Monday, August 27, 2007

Orange-Sour Cream Twists

During the many months I haven't been able to blog, I was busy baking. I remember diagnosing a "yeast deficiency" in Our Patisserie a while ago. Well, things have changed drastically since then. Nowadays, I cannot bake enough with yeast. Those long waiting times that deterred me from baking anything with yeast, now bring the sweetest anticipation with them. I love feeling the smoothness and silkiness of the dough as I work it. I agree that bread-baking is therapeutic. I am a late believer, and in order to make up for all that time lost, I bake nonstop: breads, rolls, buns, pinwheels... Judging by the number and intensity of my previous kitchen crazes, this, too, will phase out. I just hope that I can learn how to make puff pastry --my symbol of ultimate kitchen achievement-- before that happens.

I found this recipe in Califoria Culinary Academy's Bread book. I had to substitute coarsely chopped pistachios for the sliced almonds which I did not have; but otherwise, I was pretty faithful to the recipe. The twists were mildly sweet with an irresistable orange aroma, and cutting cold butter into the flour resulted in a flaky, light pastry. This was our favorite amongst the yeast recipes I tried last week.
  • 1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs, seperated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds
  • Confectioners' sugar if desired
  • Orange Sugar (recipe below)
Combine yeast, warm water and sugar in a medium bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes or until starts to foam.

In your mixer's bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut 1/2 c of cold butter into the flour using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla and orange rind to the yeast mixture and blend well. Gradually add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture, stir until uniformly mixed. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead just until smooth. Shape into a flattened ball, wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 hours. (I rested mine overnight.)

During the resting period, you can prepare the Orange Sugar and melted butter. Have two lightly greased baking sheets ready. When ready to proceed, divide dough into two equal portions. You will work with one at a time, and keep the other one in the refrigerator. Roll the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle of 12" by 18". Brush with half of the melted butter and sprinkle with half of the Orange Sugar. Fold the rectangle in half so that you get a 9" by 12" rectangle. Cut it into 1" by 9" strips. Transfer one of the the strips to a baking sheet. Hold one end in place, while you twist the other end and form into a ring. Seal the ends with water and pinching them together. Repeat with the other strips.

Now cover the rolls lightly with waxed paper and let rest for 25-30 minutes or until they look puffy. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350F. Beat the reserved egg whites with a tablespoon of water, and brush on the rolls lightly. Sprinkle them with half of the sliced almonds.

Bake the rolls until they are golden brown (20-25 minutes). Transfer them to racks to cool. Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.

Repeat with the second half of the dough. (makes 18 twists)

Orange Sugar
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tbs grated orange peel

Stir the ingredients pressing hard with the the back of a metal spoon so that the orange oil infuses the sugar.