Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweet Rolls

Every summer Jews around the world observe the destruction of the Holy Temples by fasting on the ninth of Av, a month on the Jewish Calendar. That day fell out yesterday. This is the first time that I'm not observing this fast in upstate New York with my family, but rather in Israel. Consequently, the beloved sweet roll that we usually buy to break our fasts on from a small Jewish bakery upstate was going to be missing. But I wasn't about to allow that! I stumbled on a recipe for Yeasted Sweet Buns with a topping from Marcy Goldman's A Passion for Baking. Bingo! This had to be it. And so, for a couple of weeks, I set my sights on baking this for the break fast. (I also made Acme's Herb Slabs from Artisan Baking Across America, but that's for a different post!) Trust me, standing in a boiling hot kitchen, kneading dough, and pulling buns in and out of a hot oven probably wasn't the best way to spend a day on which I had no energy. But it was so worth it. They tasted almost exactly like I remembered, soft and pillowy, sweet and just plain yummy. My friends, with whom I broke the fast, oohed and ahhed and gave it rave reviews. They deserved them, too, if I do say so myself. The only changes I would make would be to slightly reduce the vanilla, cut back the yeast from two tablespoons to one, or even less, and change the streusel topping. I have another one in my files that tastes more similar to what I remember. I also didn't have the full amount of bread flour so I used all purpose for the rest with no ill effects. All I can say, is a new tradition has begun!

Sweet Rolls
from A Passion for Baking
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp instant yeast
1 tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 tsp salt
5-7 cups bread flour
2 large eggs, for glazing
pinch sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Place the water, yeast, eggs, margarine, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl; whisk to blend.

Begin adding flour..

Keep adding until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until a smooth dough forms.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in volume.

The dough, beautifully risen.

Rub together the ingredients for the streusel topping.

Portion the dough into about 12 buns depending on their size and set on parchment lined baking sheets or greased baking sheets.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar and brush the buns liberally with this wash. Top with the streusel topping. Allow to proof for about 45 minutes. Toward the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 28-35 minutes or until browned all over. Here are the beautiful buns out of then oven and waiting to be devoured!

Yet another one for Yeastspotting!

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