Cinnamon Swirls or Buns

Cinnamon is a very common spice used in many a Indian cuisines, mostly in savoury dishes. I never knew it can even be used in cakes and breads. So when I found this recipe in my baking book, I got really surprised and initially was not very keen on baking it. But as the recipe read quite simple and I also got bored having breads daily in my breakfast, I gave it a try. And to my surprise again, I liked the flavour of cinnamon in my buns. Add to this, the swirl shape makes the bun look quite attractive too.

Cinnamon swirls or buns

Cinnamon swirls or buns

Ingredients for 8 pieces :

  1. Butter – 2 tbspoon (cut into small pieces) + extra for greasing
  2. Plain flour/Strong white bread flour – 225 gm. (I used plain flour)
  3. Salt – ½ teaspoon
  4. 1 sachet easy-blend dry yeast (7 gm.)
  5. Egg (beaten) – 1
  6. warm milk – 125 ml.
  7. Maple syrup/Honey – 2 tbspoon (I used honey)
  8. Milk/Single cream – 2-3 tbspoon

For Filling :

  1. Butter (softened) – 4 tbspoon
  2. Ground cinnamon – 2 teaspoon
  3. Brown sugar – 50 gm.
  4. Currants/Sultans/Raisins – 50 gm. (I used currants)
Ingredients

Ingredients

Procedure :

Grease a 23 cm./9 inch square/circular cake tin.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, stir in the yeast.

Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and milk and mix to form a dough.

Place in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double in size.

Then knead the dough lightly for 1 minute to punch it down, then roll out on a lightly floured work surface to form a rectangle measuring 30 x 23 cm./12 x 9 inches.

To make the filling, beat the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 2.5 cm./1 inch border all round.

Sprinkle over the currants.

Spreading the filling

Spreading the filling

Arranging the currants

Arranging the currants

Brush the edges with milk/cream and carefully roll up the dough like a Swiss roll, starting at a long edge, and press down to seal.

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 slices.

Place them in the prepared tin, cover with cling film and let stand for 30 minutes.

Cutting the roll into 8 slices

Cutting the roll into 8 slices

Placing the swirls into the prepared tin

Placing the swirls into the prepared tin

Brush the swirls with milk/cream and bake in a preheated oven, 190ºC/375ºF, for 28-30 minutes, or until well risen.

After baking

After baking

Brush the swirls with syrup/honey and cool slightly before serving warm.

Soft cinnamon bun

yummy & soft cinnamon bun 🙂

Note :

  1. Initially dough will remain very sticky so better if you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer with dough hook attachment to prepare it. If you don’t have them, then just have patient and use your hand. 🙂
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Whole Wheat and Oats Flower Pizza – Guest post by Chitra of Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Who can make such an innovative and gorgeous looking pizza other than Chitra !!!! I suppose no one. Yet she makes it look so easy.

Not very long ago, I get acquainted with Chitra and went through her blog Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen. As the name reveals, her blog is a treasure of healthy recipes which is a perfect foil to our daily stressful life. On the top of that I am really impressed with innovative approach and individuality in each of her recipes. She always tries to present a lighter and healthier version of traditional and common foods along with her amazing fusion recipes. Till date I did not find a dedicated blogger like her who manages to post two recipes each single day. Needless to say, if you visit her blog, never will you be disappointed.

Today I am privileged to have her recipe, Whole wheat and Oats Flower Pizza, as guest post for my blog. Though the recipe  sounds common at the first go still is quite new and refreshing for its ingredients and look. Here a circular pizza is given the shape of a flower by some twists, quite similar to the flower shaped bread, as found in Italian cuisine. Again, Chitra used wheat flour and oats instead of plain flour to turn it into a healthier dish. Thus she shows her innovative best for which she is well known.

Whole Wheat & Oat Flower Pizza

Whole Wheat & Oat Flower Pizza

Servings: 2

Preparation time: 15minutes

Baking time: 18-20minutes

Waiting time: 1½-2hours

Ingredients:

  • Wheat flour – 1½ cup
  • Powdered oats – ½ cup
  • hot water – 1cup
  • Yeast – 1tsp
  • Honey – 1tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 2tbsp
  • Salt – 1/2tsp

For topping:

  • Pizza sauce – to spread (link)
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Cherry tomatoes (cut to half)
  • Low fat mozzarella cheese – 30-50gms
  • Italian herbs-to drizzle

Procedure:

  • In a bowl combine yeast, honey, 1/4cup hot water and let it sit on the counter for 5-10minutes.
  • Sieve wheat flour, powdered oats in a mixing bowl, add in salt, oil mix well to form crumbs.
  • Then add in yeast mixture and hot water little at a time to form a dough.
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes and then transfer into a greased bowl, cover and let it rest until doubles.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 200° C, grease the pizza tray and keep aside.
  • Once the dough doubles, transfer to the floured surface and roll it out to a circle.
  • Place a cup on its middle to separate it from the petals.
  • Brush some olive oil on the remaining part of the dough apart from bowl surface and spread some pizza sauce .
  • Using a sharp knife cut it in equal portions (divide in quarters and then each quarter in four pieces)
  • Twist two times each petal
  • Uncover the middle portion and Brush with olive oil and spread sauce.
Flower pizza steps

Flower pizza steps

  • Bake for 14-15minutes. Then pull the bread out from the oven spread some cheese, top it with olives and cherry tomatoes at the centre circle and place back the tray into the oven and bake for 4-5minutes more/until the cheese melts.

