Note: I wrote this post in April and forgot to publish it… But the dessert is so good that I’m posting it now anyway!
I joined the Daring Bakers last spring, fully intending to do every single challenge. And so far, I have done one, the Savarin bread. It’s not for lack of intentions! Each month, I check out the challenge, think, “I can do that!” and then proceed to run out of time.
In March, I decided to get into it again, but once I discovered it was to make nougats, I decided against it. Nougats and I are not friends. However, the February challenge looked AMAZING and not too difficult, so that’s what I did. This recipe comes from chef in disguise Sawsan, who says that making beautiful bread can be a way of life.
Everyone in my house LOVED the end result. We are all cinnamon bun fanatics, so it wasn’t hard to fall in love with these. And they were honestly about the same amount of work as making cinnamon buns. If you want to try this at home, I suggest following the directions about assembly, but using your own recipe for the dough and filling if you have one that you love. I think next time I’ll try smitten kitchen’s pumpkin cinnamon bun recipe, because it’s a favourite in my house. Despite what you may think, you can definitely achieve a dessert this beautiful!
What you need (for the dough)
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) butter, softened
1/4 cup (60 ml) (50 gm) (1-3/4 oz) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
3-1/4 cups (780 ml) (450 gm) (16 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, approximately
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (8 gm) dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon (1 gm) cardamom, optional
1/4 cup (60 ml) of milk
1 tablespoon (15 gm) (1/2 oz) sugar
Between the layers
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) cinnamon
1/2 cup (120 ml) (100 gm) (3-1/2 oz) sugar
1 can (400 gm) (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
What to do:
1. In a bowl whisk the egg with milk, water, sugar, butter and yeast. Set aside.
2. In another bowl sift the flour with the salt and the optional cardamom.
3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead until you get a smooth dough.
Note: This recipe requires between 3-1/4 and 3-1/2 cups of flour depending on the weather, humidity and the flour brand. Start with 3-1/4 cups and if you feel that the dough is too soft, add the extra 1/4 cup
4. Place the dough in a bowl you have brushed with some oil and cover it with a wet cloth and leave it in a warm place to double
(If you are tight on time you can heat your oven to 390°F/200°C then turn it off and place your dough in a glass bowl and place it in the warm oven with the wet cloth covering the bowl)
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
6. Divide the dough into 4 parts
7. Roll each part into a circle at least 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter
8. Brush the first layer with butter then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
9. Place the second layer on the first layer repeat the brushing and sprinkling and then do the same with the third layer.
10. Top with the fourth layer, this time only brush it with butter.
11. Using a knife make cuts that divide the dough circles into 8 triangles. Then make cuts that go 2/3 of the way in the middle of each triangle. The cuts should not reach the base of the triangle nor the tip.
12. Take the tip of each triangle and insert it into the cut you made and pull it from the underside.
13. Arrange the triangles on your baking sheet
14. Pinch the two angles at the base of the triangle together
15. Brush the dough with milk
16. Allow to rest for 15 minutes during which you would heat your oven to very hot 500°F/240°C/gas mark 9 (rack in the middle). (Go for the hottest your oven will do).
17. Bake for 5 minutes on very hot 460°F/240°C/gas mark 9, then lower the temperature to moderately hot 390°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 15-20 more minutes
Note: ovens do differ greatly, so the time may differ,what you want is to bake it until the under side is golden brown and the bread is baked all the way to the center. If the top of the bread is not golden brown by that time and you have a broiler (grill) in your oven. Turn on the broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes until the bread is golden brown on top. If on the other hand the top is getting too dark, consider lowering the oven temperature and covering the top of the bread with foil to stop it from over browning.
18. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rick and drizzle with sweetened condensed milk while it is still warm.