THE NIGHT BEFORE I sit and contemplate how to make my sweet rolls. This is the night before:
17andbaking.com is sponsoring the monthly Sugar High Fridays for the month of August 2010 - this will be the first time I participate in this monthly Sugar High baking challenge. The challenge is to use browned butter in the recipe. I had many ideas for different types of browned butter sweet rolls but in the end I've decided on a combination of saffron and succade to pair with the browned butter.
I find this combination to be experimental on my part. I haven't cooked with browned butter much nor with saffron and succade. After a brief search online I have found that this combination will probably pair well together. I found on allrecipes.com a saffron bread recipe - which I will adapt for my sweet rolls... and then from there I will use the succade in my filling and end with a more simple glaze.
Browned butter is nothing more than butter melted in the sauce pan until it turns light brown and gives off a nutty aroma. See Simply Recipe instructions here. There is butter all over a sweet roll recipe - in the dough, the filling and the glaze... so I'm going to use it in all three places. Cooking with saffron is also interesting. according to eHow - I need to cook with the threads and seep it in broth or water. I'm thinking I can just add it to the browned butter right away because that will be warm and the flavor from saffron absorbs when heated. See here. I hope this works. Now I hope I can get away with using as little saffron as possible because it is the worlds most expensive cooking herb that I know of... and they only really sell it in tiny small glass tubes. The recipe for saffron bread above asks for 2 teaspoons and I'm not sure how packed those teaspoons are. I shall see how little I can cook with and still get some flavor from it.
What is succade? I found it in the baking section at my local grocery store. In Dutch it is sukade - or cedar apple rind... after a brief search on wikipedia I have found that it belongs to the citrus family. In English it's called citron - not to be confused with the lemon. It is used in Dutch desserts such as oliebollen and cakes. So putting it in a sweet roll is right on track.
THE DAY OF BAKING, here is what I've done - it's always a day of learning - lots of learning...
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5-6 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
*1/2 teaspoon saffron threads for me is .10 grams of saffron - it is sold in tiny hard plastic tubes at .05 grams each. I used two of these for the dough - and just a pinch more for the filling/glaze combination below.
Browned Butter and Succade Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons browned butter with saffron**
100 grams succade
Browned Butter Glaze:
1/3 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or more if needed)
3 tablespoons browned butter with saffron**
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours.
**Prepare browned butter with saffron for use in filling and glaze. To do this melt 1/3 cup (75 grams) butter in sauce pan until it reaches browned butter stage. Remove from heat and add pinch of saffron to liquid nutty butter. Leave for 20 minutes to allow saffron to absorb into warm butter. Then divide this mixture; half for use with filling and half for use with glaze.
During this process - I noticed that I needed quite a bit more flour. That might be because I'm at sea level and it's a bit humid today. So I say use between 5 and 6 cups - which ever is right for you. The smell of the dough - lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon, and saffron - the smell it creates is very aromatic - very perfume like almost. It smells really good and really special. Add to it the browned butter and it is so yummy... and this is just the dough!
The finished product with the combination of browned butter and lemon zest in the glaze... promises to taste perfect... and it does! I love the color of the rolls - a bit darker than usual with the addition of the extra saffron threads, nutmeg and cinnamon. The dough in of itself is super yummy - then add to that the succade, extra sugar and browned butter - while it baked - the butter melted onto the pan like caramel - so the bottom sides of the sweet rolls are super sticky and quite yummy to the taste.
The most important thing I learned today... continue to explore new ingredients. It's creative and inspiring. It's delicious and probably creates new brain cells in my head when I try new things... I read about that somewhere. Browned butter: I will definitely continue to cook with it... I've already seen a nice recipe to use with it next time... Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Browned Butter Parsley - that's on my menu for Sunday night :)
Now, I just need to visit my number one fan/reader - you know who you are - and bring her some rolls to proof!