Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman Cream Buns) We Knead to Bake #28

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Flavored with lightly toasted pine nuts, raisins and candied or fresh orange peel, Maritozzi (Maritozzo, singular) are very soft yeasted buns, similar to a brioche. After baking, the buns are traditionally brushed with a sugar syrup and after cooling, are split almost all the way through and filled with ample amounts of sweetened whipped cream. I chose to dust my Maritozzi with powdered sugar as they were to travel with me to Kiawah Island

The word maritozzi means "little husbands" and is often called sweet marriage breads. Legend has it that young girls looking for husbands used to cook these little breads and bring them to the town center to sell. Girls who sold the best looking and most flavorful buns were said to have their chances of marriage recommendations greatly improved. Source.

Original recipe for the Maritozzi comes from Food52 and was chosen by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen for We Knead to Bake #28. I used my bread machine to make the dough, but if processing by hand or in a mixer, you can find the method and complete recipe on Aparna's blog.

Makes 6-8 buns
Helpful Video on Making Maritozzi


1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 (50 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup raisins, or currants, soaked in 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice or warm water for 10 minutes
Zest of 1 orange or 1 tablespoon candied orange peel
1 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Glaze

3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water


Powdered sugar for dusting

For the Filling-(if using)

500 ml (2 cups) fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of powdered sugar. 2-3 tablespoons of cream per bun.

Bread Machine Technique

Place all ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Process on the dough cycle.Usually, there is a beep when adding ingredients like the pine nuts and raisins, or incorporate them in the dough after the finished cycle.

When the dough cycle is complete, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead to remove the air pockets.  Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, according to your preference. Roll each into a smooth ball and then flatten into a circle with your fingers. Roll up the circle jelly/swiss roll style and seal the seam. Shape into an oval and place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving enough space between the rolls for them to rise.

Lightly cover and let them rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350°F (180C) for 15-20 minutes. Don't over bake the buns or they will lose their softness.

If you are going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while the buns are baking. To do this, boil the sugar and water together in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Brush the syrup of top of the HOT buns once you have taken them out of the oven.

Let the buns cool completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don't cut them all the way through. Open them up slightly and fill with the whipped cream, making the edges smooth with the flat side of a knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar base sticking to your hands and pulling pieces of the brioche away.

Serve with a cup of hot coffee.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Orange and Cinnamon Swirl Bread-We Knead to Bake #27

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What I really like about this Orange and Cinnamon Swirl Bread is the captivating flavor of the orange juice and zest in the dough combined with tangy apricot preserves, brown sugar and cinnamon filling . Plus,  it's a very easy yeast bread to make, too. However, careful attention to rolling out the dough is essential so that during the baking process, the dough won't burst out of its seams and make a bubbly mess in your baking pan. Toasting the leftover bread in a buttered cast iron pan is delicious!
 Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen chose this bread from 500 Breads by Carol Beckerman, a book she was given to review. If all the recipes in the book are this good, then it's needs to be on my bookshelf. 

Orange and Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Makes 2 medium sized loaves

1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
The juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
5 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
Oil for greasing the baking pan


Using the oil, grease 2 8"x 4" loaf tins. Dissolve the 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Leave for 10-15 minutes until frothy.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar. Add the liquid yeast, the eggs and the juice and zest of the orange. Work into a somewhat firm dough. Turn out on a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn so it is coated all over and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.

When dough has risen, turn out on a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead briefly, then divide dough into two equal pieces.  Roll into a 6x13-inch rectangle. Spread each rectangle with the apricot preserves and sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll each rectangle jelly roll style and place in the prepared loaf tins. Put in a warm place for about 30 minutes until doubled.

In a pre-heated 400 °F (200C) oven, bake the loaves for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and dough makes a hollow sound when tapped. Cool on a wire rack before slicing. 

*For a less sweet bread, omit the 3 tablespoons of sugar and decrease the brown sugar to 1/8 cup. The eggs can be omitted and regular sugar substituted for the brown sugar.

Submitted to Yeastspotting.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Some Favorite Images

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As much as I love food photography and posting recipes, I've decided to expand my photography and post various images that I have enjoyed photographing or when I learn a new technique. I welcome your input at this new venture.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kummelweck-We Knead to Bake #26

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German in origin, the Kummelweck (Kimmelweck) yeasted bread roll is a hard bread roll (weck) much like the Kaiser roll, and is traditionally topped with coarse salt and caraway (pummel) seed before baking. Unique to Buffalo, New York, these rolls are filled with thinly sliced rare roast beef, slathered with pungent horseradish and served with a huge Kosher dill on the side. It is said you can tell a native Buffalonian by the amount of horseradish he or she puts on the sandwich. 

"Beef on a Weck" was created by Joe Gohn, who just before the start of the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, purchased a small saloon he named the Delaware House. It was located near one of the main entrances to the Exposition. He enlarged the saloon to ten bedrooms and a sitting room in order to obtain a whiskey license. With so much traffic from the trolleys dropping people off for the exposition, Joe decided that the hungry travelers needed food and drink before going to the Exposition, thus the "beef on a weck" was created. The German baker working for him suggested coarse salt and caraway seed as was done in Germany garnish the top of these crusty rolls. The sandwiches were a rage! Source

Kummelweck is the bread of the month for March chosen by Aparna who adapted the recipe from this link. The recipe makes 8 burger sized buns, but can be made smaller, if desired. I processed my dough in the bread machine which with this batch of dough, I wore out my old machine! Time for a newer one! It has served me well for nearly 10 or more years.

