutes and make sure I get a good windowpane.

After kneading the dough, we put it in an oiled bowl to ferment.

After about 40 minutes, I (my daughter had lost interest by this time) dumped the dough out onto the dining room table and pressed it out into a rough square. Then I rolled the dough out to a large square. The recipe said the square should be about 23 inches, but mine was nowhere near that large. I rested the dough several times, but was never able to get it rolled out to the correct size, which I blame on the under-developed gluten mentioned above. 

Never one to let failure dampen my spirits, I pressed on with my dough as it was. The next step was to brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar. Then I rolled the bread like a jelly roll. I continued to roll the dough like you would a baguette, stretching the rope out gently as I went. The rope was supposed to reach five feet, but again mine fell well short of this goal.

Still undeterred, I twisted the rope from the center to the ends, then coiled it into a turban shape.

After brushing the “turban” with butter, I covered it and let it rest for about 45 minutes. I baked the loaf at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until it was well-browned and baked through.

The final embellishment was my own. Since it looked so much like a giant cinnamon roll, how could I resist glazing it?

I was afraid that the loaf would be too dense, since I wasn’t able to roll it out to the proper length. But it tasted just as others have described it — slightly crunchy on the outside, and warm, gooey, and tender on the inside.

Like a giant cinnamon roll.