Tag Archives: Yeast Breads

Pretzel Bagels with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Cheese #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! Eight amazing sponsors are helping us host a GIVEAWAY of some incredible prizes for multiple winners. CLICK HERE to enter!

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One of our great sponsors for the week is Red Star Yeast – they generously sent us all a huge packet of their instant yeast for some baking experimentation. I made three recipes with it in the spirit of oh-I-have-to-test-a-bunch-of-yummy-yeasted-goods-nudge-nudge-wink-wink. I successfully made yeasted doughnuts, coffee flavored cinnamon rolls, and of course, these bagels that won out for a space at Brunch Week.

Pretzel Bagels with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Cheese

Pretzel Bagels with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Cheese

A couple months ago, I decided to be one of those nutso home cooks that uses real lye. In my defense, my husband is a professional scientist who has worked with tons of hazardous chemicals in his career, so I felt okay with him supervising. And I suppose it worked, as no one was harmed in the making of these bagels! They may look a bit rustic, but they are incredible and taste just as advertised – like the love-child of a bagel and a soft pretzel.

Pretzel Bagels with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Cheese

Now we all know that a good bagel needs a good cream cheese spread, and I wanted something savory, and unique. This is Brunch Week, after all. Roasted jalapenos and cilantro mixed with softened cream cheese did the trick beautifully! The spicy-creamy concoction meshed very well with the saltiness of the pretzel bagels – and yet the cream cheese spread is delicious in and of itself too; I think it would be wonderful with plain bagels.

Pretzel Bagels with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Cheese

Give these a try, and yes, you can use baking soda if you’d rather. 🙂 Enjoy!

Sources: Bagels adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion; Cream Cheese Spread from Brunch @ Bobby’s by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:

BAGELS:
1 tbs Red Star instant yeast
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
2 quarts water
2 tsp kitchen-grade lye or baking soda
Coarse pretzel salt
CREAM CHEESE:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbs milk
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 jalapeno chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
For the BAGELS: combine the yeast, bread flour, kosher salt, sugar, and 1 ½ cups lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine, then knead by hand for 10-15 minutes. Place the bowl in a lightly greased bowl and set it aside to rise until noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Transfer the dough to a work surface the divide into 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up some.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath. Pour 2 quarts water into a large stainless steel stockpot. Bring to a boil, THEN add the lye while wearing disposable latex gloves (if you’re using baking soda it doesn’t matter as much when you add it, nor is it important to use stainless steel. Or gloves). The lye will bubble up and look rather menacing for a minute, but it is okay.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
Working one at a time, use your index finger to poke a nice hole through the center of each ball of dough, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole to about 2 inches in diameter. Transfer the bagels to the boiling water bath. You’ll likely have to do this in batches – I fit two at a time in there. Cook the bagels 2 minutes, flip, and cook 1 minute more. Using a stainless steel skimmer or strainer, carefully lift the bagels out and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels. Liberally sprinkle the tops of each bagel with the coarse salt.
Now bake the bagels in the oven 20 to 25 minutes. You can flip them after 15 minutes of baking to help keep their shape better, but since I used the lye, I was a little afraid to do so.
Remove the bagels from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the CREAM CHEESE SPREAD: combine the cream cheese, milk, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth and fluffy. Scrape into a bowl and fold in the jalapenos and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour for best results, then let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving (though I can attest that serving it right away still tastes awesome).
Split the bagels, toast if desired, then spread with the cream cheese and eat!

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Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting #SundaySupper

bacon cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese frosting

Welcome to another Sunday Supper! We have a birthday theme this week, because the Sunday Supper Movement turns 2 years old today!! Indeed, a celebration is in order. Many thanks to Isabel and the other admins who work tirelessly to keep this community strong.

making cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls, second rise

Since I firmly believe that everyone deserves breakfast in bed on their birthday, and a decadent one at that, cinnamon rolls seemed like the order of the day. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s just go ahead and make them bacon cinnamon rolls. And then, just for good measure, let’s pile a rich and delicious cream cheese frosting on top. These rolls handily go into my Top 5 Best Cinnamon Rolls I’ve Ever Tasted In My Entire Life. Words fail me to describe how insanely delicious they were.

