Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cardamom Coffee Rolls

Dear Yeast,

I'd like to talk to you about your social skills.

I don't know what it is, but you're a little unapproachable...pretty intimidating to be honest.

Patience is a virtue, I get it, but you're kind of a diva with the finicky temperature demands, interesting eating habits and "proofing" time.

The fact of the matter is, after getting to know you I think you're actually quite awesome. That wasn't always the case though...the first few times we worked together I was so afraid of upsetting you and doing the right thing that I second guessed myself constantly; but not anymore.

Now that I've learned a little more about you I'm never disappointed with our time together, but this isn't about me.. it's about you.

You may have a hard exterior, but I know deep down inside you have some wonderful things to offer the baking world like these Cardamom Coffee Rolls. You might scare others, but your antics won't work on me anymore. I know your ways and we're going to have many happy times together whether you like it or not.


Cardamom Coffee Rolls
Recipe from A Baker's Odyssey
Makes 15 rolls (I halved the recipe)
Prep time: 30 minutes Total rise time: 3 hours

1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 pkg active dry or instant yeast

1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 AP flour, plus more if needed

1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 egg yolk plus 1 tsp water, for brushing

To make sponge, scald milk in small saucepan over medium heat (look for small bubbles and steam). Remove pan from heat and cool milk till it reaches about 120-130 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and yeast. Add hot milk and whisk until smooth, thick batter.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour or until sponge has doubled in volume.

To make dough, scrape sponge into large bowl. Whisk in sugar, egg, egg yolk, butter, cardamom, and salt. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and very elastic. Stir in flour and beat again for 5 minutes. The dough should be soft, elastic, and just slightly sticky.
Sprinkle work area with flour and place dough on it. Knead with hands for 2-3 minutes, until dough is just slightly tacky and bounces back to the touch. Lightly oil bowl and replace dough in bowl, making sure to coat all sides. Sprinkle dough with flour and cover bowl with plastic wrap letting dough rise another hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Transfer dough to a slightly floured surface. Turn to coat all sides lightly with flour. Divide dough into 15 equal portions with a pastry scraper or sharp knife. Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish or spray with cooking spray. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place in dish, leaving a little bit of space between each. Coat the tops with cooking spray and drape plastic wrap loosely over them, letting them rise 1 hour or until they have doubled in size (the rolls will be touching by the end of the rise).

Preheat oven to 375.
Make the topping by mixing together almonds, sugar and cardamom in a small bowl.
Once rolls have risen, brush with egg wash and sprinkle generously with topping.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned and nuts are toasted.
Cool rolls for 10 minutes before removing and serving.

- Remember: yeast is a diva. During the rising times, place bowl in a warmer place like an oven with the light on, a garage (if its warm) or in the sunlight of a window.
- Be patient...yeast rolls are time consuming- if you're making these for breakfast plan on eating later.
- Like the name suggests, these rolls are perfect with a nice cup of coffee or tea mid afternoon.
- Yeast products have a short shelf life- these rolls will last about 2 days in a ziplock bag or plastic wrap at room temperature or about 1 month frozen.

Happy Baking!