Serve with sauce.

Note:

  1. Topping can be personalised as per the choice.
  2. Plain flour can be used in place of wheat and oats

Pizza with cheese, bell pepper & bacon

Pizza, originally an Italian delicacy, earned the reputation of a true global food over the years. Perhaps there is no place on earth where you can’t find a pizzeria. Being a pizza fan like millions other, I always used to have the fresh baked pizza from pizzeria and never really thought to try my hands into it. But after going through few videos in youtube I made my mind to give it a try at my own kitchen. After a couple of trials things became clear on how to make a perfect pizza dough. Pizza dough is the most important thing to make a good pizza; toppings can be anything of your choice. For this present pizza recipe, I used grated mozzarella cheese, bacons and bell peppers for topping. However, you can make it completely vegetarian using mozzarella slices, tomato, olive, mushrooms or spinach as topping. I can honestly assure you that if you have time and a bit of patience, making Pizza at home is not at all a tough job.

Pizza with cheese, bell pepper & bacon

Pizza with cheese, bell pepper & bacon

Ingredients to serve 2 :

  1. Pizza base – 2 (recipe under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
  2. Pizza sauce (recipe under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
  3. Bacon (chopped) – 150 gm.
  4. Bell pepper (sliced) – ¼
  5. Grated mozzarella cheese – 150 gm.
  6. Salt and crushed black pepper for seasoning
  7. Oilve oil – 2 tbspoon

Procedure :

Place the pizza bases on a lightly oiled baking sheet/aluminum foil and push up the edges with your fingers to form a small rim.

Pour 2-3 tbspoon pizza sauce at the center of each base and spread it throughout leaving a ½” edge.

Now spread generous amount of grated cheese over it and arrange the bacon and bell pepper slices.

Season to taste with salt and crushed black pepper and drizzle with 1 tbspoon of olive oil.

Pizza is ready to go into the oven

Pizza is ready to go into the oven

Bake in a preheated oven, 230ºC/450ºF, for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is crisp.

Pizza is ready to be served

Pizza is ready to be served

Serve immediately.

Croissant

After coming to Europe, I get amazed seeing varieties of breads and pastries, heaped up on one another in the lovely cane baskets, coloured from light yellow to dark brown, smell of freshly melt butter whenever passing by bakeries. My favourite among them is “Crossaint”, a french delicacy, made of dough layered with butter, rolled and folded several times to result in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry. For us, nothing can compete with croissant in breakfast, with a sip of coffee.

Although having such a soft corner for croissant, it never came into my wildest imagination to give it a try in my own kitchen. However, one day going through the recipe and gathering every bit of courage, I baked croissant, although I was not entirely happy at the end. The picture showed below is the result of my second attempt which fared pretty well. Now I am more confident than ever and wish to share the recipe with you. The process is indeed lengthy, but the good thing is that you can finish some other jobs at the requisite intervals of it. If you follow the recipe minutely, I am sure you will get a very good end result, pretty close in taste to bakery made croissants, even if the shape is not exactly the same.

Delicious chocolate & butter croissant

Delicious chocolate & butter croissant

Ingredients for 6 croissant :

  1. All purpose flour – 250 gm.
  2. Caster sugar – 20 gm.
  3. Salt – 1 teaspoon
  4. Easy-blend dried yeast – 1 teaspoon
  5. Full fat milk – 150 ml. + 1 tbspoon
  6. Unsalted butter – 150 gm. + 3 tbspoon
  7. Egg – 1
Ingredients

Ingredients

Procedure :

  1. Heat 150 ml. milk until just warm to touch, dissolve the yeast into it. Mix flour, sugar, salt and3 tbspoon of butter in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the milk. Mix to a soft dough, adding more milk if too dry. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for 5 – 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Let it rise in a large, greased bowl, covered, in a warm place until doubled in size (It will take approx. 2 hours).
    Croissant dough

    Croissant dough

    Dough has become double in size

    Dough turns into double in size

  2. Take out the dough from the bowl on a floured surface. Give it a rectangular shape either by rolling with a rolling pin or pressing by hand. There is no specific size for this rectangle. That’s why just give the dough that shape and then with the short end of the dough towards you, fold the top third down towards the centre, then fold the bottom third up and squeeze the edges together. Wrap it witha clingfilm and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours. 6 hours is a long time, so I have made the dough in the evening and then refrigerate it overnight.