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Since we are celebrating the second birthday of Sunday Supper, we were to write about our favorite Sunday Supper moment. I’ve only been here since last summer, but I have enjoyed every minute of it. So picking a favorite is tough; but I suppose it would be our Being Thankful week. I shared a very special family recipe and delved into why my blog is named what it is. I loved writing that out, and I’m very pleased to have those thoughts recorded in (at least somewhat, hopefully) articulate fashion.

bacon cinnamon rolls

I also wanted to honor the Sunday Supper movement on its birthday by making and photographing a past Sunday Supper recipe contributed by one of the other members; so I looked through past #SS recipes I’ve pinned and chose this one since it fit the theme of a decadent breakfast. (Did it ever!) I hope you all enjoy Sunday Supper as much as I do! It’s quite a special community that I’m extremely honored to be a part of. Here’s to many more…

Bacon cinnamon roll with maple cream cheese frosting

Source: slightly adapted from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

Ingredients:
DOUGH:
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 package instant yeast
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup sugar
4 ½ cups bread flour

FILLING:
5 thick cut slices of bacon, chopped
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbs ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

FROSTING:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbs pure maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
To make the DOUGH: pour the milk and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs, melted butter, salt, and sugar. Turn the mixer on low to medium-low and mix until just combined. With the mixer on low, add the flour a bit at a time. When all the flour is added and mostly combined, turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Set the mixer on medium-low (I think it’s the number 2 or 3 setting on the standard Kitchen Aid mixers) and beat the dough for 8-10 minutes. When done, turn off the mixer and grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Briefly knead the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl. Cover it loosely with a clean kitchen towel or some plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for 60 to 90 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
While the dough is doing its first rise, make the FILLING. Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and it is nice and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour the fat into a heat-proof bowl or glass and let cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, mix the softened butter and 1 tbs bacon fat together. Set aside, making sure to keep it at room temperature.
Place the risen dough on a floured surface and flour your rolling pin. Roll out into a large rectangle, making sure you don’t roll it too thin or it will tear on you later. Once you have your rectangle, liberally spread the softened butter/bacon fat mixture all over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top the butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon over the sugar. Sprinkle ¾ of the crisped bacon pieces on top of the sugar.
Carefully roll the dough up the long way and pinch the seams together. With a sharp knife, trim the ends off, then cut the log into 12 individual rolls.
Grease a 9×13” baking pan and place the rolls in, evenly spaced apart. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise for a second time, about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Bake the rolls until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.
While the rolls are baking, make the FROSTING. Using either a hand mixer or a clean paddle attachment and clean bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, mixing on low speed until it is all incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
Remove the rolls from the oven and, while they are still warm, slather them liberally with the frosting – use it all! Sprinkle the reserved bacon pieces on top and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Apple Pie Bagels

Apple Pie Bagels

Three things I know to be true.

1)      I got thisclose to stepping on a rather large slug this morning. Shudder…
2)      Amazon Prime is a *very* dangerous thing. Beautiful, yes, but oh so dangerous.
3)      Bagels are way easier to make at home than you’d think.

apple pie bagels, after second rise

I should admit that these took two tries to get perfect, but I think two tries isn’t bad for a total homemade bagel rookie, which I was a week ago.

apple pie bagels

And you guys, these are outstanding. Seriously some of the best bagels I’ve ever eaten. The flavor was bar none, the texture was perfection, and I could go on and on. Whether you’re a bagel pro or a bagel novice, you need to make these soon. No one doesn’t deserve this deliciousness in their life.

crumble topping

So now let’s learn from Julie’s mistakes! First, I found that I needed to add all of the flour called for. I stopped shy by about half a cup the first time, and the dough was insanely sticky after first rise. Like, so sticky I couldn’t even work with it until I kneaded in quite a bit more flour. The second time around, I used all the flour called for and didn’t have any problems.

apple pie bagels

Now let’s talk shaping bagels. It’s actually really easy, though somewhat counter-intuitive. You want to form them into a ball; think of it like a large meatball. Then you use your thumb to poke a hole in the center. Use both thumbs to widen the hole a little. Do not shape your bagels into patty-type shapes before poking the hole, even if that seems more natural. If you do, they will look so funky and ugly after second rise.

apple pie bagel

And thirdly, the crumble topping here is just genius, but when you’re mixing it together, leave it a bit crummy. If you work it until it completely comes together, it clumps onto the tops of the bagels and you don’t get uniform-tasting bites. Not to mention it looks really, really weird.

