I spoke too soon when I said that I was sweating less these days. Not exactly. It is true that we have slightly cooler temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest now that fall is here, but between the heat from our TV, the dishwasher, and of course the oven, and the tendency of this apartment to absorb all the sun’s heat for the day, today I think sweated just as much I normally would on a hot summer’s day.
Sheesh. Oh well. I still wanted to bake something. I think the ideal temperature for me is somewhere in the upper-forties. Hopefully another month or two, we’ll see that kind of average day temperature.
But you’re in luck. If you sweat easily like me, at least this recipe doesn’t require much oven time. Because it’s one of those rolls whose dough you can make ahead, and let rise slowly in the fridge. You don’t have to wait for it; instead, let it wait for you!
This recipe is from a book that I’ve had sitting on my bookshelf for 10 years, but have only used a couple of times! It’s called The Village Baker, by Joe Ortiz. This recipe is also featured on The Fresh Loaf here. I decided to make these about half the size. Why? Because Ben buys similar rolls from Whole Foods, and he asked me to find something similar in size. And just like the Fresh Loaf, I decided against adding the extra fondant glaze, because it is already a sweet roll that already has a glaze. But if you must, I included it below.
I don’t really know why I put off making this for so long. It’s not hard once you spread out the steps over a day. And the pay off is worth it.
The best way to do this recipe is to do it incrementally. You make the brioche dough one day, let it rise slowly overnight in the cool temperature of the refrigerator, then you do the rest the following day. It took me less than an hour of actual work; the rest was easy.
To recap, you make the brioche dough, let it sit in a warm, draft-less place for an hour, then cover and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, you make the egg wash, the filling, and the sugar glaze. Form the snails, as they are sometimes called, then bake it off. Simple, huh?
1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup water, lukewarm, (110 -114 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 and 1/2 cups (plus 1/2 cup, if needed) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 Tablespoons powdered non-fat dry milk
4 Tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup water, lukewarm, (110 – 114 degrees F)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature
vegetable oil, to grease bowl
1 Tablespoon milk
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup rum raisins, or just regular raisins*
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
fondant glaze (optional, to smear a little on top each roll if you want them really sweet)
1 to 2 teaspoons boiling water
2/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
Place the 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and sugar in a small bowl and stir to dissolve sugar, then add yeast and stir gently a few times, then leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes, until frothy/creamy looking. Discard and start over if it doesn’t get frothy.
In a large bowl of stand mixer attached with a dough hook, place the 3.5 cups of flour (reserving the 1/2 cup flour to add, only if needed) plus the milk powder, 4 tablespoons sugar and salt. Stir with a whisk briefly.
Add the yeast/water mixture (once frothy), slightly beaten eggs and the 1/4 cup lukewarm water.
Mix until combined thoroughly, only adding any and all of the reserved 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour slowly if the dough is too wet and sticky. This may not be needed.
Add the butter and mix until all the butter cubes are incorporated. The dough should be smooth, but still slightly sticky.
Shape dough into a ball and turn once in a large greased bowl to cover entire surface with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place without a draft for 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled.
Punch down and re-shape into a ball, put it back in greased bowl and cover top again with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator several hours to overnight.
Since I wasn’t going to form it until the next day in the afternoon, I punched mine down in the morning and placed it back in the fridge for another 8 hours until I came home from work and punched it down again, but you could probably punch it down after 8 hours and use right away, too. It seems like a flexible thing, which I really like about this recipe and in using the fridge to allow you do it when it is convenient for you.
When ready to form and bake, make the other components, and prepare work surface. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
*For rum raisin, soak one cup of raisins in about 3/4 cup of rum, your choice of rum. Soak for at least a day. Drain rum and use a paper towel on raisins to wipe away excess rum somewhat. If you prefer not to use alcohol, soak raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes and paper towel off excess water before using.
Divide dough into four equal pieces and cover three of the four pieces of dough in plastic and in the fridge for later while working on the first fourth of dough on a floured work surface.
Using a rolling pin, form the first fourth of dough into a rectangle about 5 by 13 inches. Coat with some of the egg glaze, using a pastry brush, then spread one fourth of the filling (sugar/cinnamon/raisin mixture) over it evenly throughout the entire top surface.
Roll the dough into a log and slice it into 8 rolls. Place each roll spaced at least a couple inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten each roll slightly and gently with the floured palm of your hand, which keeps them from rising too much.
Test to see if the dough needs more time to rise, or if it’s ready to be baked. If your depress dough with a finger and the dough springs back quickly, it may need to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. If you depress your finger on the surface of the dough, and it takes about 2 seconds to spring back, then the dough is ready. If your oven is large enough, you can work on and bake off two of the four pieces of dough at a time.
Bake for about 20 minutes or so, until dough surfaces are a little browned. After removing from the oven, immediately brush each roll with the sugar glaze.
These can be served immediately or after they’ve cooled a little bit.
I hope this is clear. Fee free to ask me if you have any questions. Enjoy!