These celebration pastries are achievable by cooks at any level, and easy for experienced bakers. The basis is a white dough, enriched with sugar, eggs and butter. This is then smeared with more butter, and topped with a sugar and cinnamon mix, then rolled and cut. Not for dieters, obviously.
If you don't want to go to the trouble of making the rolls, then use the enriched dough as it is to make brioche.
If you're an incorrigible tinkerer with recipes, you could enrich your own favourite dough. It's what I did.
This is enough to fill one pan (mine's approx 30x25 cm). Or you could make it in 2 medium foil dishes so that you could freeze half for another day. Don't be tempted to use the small size, because it doesn't work (I used the not-very-good result to make a delicious bread-and-no-need-for-butter pudding*).
It sounds like a lot of trouble, but the work, such as it is, breaks down into three distinct parts, each of which takes only a few minutes. This is good make-ahead celebration food, whether you use the fridge or the freezer.
5g instant yeast (or a sachet)
450g strong white bread flour
good pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
125g melted butter, cooled
I mix this in my bread machine, but it works just as well if you stir everything together in a bowl and knead/stretch til smooth.
Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the cooled butter. Break the eggs into a measuring jug, and make up the volume with warm water to 100ml. Add to the bowl. Once the dough is smooth, leave it to double. (This will take about an hour in a warm room. Or you could put the dough into the fridge overnight and take it out for two hours in the morning.)
30g melted butter
70g muscovado sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Glaze: 250g icing sugar mixed with 5-6 tbsp water (sieve the sugar, or you'll end up with little lumps, like those pictured)
On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle 30x45cm. Smear on the melted butter, then add the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Use your fingers to get this mess right to the edges - it's just like playing mud pies, so this is a good place to get young children involved.
When the dough is completely covered, roll it up along the long edge. Then cut the rolls and arrange in your tin/s. Leave in a warm place while you heat up the oven, to 190C.
Bake for 25 minutes, but start checking after 20. As soon as you get them out of the oven, pour on the glaze, making sure you cover them well.
Mmmm ... these are Lettice's new favourite breakfast-on-the-move when she's up and out of the house early. Better than a bought croissant, any day. Cheaper, too.
*PS bread-and-no-need-for-butter pudding: slice brioche into a buttered dish, pour on a custard mix made with 3/4 pint of milk and two eggs, a little sugar (you'd need more if this was for plain bread), and a drop of vanilla essence. Leave this to soak for half an hour or more, then cook in a low oven for about an hour. Cover with greaseproof paper if it looks like burning.
This time last year: we were at Eleanor's graduation ceremony and making parsnip puree. In 2006 I was making a spicy squid stew with chorizo - easy and memorable.
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