Apple Pie Bagels

And now you know, so go forth and enjoy homemade, seasonal bagels! They are awesome!!

Apple Pie Bagels

{One year ago: Proper Texas Nachos}

Source: slightly adapted from Bakeaholic Mama

Ingredients:
BAGELS:
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup butter
5-6 cups King Arthur Bread Flour (AP works well too)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tbs ground cinnamon
1/4 tbs ground nutmeg
2 1/2 tsp (1 packet) instant dry yeast
1 cup peeled and diced apples (1 medium apple)

TOPPING:
1 egg white, beaten until smooth and no longer “gloppy”
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
On your stove top, warm the cider and butter just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, add one cup flour, sugar, cider mixture, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, apples and yeast. Using the dough hook, mix on medium speed until it is combined. Keeping the mixer on medium, mix in the remaining flour a 1/2 cup at a time until the dough comes together and is just barely sticky.
Turn mixer to high and “knead” the dough for about 4-6 minutes or until the dough is elastic. If the dough seems too wet while mixing slowly add 1 tbs of flour at a time while mixing.
Turn dough out into a large bowl greased with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down with your fist, and separate into 12 equal sized pieces. Place on a lightly floured surface. Shape the bagels by forming a ball and poking a hole in the center with your thumb. Use two thumbs to widen the hole a little until they are the size you want.
Once bagels are shaped, allow to rise for another 10-30 minutes on your floured surface, covered with a clean and slightly damp kitchen towel.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Preheat your oven to 420 F.
While you are waiting on the water, make the topping. To prepare the topping, add all of the ingredients into a small bowl and use a fork to mix until it is crumbly but not completely combined.
When the water comes to a boil, drop 3 bagels in at a time and boil for about 30 seconds per side. Remove with a spider or large slotted spoon.
After boiling, place bagels onto a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Brush with your egg white and sprinkle with your topping. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they bagels are golden brown and cooked through.

Naan Bread

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I did NOT grow up eating Indian food, to say the least. In fact, I don’t think I could have named a traditional or popular Indian dish if a gun was held to my head. I was aware of the country India, and yes, I assumed they had food of course, but that’s about all the thought I gave to the issue. What can I say, Indian food just wasn’t a thing in Dallas suburbs in the ‘80’s.

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Since moving to New York, I have discovered Indian food, and have fallen in love. There’s an Indian take-out place in our neighborhood we frequent, we eat out at Indian restaurants from time to time, and I’ve started cooking it at home. And though I didn’t know naan bread from a hole in the wall growing up, now I simply cannot eat Indian food without it. It’s become one of my favorite things on earth.

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So when I made these delicious Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks a couple weeks ago, of course naan bread had to accompany them, and I decided to be brave and make it myself. I’m extremely comfortable baking with batters. I grew up occasionally helping my mom make her banana bread, and when I first got into cooking and baking, I definitely gravitated toward easy cakes and quick breads. Yeast breads? That’s another story.

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Those have come into my culinary repertoire much later. With practice I’m definitely feeling more and more like a boss of the yeast these days, but trust me, it didn’t start out that way. Oh, I have some screw-up stories. But this naan bread is not one of them. It turned out looking and tasting authentic and amazing. I was very proud.

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A few recipe notes: I don’t have a tandoor oven. (Shocking, I know.) A grill heated to very high will work just fine, indoor or outdoor. Don’t skip the brushing with butter part, or your naan won’t be as authentic. If you have leftovers, reheat them in the microwave. It sounds counterintuitive, but if you reheat them in the oven or on the grill, they dry out a little. The microwave will give you that soft texture that will be *almost* like fresh off the grill.

