Monday, March 14, 2011

Swedish Cardamom Breakfast Bread

This bread is the Frankenstein's Monster of breads. It's a weird, delicious combination of a raised bread, a cinnamon roll and a croissant with an European filling thrown in for good measure. It contains a full pound of butter, so even if you fudge it a bit, you know it will still be incredible. The directions may seem complicated at first, but if you read through them well, and stay organized, it's actually pretty easy.

2 eggs
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup water- 115 degrees
4 cups a.p. flour
1 tsp salt
10 crushed cardamom seeds
2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup plus 1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup blanched, sliced almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk
In one small bowl beat eggs; in another mix yeast and water. Chill yeast in refrigerator 5 minutes then mix with eggs. In a large bowl mix flour, salt, cardamom and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup butter, then mix in yeast and egg mixture. Bring together to form a ball and knead for 2 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Roll dough out into a large rectangle. Smear on 1 cup butter.

Fold dough into thirds, flip and roll out to a rectangle. Repeat this 3 more times, ending with a dough folded in thirds. Cover and chill for 2 more hours. Meanwhile, mix on high 1/2 cup butter, confectioner's sugar, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla extract to make filling. Roll dough out to a rectangle and spread filling over center portion of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll up dough, lay out on a greased pan in a ring.

Beat egg yolk with milk. Use scissors to cut segments, brush with egg and milk mix, sprinkle with sugar and bake 25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lip Smackin' Strawberry Jam

Sometimes you just want an unadulterated classic. Last year I was so excited to be making something new that I got a bit carried away with my flavor combinations. This year I'm concentrating on quality: great flavor, color, and the proper "set". I want a jam that's done the right way, a jam that you would expect to come home from the fair with a blue ribbon. This is that jam.

6 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings
3 pints strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Cups sugar
2 packages powdered pectin

Wash jars and store in a 200 degree oven. Hull and quarter strawberries. Cook strawberries on medium heat until they soften and begin to release water. Use a potato masher to mash strawberries in the pot. Add vanilla and sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add pectin 1/2 box at a time until is properly set. Ladle into jars, wipe rims and attach lids and rings. Process 10 minutes.