Kummelweck Rolls
Bread Machine Version

2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (bread machine yeast, if using a bread machine to process the dough)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg white (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3-3 1/4 cups bread flour, or all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten added)
Egg wash, optional
Coarse salt and caraway seeds

In the pan of your bread machine, add all ingredients according to the manufacturer's instructions for your machine. Process on the dough cycle. When finished, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface, flatten and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, shape into a ball, slightly flat and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray or lightly brush with oil, then loosely cover. Let rise for 30 minutes. Brush with the egg wash, then cut slits like a + on the top of the rolls using a sharp knife or scissors. Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with the coarse salt and caraway seeds, then mist with water.

Bake the rolls in a pre-heated 425°F (220C) oven for 5 minutes. Quickly open oven door and is with water again. Bake for another 20 minutes or so until they are browned and done.

Apart suggests you try some different versions of this recipe. With the same dough, you can make a Vienna Loaf or Salt and Pepper Sticks. Following Aparna's recipe, not the bread machine version. If using the bread machine, omit the second rise.

For the Vienna Loaf: 
Follow the above recipe, but with the following changes-
After the second rise, divide the dough in half and shape each half into an oval with tapered ends. After the final rise, apply the egg wash and then slash the top with a1/2-inch deep lengthwise slit. Leave our the salt and caraway seeds. Bake 400°F (200C) for about 35 minutes, including the 5 minutes after spritzing with water.

For the Salt and Pepper Sticks:
Again follow the recipe as above, but make the following changes-
Leave out the second rise and do only the first rise. Divide dough into 13 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch rope of even thickness and place them 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Let rise 30 minutes. Apply the egg wash, but do not make any cuts. Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. Do not spritz with water when baking and bake 15-20 minutes.

The black and white image above is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #161,hosted this week by our lovely and talented admin, Cinzia of CindyStar Blog.  The black and white Wednesday event is a great way to show off your monochrome culinary related images.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

"Lunch" BWW #160

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A macro image of part of a restaurant sign on River Street, Savannah, Georgia, shot while on a workshop with the very talented Bryan Peterson. This is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #160 hosted this week by Simona of Briciole.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Black and White Wednesday #159-The Gallery

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Welcome to the gallery for Black and White Wednesday #159. Below is a beautiful collection of images shot by very talented photographers who have a deep love of photographing culinary related images in shades of black and white. Thanks to all who have continued to support this blog event and a big thanks to Susan for creating BWW and to Cinzia who has expertly managed this event since accepting the honor from Susan. Simon will be hosting BWW #160 on April 1. 

From Simona, a still life of white chickpeas and black chickpeas displayed on a linen cloth. From these chickpeas, Simona concocted a deeply flavored chickpea soup garnished with homemade bread cubes toasted to a light golden brown.
Beautiful in black and white is an ornate door to an unused, but still intact granary constructed long ago when Priya's family owned rice paddies. The granaries remain locked year round and are only opened when needing painting.

A refreshing aperol spritz in view of St. Mark's Square in Venice comes from Cinzia whose recipe for the spritzer looks awesome. 

Beautiful heads of garlic white against a black background is Sandhya's contribution to BWW. I love the scattered cloves amidst the heads of garlic.
An art form depicting a collection of inanimate objects fascinates me. This image of pears, flowers, old books and various other items is my contribution to BWW #159. 

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Walnut Coffee Kisses and a Cardamom Orange Spiced Coffee Syrup

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Coffee, chocolate and cardamom-three of my favorite flavors! Strong coffee or espresso is the predominant flavor in the two recipe; the walnut coffee kisses have instant espresso in both the cookie and the chocolate ganache as does the coffee syrup. Cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian cooking and in baking sweet breads such as Julekake in the Nordic countries.  In the Middle Eastern countries, cardamom is used in savory and sweet dishes as well as for flavoring coffee. 

I had hoped to be able to photograph the walnut coffee kisses and the espresso flavored with the cardamom orange spiced syrup, but the cookies were consumed at record speed! I should have made two batches of the kisses!

Walnut Coffee Kisses
Recipe From Coffee-Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying
Author-Hattie Ellis

For the cookies

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (best to chop with a knife to prevent the nuts from being oily)
1 stick unsalted butter
4-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 beaten egg
3/4 cup self-rising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

For the Ganache

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two baking trays with non-stick parchment paper.

Put the butter and sugar into bowl and beat until creamy. Stir in the beaten egg, the fold in sifted flour. Stir in espresso powder, then the chopped walnuts. Put an even number of tablespoons of the mixture (about 24 for 12 cookies) onto the parchment-lined baking trays. Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes  so they can firm up on  the tray.

Meanwhile, make the ganache by breaking up the chocolate into pieces and put in a saucepan. Add the butter and the cream; heat without boiling until the butter melts. Beat in the espresso powder. Remove from the heat and stir. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Carefully sandwich the cool, cookies together with the ganache. The cookies are very fragile-take care filling them.

Cardamom Orange Spiced Coffee Syrup
Recipe from book above


10 green cardamom pods
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

Crush the cardamom pods with a knife and extract the seeds. Put the sugar in a heavy saucepan, add 1/4 cup water, and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Using a spoon, draw it across the sugar to expedite the process. When the sugar has dissolved, boil for 2 minutes, then stir in the coffee, orange zest, cinnamon and cardamom. Let cool so the flavors infuse, then strain and store syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To serve, use to sweeten espresso, coffee and ice cream.  I put a tablespoon of vodka in the syrup to prolong its life.

The two black and white images above are my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #158 hosted this week by Shri of Tiffin Carrier Antic/que's.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.