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Source: lightly adapted from Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
1 (1/4 oz.) packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs Greek yogurt
1 large egg, beaten
2 tsp kosher salt
4 to 4 ½ cups bread flour (sub in all-purpose if desired), plus more for dusting and kneading
Canola oil
8 tbs unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer for about 10 minutes, until frothy. Add the sugar, yogurt, egg, salt, and 4 cups bread flour. Mix together with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, just until combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 6 to 8 minutes. Put the dough in a well-oiled large bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and set aside to rise for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Gently press down the dough and pinch off the dough into 8 even pieces. Roll those pieces into balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size again, 30 to 60 minutes. (Recipe says 30 minutes, I let mine go closer to 1 hour).
Once the dough is ready, preheat your grill or grill pan to high (for direct grilling, if using an outdoor charcoal grill).
Roll out 1 ball of dough into a thin circle. If using an outdoor grill, lightly oil the grates. If using an indoor grill pan, this step isn’t necessary.
Brush the dough circle on one side with some melted butter. Put the dough on the grill surface buttered side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. While it’s grilling, brush the uncooked side with butter. Flip the bread and cook until browned another 2-3 minutes. Remove the bread from the grill and continue until all the naans have been grilled. Serve immediately for best results.

Peanut Butter and Rhubarb Jam Sandwiches

PB&J

Last night I had a version of my recurring nightmare. My recurring nightmare, which I have every couple of months or so, is that I’m back in law school (and that right there is quite enough to qualify it as a nightmare, trust me); so anyway, I’m back in law school, and exams are imminently approaching, and I realize that I somehow forgot I was in school and that I haven’t been to class all semester. Yet I paid for the semester, so I don’t want to just say screw it and no-show for the exams. So I’m studying like a maniac to test on subjects with which I’m not remotely familiar, and then I wake up as I’m sweating bullets through an exam I’m not at all prepared to take.

making rhubarb jam

Last night was another version of the same thing. I was a contestant on “The Voice” – team Shakira! – and somehow I’d made it to the final show. By the way, this is even funnier if you’ve ever heard me sing. So I was prepared for all the ensemble numbers, but somehow I’d forgotten that I would have to do a solo, and I hadn’t prepped a song for it. I figured I’d have to wing it, but I was terrified because I didn’t even know the words to the song I’d been assigned. So I sang it onstage in front of a huge audience, and did the whole elementary school choir “watermelon” trick on the parts I didn’t know. Except that doesn’t exactly work on a solo… I awoke as Matt was trying to find a diplomatic way of telling me that it had really sucked.

white bread dough

I don’t know what’s going on with my subconscious. Sometimes it’s just better not to ask why. Did I mention that Rachael Ray was one of my competitors on Team Shakira? Yeah, I don’t want to know…

white sandwich bread from scratch

sliced white sandwich bread

Like with this sandwich. I’d just as soon you didn’t ask why I felt compelled to take the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, one of the quickest and simplest sandwiches to make ever, and turn it into the single most complicated sandwich I’ve ever made in my life by making the whole thing from scratch. Because honestly, I don’t know, and finding out might be rather frightening. So I figure, best to just leave it be and enjoy the sandwich!

peanuts

homemade peanut butter

This was the typical PB&J, with only the three ingredients, but for whatever reason I insisted upon making all three elements myself, from scratch. I have to say, it was the best PB&J I’ve ever tasted; it’s amazing how much extra sugar and salt is added to store-bought peanut butter! I’ll definitely keep making my own nut butters.

peanut butter spread on bread

homemade rhubarb jam

And I suppose I’m glad I did this at least once. Enjoy this recipe, whether you decide to make all of it, none of it, or any one part of it!

Peanut Butter and Rhubarb Jam Sandwich

WHITE SANDWICH BREAD:

Source: adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila

Ingredients:
1 cup plus 2 tbs lukewarm water
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 generous tbs kosher salt
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
Cooking spray

Directions:
In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Let it proof for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the flour, salt, melted butter, and milk powder to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Once the yeast has proofed, add the mixture to the stand mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on medium-low and let the dough hook knead the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough becomes soft, pliable and smooth. If it’s too wet, add a tablespoon or so of flour, and if it is dry enough that it’s taxing the mixer, add a tablespoon or so of room temperature water.
When done kneading, cover the bowl with a clean, damp dish towel and let it rise for 1 hour, until about doubled in size.
Spread a thin film of oil or cooking spray on your rolling surface (counter or cutting board). Grease a standard loaf pan and set aside.
Transfer the dough to the counter and roll it into a 5×8-inch rectangle. Starting with the narrow end, roll it into a log and pinch the seam closed. Make sure the ends are tucked in nicely and evenly. Transfer the log to the prepared loaf pan. Lightly grease a sheet of plastic wrap, lay it over the dough and let it rise until it is 1 inch above the rim of the pan. This can take up to two hours, possibly longer. I got impatient and probably should have let mine rise more. Oops.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the pan halfway through baking. It is done when the top is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped. Turn over the pan to release the loaf immediately and let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

