Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls

For some reason, I only make these about once every two years or so, when I invite a few folks over for a brunch - usually folks with small children who don't get out that much. Remind me to make them more often! 

They look fabulous as part of a brunch buffet - take a look below! And they're easier to make than you'd think. They're also not quite as sweet and sticky as they look. Not to mean they're not good, no no, it's just that they can double as a breakfast roll any day, instead of being relegated to being "weekend only". Yay, right?

Nigella's Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls, from How to Be a Domestic Goddess

600 g. flour
100. g. sugar (I use raw cane)
.5 tsp salt
45 g. yeast.
100 g. butter
4 dl. milk
2 eggs

150 g. soft, butter (unsalted, if you have)
150 g. sugar
1.5 tsk cinnamon
1 egg for brushing
1 baking tin, 33 x 24 cm or thereabouts, lined with baking paper.

Pre-heat your oven to 230 Celsius.
Mix your flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Melt the butter and whisk it with the milk and eggs, before adding to the dry ingredients.
Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic (I had to add a lot of flour during this part). Form the dough to a big ball and let it raise in an oil coated bowl for about 25 minutes. Cover the bowl with cling film.
Take about one third of the raised dough, and roll it out to a rectangle the same size as the bottom of your pan. Now, take the remaining 2/3 of your dough and roll it out to a rectangle of roughly 50 x 25 cm. This is where you mix the filling ingredients well, and spread the mixture out evenly, covering the whole of the dough rectangle. Roll the dough to one long "snake", starting from the long side. Slice 20 pieces, about 2 cm each. Place them cut side up on top of the dough covered bottom of the tin - don't worry about appearances. Brush the beaten egg on top, and let these sit for about 15 minutes, to raise a bit more before baking.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they're all big and fluffy, and smooshed together, just like in the picture. They might be a bit brown on the top - no matter! Let them cook just a tad before serving. Keep away from 7 yr. old boys if you want more than 1 for yourself. I'm speaking from experience.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gluten Free Bread - the best and easiest recipe yet!

My mom visits us twice a year or so, and for the past few years, she's been getting more and more gluten-intolerant. She used to eat clean at home and then splurge a little when she came here - she is a Dane by birth, and loves her some rugbrød, but as she quickly discovered, that sent her health for a whirl so...clean it is, home or not.

She usually schleps a small larder of gluten-free müsli, crackers, and whatnot, but when I tried this recipe myself at some friends', I knew that gluten-free baking was totally doable, so I get to add a little variety to my mom's fare when she's here - yay!

This recipe does require a few different ingredients, but when you have them in your pantry, they should last a few rounds. These rolls, I guess you could call them, are really delicious and filling, crispy on the outside, soft and slightly chewy on the inside. They are quite the health bomb (ok, there's a bit of oil here too, but no refined anything to make up for it!), and they really dress up a breakfast or lunch table. Just look at these beauts!

Gluten Free Bread Rolls

50 g fresh yeast
8 dl lukewarm water
1 tsp raw cane sugar
1 tsp salt
8 tsp psyllium husks
1 dl sunflower oil
2 dl sunflower seeds
2 dl flax seeds
2 dl sesame seeds
2 dl oatmeal or millet
circa 2 dl corn/buckwheat/millet flour (pick one, it doesn't have to be a mix)
circa 3 dl rice flour (I use fullgrain)

-Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and add the oil, sugar, and salt, as you stir.
-Add the other ingredients one by one, stirring all the while. It looks a lot like porridge. The psyllium husks do absorb a lot of the water, so only add enough of the rice flour to keep it porridgy, not too solid. 
-Let the mixture (calling it dough proper would be a bit much) raise for about 30 minutes, preferably in a warm spot.-"Spoon" the mixture onto a baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes at 200 Celsius. 
Enjoy warm, with buttah!

You can easily replace one of the seed types if you don't have any on hand - I used pumpkin seeds once, in lieu of the sesame, and I added chia seeds instead of flaxseed. This recipe is really versatile that way. I even used chickpea flour when I was a little low on corn flour - tasted just as great. An added bonus was using these rolls for some gluten-free French toast for my mom, so she didn't have to miss out. Just slice these up thinly, and dip in egg as per usual. Really good, and filling!