No Nut Sticky Buns

While I wouldn’t mind a pecan or two, Paul is not a fan of most nuts in baked goods. And I have a wedding dress to fit into in 4 days (!). Speaking of which, with last minute RSVPs, multiple calls to catering and the party rental people, and figuring out seating arrangements–I am very ready for our mini-moon to the beach. Until then, we have massages and facials on the calendar today and I’ve started physical therapy.

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is for Pecan Sticky Buns. Instead of pecans, I used white chocolate chunks and dried cherries. I made a full recipe of brioche (in my food processor–first time! as my stand mixer is dead and no way was I going to make brioche by hand with my bum knee) but only half recipe of the buns. I baked the buns in a cupcake tin which made them more like morning buns.

My gosh, these things were good. A flaky and tender, sweet breakfast treat worthy of a full batch when I’m back to cycling and running and training and working and moving. You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Juila or you can visit the blogs of this week’s hosts:  Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole of Cookies on Friday.

And this marks my 400th post! Cheers!

photo by paulrus

{twd} pizza rustica

I have talent. I’ve been told it takes real talent to break your patella (kneecap) and that’s what I did. I fractured and dislocated my right patella. I’d love to tell you I did it rappelling off the side of a mountain while rescuing cute endangered animals or while executing  a bicycle kick to score the winning goal in a soccer match. The truth is I did it by tripping over my own feet while walking my dog.

Yeah. I return to the orthopedist next week for more x-rays and to see if I’m properly healing. I hope so, because I don’t want surgery. I especially don’t want surgery in the weeks before our wedding (6 weeks from Saturday for those counting). Yikes.

On a more happy note, I’m pleased to present this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection: Pizza Rustica. It’s not the kind of pizza I was thinking it would be when I read the title. It’s more of an Italian quiche-like pizza, with a mixed up filling made with eggs, cheese, and in my version sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The dough is sweetened and again in my case, baked in 6-inch tartlet pans.

I liked the contrast between the sweet dough and the savory filling, but I know it wasn’t popular with a few of the TWD bakers. Paul liked the taste too, but didn’t like the sun-dried tomatoes. I knew the tomatoes were iffy with him and I thought I was pulling a jar of roasted red peppers out of the pantry. He’s requested I make the recipe again but this time with the prosciutto or regular ham.

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia or at either of the wonderful hosts of this week’s selection:  Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home.

my fractured patella

honey nut scones

Of all the tasty treats I bake, scones are my favorite. I often bake them right before my kick-ass group cycling class on Saturday mornings. A time when I wake up a little too early, but not super early.  They’re perfect, because, with scones you don’t have to wait for room-temperature butter, the ingredients come together quickly, and they’re unfussy.

Honey Nut Scones were baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers in November of 2011. Jeannette of The Whimsical Cupcake was the host and you can find the recipe HERE or in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours.

Orange-Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

Oh, magazine recipes.  In my quest to create order out of chaos and make recipes out of my magazine pile, I came across a recipe for Orange-Buttermilk Dinner Rolls. It hails from the November 2010 issue of Cooking Light and probably makes a lovely side for a Thanksgiving Dinner.

As it is, it’s barely March but still a very appropriate time for these rolls. As their name implies, the bread uses buttermilk and orange zest for flavor. They are delicious sliced in half, toasted, and served with an egg. They are also good plain.  The zest lends a fresh taste and the buttermilk it’s trademark tang. I  imagine they would be tasty with turkey and mashed potatoes too.

Orange-Buttermilk Dinner Rolls recipe

Photo by Paulrus

Crumpets!!! With 3 times as many exclamation marks.

Yes. They’re that good and worthy of {at least} three exclamation marks. Now that I’ve made crumpets multiple times, {or, um, twice}, I think I’m improving my technique. Case in point: the crumpets have been getting holier without having to go to church or say penance. The more holes a crumpet has,  the better routes for butter saturation. Holy moly.
For my second try, I decided to mix things up.  I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose. I also added honey and cinnamon  for flavor. I think for my next attempt I will use vanilla and maple syrup. I’m tempted to add chocolate chips, but I fear they will interfere with hole production.

Honey Cinnamon Whole Wheat Crumpets

Adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and beat vigorously for 2 minutes. A stand or hand mixer, set on high speed, work well here.

2) Cover the bowl, and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour. It will expand and become bubbly. Towards the end of the rest, preheat a griddle to medium-low, about 325°F. If you don’t have an electric griddle, preheat a frying pan.

3) Lightly grease the griddle or frying pan, and place well-greased 3 3/4″ English muffin rings in the pan, as many as will fit.  Pour sticky batter by the scant 1/4-cupful into each ring; a muffin scoop works well here.

4) After about 4 minutes, use a pair of tongs to slip the rings off. Cook the crumpets for a total of about 10 minutes on the first side, until their tops are riddled with small bubbles/holes. They should be starting to look a bit dry around the edges. Their bottoms will be a mottled, light-golden brown.

5) Turn the crumpets over, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, to finish cooking the insides and to brown the tops gently.

6) Remove the crumpets from the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter, until all the crumpets are cooked. Serve warm. Or cool completely, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. To enjoy, warm in the toaster. Serve with butter, or butter and jam.

Yield: about twenty 3 3/4″ crumpets.

Photos by Paulrus