Thursday, June 14, 2012
Only 5.5 months until the wedding! I miss blogging and the wonderful community of foodies I've found online, but sadly I have not been able to post very much lately because I've been so busy planning and organizing. I've still been baking, but the photos I've taken of the baked goods have not made it from my camera to my computer nor to this blog yet. Thanks to you all for continuing to follow me despite my erratic posting as of late.
If you know me, you know how much I love baking sweet yeast breads, but these are exactly the kinds of treats that I should be avoiding with only a few months until the wedding and 15 lbs to lose. That's why I'm thrilled that I found this recipe (adapted from Cooks Illustrated). It is 100% whole wheat and a great way to enjoy cinnamon buns with a little less guilt. There is not a trace of all purpose flour and yet they are surprisingly light, fluffy and moist. The honey in the dough gives the bread a light sweetness that marries perfectly with the cinnamon sugar filling.
I love this shaping method which makes for a lovely flower-like presentation. The method is very similar to cinnamon buns except that instead of cutting it into individual slices, you curve the log into a circle and join the ends. Then you make cuts every inch or so along the ring, cutting only three quarters of the way through, so they are still joined along the inner ring. It's even easier than traditional cinnamon buns, and so much prettier!
100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Ring
adapted from Cooks Illustrated | Serves 16
1 1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp milk
1. Put the butter, honey and milk in a bowl and heat it for about 1 minute in microwave or until lukewarm. Add the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes or until slightly foamy. Add the beaten egg to the yeast mixture.
2. Mix 3 cups flour and the salt in a large bowl then add the yeast mixture to the flour. Using a rubber spatula, mix until everything is combined and comes together into a ball. You may have to adjust the flour or add some water -- the dough should be tacky, but not sticky. Use as little flour as possible so your dough is not tough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Put in a well oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for approx 1 1/2 hours (until almost doubled in size).
4. After dough has risen, gently punch it down then roll out into a large rectangle approximately 1/2" thick. Spread with softened butter then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and nuts. Roll up into a log lengthwise. Holding both ends of the log, curve the log into a circle then pinch the ends together to seal. Place the ring on a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, make slices around the outer edge of the ring approximately 1" apart but do not cut all the way through the ring (the slices should all still be joined). Turn each slice slightly to the side so the slices are fanned out evenly.
5. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for about an hour. Bake at 350ºF for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
6. Glaze: Combine the glaze ingredients until smooth and to the desired consistency. Drizzle over the cinnamon ring.