PEANUT BUTTER:

Source: adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila

Ingredients:
1 lb. shelled raw peanuts, preferably not organic*
½ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
2 tsp honey, or more to taste
4 tbs canola oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Roast 10 to 15 minutes, or just until they begin to brown. You’ll smell them. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
Place the peanuts, salt, and honey in a food processor. Blend for 20 seconds. With the motor still running, drizzle in the oil through the chute, and process for another 30 seconds. Stop the motor and check for seasoning. Add more salt and/or honey, then process for another minute or so to reach your desired consistency.
*Matt was reading the other day that organic peanuts have a fungus that naturally grows on them that can be harmful if consumed too often or in too high a dose. Best to be safer and buy non-organic, since those peanuts will be treated with an anti-fungicide.

RHUBARB JAM:

Source: ‘wichCraft by Tom Colicchio

Ingredients:
4 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups plus 1 tsp sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp powdered fruit pectin

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, and lemon juice. Refrigerate overnight in a tightly covered container. The next day, in a small saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the pectin and remaining teaspoon of sugar. Temper it by adding small amounts of the hot rhubarb mixture and quickly stirring it. Add it to the rest of the rhubarb and return the saucepan to the heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and place into a clean container with a lid. Once it has cooled down, close the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
This makes probably way more jam than you’ll need for a few sandwiches. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing next week what you should do with the leftovers. And it’s really yummy, so don’t miss it!

Cream Cheese Kolaches #BakeforWest

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I went to school at Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, which is almost exactly dead center between Dallas and Austin. About thirty minutes north of Waco is a really cool little town called West. You used to have to explain the concept to people. No it’s not west Texas, it’s West comma Texas. It’s the name of the town, see? For very unfortunate and tragic reasons, this concept will not have to be explained again for a very long time. Now everyone in the US knows exactly where West is.

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Of course I’m referring to the fertilizer plant explosion that recently occurred there, causing so much heartbreak and devastation. If you ever lived in the general vicinity of central Texas, you are very familiar with West. The town was settled by Czech immigrants, and they have made their delicious culinary traditions well known to central Texans. I used to love stopping at some of the little bakeries in West on my way out of town when I lived in Waco.

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That Czech community is perhaps best known for its kolaches (pronounced ko-lah-chays). Kolaches are delicious little pastries (not shoes you wear when it’s raining – MATT!!) that contain either sweet or savory fillings. The sweet varieties typically are either fruit filled or cream cheese filled. The cream cheeses were my favorite.

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Today I’m very honored to be part of #BakeforWest, an initiative by food bloggers with Texas connections to do our small part in helping out in the explosion recovery efforts in West. I am so very saddened by the destruction befallen on such a wonderful little town. I stopped at one of their well-known bakeries, The Czech Stop, often, and I usually ordered a cream cheese kolache. So that’s what I am sharing today. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy. I am also sharing a link that is accepting donations for recovery aid, and I would encourage you to give if you can. I know they could use your help in rebuilding such a wonderful community.

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Other awesome food bloggers involved in #BakeforWest – be sure you check them out:

