Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cream Cheese and Raisin Pinwheels

The yeast phase waned off, but I still have a couple of recipes to post from those days. These pinwheels from my Breads book (by Cynthia Scheer, et al) tempted me by their looks. Unfortunately, they stayed in the oven more than they should, and ended up being on the drier side. This, to my husband, was a desirable quality, as it made them a good accompaniment to his coffee. It must be said that his foremost reason for having something sweet is to enhance his cup of coffee. For the rest of us who have dessert for its own sake, I cannot say that they are the best yeast creations I have encountered; but bake them a little less, and who knows, you may be more pleased with the result. In particular, if you are a cheese Danish lover, these much simpler sweet breads may remind you of them.

These were baked in muffin pans, but you can arrange the pinwheels like a flower in a large round pan and bake as one large sweet bread, too. If I get to try this again, I may use a more traditional Turkish filling: poppyseed paste or maybe tahini with walnuts.

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 4 tbs softened butter
  • 3 to 3 1/4 c flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs melted butter
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 1 package softened cream cheese
  • 1 tbs whipping cream
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c golden raisins
Sprinkle yeast with the warm water in your mixer's bowl. Add 1 tbs of the sugar and wait for 5 minutes or so until the mixture starts to foam. Add the remaining sugar, milk, salt, lemon rind, 4 tbs of softened butter and 1 1/2 c of the flour. Mix at low speed to blend, then beat at medium speed until smooth and elastic. (This will take about 5 minutes.) Reserve the white of one of your eggs; add the yolk and the other egg, one at a time, to the forming dough, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in about 1 1/4 c more flour to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a floured working surface. (You will use the leftover 1/4 to 1/2 c flour during kneading.) Knead until the dough is smooth and satiny, with little bubbles forming just under the surface. Add just enough flour to prevent the dough from being sticky as you knead. This will take you 10 to 12 minutes.

Now place the dough in a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm, draftless place until it doubles in volume. (1 to 1 1/4 hours.) Meanwhile, you can prepare the cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese and cream until fluffy. Blend in sugar, then lemond rind and vanilla. Stir in the raisins.

At the end of the rising period, punch the dough down. Cover with the inverted bowl, and let rest for another 10 minutes.

Roll the dough on a floured surface into a 12" by 18" rectangle. Brush with the melted butter. Spread evenly with the cheese filling. Roll the dough jelly-roll fashion, starting with the longer side. Moisten the end and pinch to seal. Cut into 1 " slices, and arrange them, cut side down, into well-greased muffin pans. Cover lightly with waxed paper, and let rise for 40-45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350F.

Beat your reserved egg white with 1 tsp of water. Brush lightly on the rolls. Bake until nicely browned. (This, according to the book, takes 25 to 30 minutes.) Remove the rolls from the pans while still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 18 rolls.