Friday, 13 August 2010

Sugar High Fridays - Browned Butter, Saffron and Succade Sweet Rolls

THE NIGHT BEFORE I sit and contemplate how to make my sweet rolls. This is the night before: 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 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...

Browned Butter and Saffron Dough:
(Adpated from English Saffron Bread by GODGIFU at
1/2 teaspoon (loosely packed) saffron threads*
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter, browned
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup white sugar (or raw sugar)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
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**
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

In a small bowl, soak the saffron in the hot water, about 20 minutes, let cool until lukewarm, drain and reserve the liquid. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat; add browned butter, sugar and stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk mixture with the reserved saffron water and egg. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest, strained saffron threads and 3 cups of the flour; mix well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

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.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out about 1-2 centimeters thick into a large rectangular shape and evenly drizzle 3 tablespoons browned butter with saffron** over. Spread all over with fingers to cover the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and succade. Roll up jelly roll style and cut into 12-14 equal rolls about 1 inch thick. Place on prepared baking sheets and let rise a second time, about 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Bake at 175 degrees-C for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare Browned Butter Glaze. Combine in small bowl, remaining browned butter with saffron** and powdered sugar. Stir until reaching glaze-like consistency. Add lemon zest. Remove baked rolls from oven and drizzle with Browned Butter Glaze.

Final Thoughts:
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!


Thanks for posting a comment - Greetings from Melissa - the Sweet Roll blogger :)