Juanita’s Cocina
See Aimee Cook
Mooshu Jenne

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Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
PASTRY:
1 packet dry active yeast
1 cup whole milk, warmed
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for kneading
12 tbs unsalted butter, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt
CRUMBLE TOPPING: (also known as Posypka)
2 tbs flour
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
FILLING:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbs flour
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
First, make the pastry. In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Melt 8 tablespoons of butter. Whisk the butter with the eggs and salt. Add eggs to the yeast mixture and combine with a rubber spatula. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups flour, continuously stirring with the spatula. The dough will be soft and moist. Knead the dough with your hands for 10 minutes on a floured surface, adding more flour to your hands and the surface is the dough is getting unduly sticky (which it will, several times). When done kneading, place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 12 even-size pieces. Using your hands, roll the pieces into balls, then flatten into circles 3 inches wide in diameter. Place the circles on a greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise again for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, make the crumble topping and filling. For the CRUMBLE TOPPING, use a fork to mix together the flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Keep mixing until the butter is completely worked into the flour and it resembles wet sand.
For the FILLING, use a handheld electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy. Add the flour, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat again until just combined.
Now assemble and bake the kolaches. After the second rising preheat your oven to 375 F. With your finger, gently make a wide indentation in the center of each circle (being careful not to flatten it too much) and fill with 1 tablespoon of filling. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the filling.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. While baking, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Brush the kolaches with the melted butter as soon as you remove them from the oven. Ideally, serve warm, but they really are still great at room temperature.

Giant Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

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These amazing beauties came from Joy’s cookbook, and yes, they do live up to their name. They are giant. No false advertising here. But they are giant in a right-kind-of-wrong way. I read Joy’s little intro to this recipe before making them, where she admits that whenever she bakes these treats, she eats three of them afterwards. (She doesn’t say what happens to the remaining five rolls).

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“That’s crazy!” I thought. “I could never eat three of these things – they’re so huge!” Well… I thought wrong. Turns out, I can eat three of them! Joy confesses it takes her eight minutes to down all three and it took me twenty-four hours, but still. I found that yes, it’s possible to eat three. It might still be crazy, but make no mistake, it is entirely possible.

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I’ve always been a huge sticky bun/cinnamon roll fan, but I loathe the packaged stuff you can buy in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. It just doesn’t taste fresh. Fortunately, they aren’t difficult to make from scratch – just time-consuming. But, silver lining – most of the time is hands-off because you’re just letting dough rise.

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These are the very classic version of cinnamon rolls, with the twist being in the way you cut them into rolls. That is, you cut them into fewer rolls than you normally would, and they come out well, giant! But still delicious and everything you want a cinnamon roll to be. And sometimes it’s okay to supersize, right? My philosophy is, if you’re going to do something wrong, then do it right. And these definitely fit that bill. It is sort of wrong to make a cinnamon roll, already a decadent treat, even larger than normal. But these taste so supremely awesome that it works. Make them, and see if you can stop yourself from eating three!

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Source: ever so slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
DOUGH:
1 (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tbs packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 3/4 cup more for kneading
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened

FILLING:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
A pinch of ground cloves
3 tbs maple syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

GLAZE:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar. Add 1/4 cup warm water (it should just feel warm to the touch). Stir to combine and let sit until frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes. If the yeast does not foam and froth, it’s dead and you need to start over with new yeast.
Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat with a wire whisk until combined. Fit the bowl onto the mixer along with the dough hook. Add the 2 3/4 cups flour and the salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough just begins to come together. Turn the mixer to medium-high and knead the dough for 4 minutes.
Add the softened butter and continue to knead for another 6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead 1/3 to 1/2 cup flour into the dough by hand. The dough will be just slightly sticky. Set the dough to rest in a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and drape a kitchen towel over the bowl. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
While the dough rises, make the filling.
To make the filling, combine the sugars, walnuts, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl. Stir in the maple syrup and set aside.
When the dough has doubled in size, dump it out of the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Gently knead the dough by hand until it is no longer sticky, adding about 3 tbs of flour if needed. Knead the dough for about 2 minutes. Place a clean kitchen towel over the dough and let it rise on the counter for 5 minutes.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10×20-inch square. Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you. You will roll from the short side of the dough.
Brush the dough with 1/4 cup of the melted butter. You’ll use the rest of the butter after the rolls are baked. Pour all of the filling onto the dough. Spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch border at one of the short edges so the roll can be properly sealed. Lightly press the filling into the dough.
Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch all along the edge to seal. Place dough, seam side down, on a cutting board (if it’s not there already). Cut into 8 equal pieces.
Arrange the slices, cut side up, in a greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Each roll will have a few inches of space on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 2 hours. You can also refrigerate the rolls overnight. Just be sure to bring them to room temperature before baking the next morning.
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup melted butter just after the rolls come out of the oven.
While the baked rolls are cooling slightly, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls and serve.