    Fold the dough like this and refrigerate for min. 6 hrs.

    Fold the dough like this and refrigerate for min. 6 hrs.

  3. Cut 150 gm. butter in small pieces and place them on a greaseproof paper.
    Small butter pieces on baking sheet

    Small butter pieces on baking sheet

    Cover the butter pieces with another sheet of greaseproof paper and flatten it out with a rolling-pin in a 6×5 inch (15×12 cm.) and ¼ inch/5 mm. thick rectangle. Wrap with the greaseproof paper and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

    5x6 inch butter slab

    6×5 inch butter slab

  4. Now take out both the chilled dough and butter slab from the refrigerator. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a 11×7 inch (approx 28×17 cm.) rectangle. Sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough, if needed, while rolling. Now remove the extra flour from the top of the dough by a pastry brush and place the softened butter slab on one half of the rectangular dough and fold in the other half, squeeze the edges together gently. Here you should remember that the butter and the dough should have the same consistency i.e. the butter should not be a chilled one.

    Butter slab placed on one half of the rectangular dough

    Butter slab placed on one half of the rectangular dough

  5. Now rotate the dough so that the fold is to your left and the top flap towards your right, press gently with the rolling-pin and roll from the center out until you have a rectangle 12 inch long by 7 inch wide (approx. 30×18 cm.).
    12x8 inch dough stuffed with butter

    12×7 inch dough stuffed with butter

    Now again remove the extra flour with the pastry brush and fold it in the previous manner i.e. with the short end of the dough towards you, fold the top third down towards the centre, then fold the bottom third up.

    Folding pattern

    Folding pattern

    Now again wrap the dough with clingfilm and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

  6. Repeat “step 5” two more times.
  7. Beat the egg with 1 tbspoon of milk to make the glaze for the croissant.
  8. Now cut the dough into two halves. As you cut it down you can see the nice and beautiful layers of butter and flour into it.

    Beautiful layers of flour & butter

    Beautiful layers of flour & butter

  9. Now roll out one half into a 12×7 inch (approx. 30×18 cm.) rectangle, ¼ inch (5 mm.) thick, keeping the other half into the refrigerator..
  10. Now trim out the edges and cut the rectangle into 6 inches (approx. 15 cm.) base and 7 inches (approx. 18 cm.) long triangles.

    Croissant triangles

    Croissant triangles

  11. Brush off the excess flour and roll the triangles into croissant shapes, starting at the base and tucking under the point.

    Rolling out the triangles into croissant shape

    Rolling out the triangles into croissant shape

  12. Follow the steps 9, 10 and 11 for the remaining half of the dough.
  13. You can also stuff the croissant with chocolates, cheese, ham etc. I had few chocolate chips in my stock which I have used to stuff 5 of my croissants. You can also use sliced chocolate instead of chocolate chips.

    Stuffing the croissant with chocolate chips

    Stuffing the croissant with chocolate chips

  14. Now place the croissants on ungreased baking sheets and brush with egg glaze. Leave enough space between the croissants so that they can rise properly. I didn’t discard the remaining portion of the dough after getting 6 croissant triangles. I made 4 small croissants with them, though they are not proper in shape still perfect in taste. So, I got actually 10 croissants. :). If you wish you can also do that.

    Croissants, ready for egg wash

    Croissants, ready for egg wash

  15. Now leave them at room temperature and let them double in size (again it will take approx. 1 – 1.5 hour).
  16. Preheat your oven at 180°C and bake them for 15 – 20 minutes until golden.

    Delicious butter croissant, just baked

    Delicious butter croissant, just baked

My tinny croissants also come out great and super delicious. So, never ever do the mistake of discarding them. 🙂

Tinny croissants

Tinny croissants

My beautiful chocolate croissant  🙂

Chocolate croissants

Chocolate croissants

Yeeeeeeee, now I am ready with my breakfast for coming 2 days. 🙂 Here you can see 7 out of 10 croissants. It is unworthy to say that we have already ate 3 of them. 😉

Butter & Chocolate croissants, breakfast for me coming two days

Butter & Chocolate croissants, breakfast for my coming two days 🙂

 Note :

  1. Since my oven is just a OTG oven which is much smaller than the modular ones, 180°C is the correct temperature for me. If you have a big one then set it at 200°C.
  2. I have used all-purpose flour but the recipe best goes with white bread flour which has more gluten content.
  3. Do not spare much time in rolling process as the butter will become soft and creates a problem for you to roll the dough. If the butter feels soft during rolling, wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator.
  4. Sprinkle flour on the dough whenever you needed during rolling out, but remember each time to remove the extra flour by a pastry brush. It is important to get a soft croissant.