Friday, September 6, 2013

Walnut-Cinnamon Buns

I'm just sickly methodical person. Let me illustrate:

Since my daughter is in third grade this year and there is no afternoon programme in school few weeks ago I started to prepare for cooking in the morning, before work, to leave her with freshly cooked lunch. Last year she had lunch in school so I only cooked dinner after I got home and I didn't worry much about what kind of food I cook in terms of practicality and re-heating because I was there to help her with serving and it was freshly cooked but now I have to leave her with a lunch that would look and taste well in four hours time and one that she can easily serve and eat without assistance.*

Yesterday she told me a little story.

She likes to have mid-morning snack and I usually make her a small sandwich to take to school. Yesterday T (my daughter) said that her friend also had sandwich during break and that she asked her, while they were munching on their sandwiches, what will she be having as her "nice lunch".

Friend responded that she will have another sandwich.

"What do you mean, "another sandwich"?! I asked." T told in her story:"My mum left a nice lunch for me to have when I return from school, before doing my homework." 

I have no idea where she got this "nice lunch" expression as it certainly wasn't from me but it felt like a ginormous compliment. Especially after just one week of me cooking her school lunches "for realzies".

It felt so great a compliment I decided to bake a fun cake for breakfast and snacks. It took just a few moments to come up with this adjustment of Chelsea Buns recipe I found in The Ultimate Book of Diabetic Cooking (bought this for ideas for entertaining friends and family members with diabetes).

Walnut-Cinnamon Buns

300 grams flour (150 g graham + 150 g plain)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried (instant) yeast
180 ml warm milk
30 g butter 
1 egg

Measure and assemble all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Warm up milk with butter so it is hand-hot and butter nearly melts.  Pour milk and butter into dry ingredients and stir it with a fork, check the temperature and mix in the egg and then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 or so minutes until it forms soft, elastic dough that doesn't stick to surface or your fingers. You can flour surface or your hands additionally but bear in mind that the dough should stay quite soft and that graham flour will use more moisture from the dough than regular flour would while rising.

When you're done kneading roll the dough on lightly floured surface to about 1 cm thickness.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 -5 tbsp ground walnuts
2 tbsp sugar (or mixture 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp vanilla sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon

Brush dough with olive oil, sprinkle ground walnuts, sugar and cinamon over, leaving 2 cm empty border on one edge. Starting with covered edge, roll the dough to finish at empty edge. Cut the roll into 12 slices and arrange them in lightly oiled tin, cut side up. Leave in a warm spot to rise for an hour, until almost doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 200°C (without fan) or 180°C if you plan to use oven fan and put the tin in  when fully heated. Bake for  approx 15 minutes, until fragrant and golden all over.

Turn off the heat and take out the tin. Pour 1 dcl milk over the rolls using spoon so everything is covered and cover the tin with aluminum foil (or another tin, if you have it, to keep the steam inside) for 15 minutes.

Enjoy your hot walnut-cinnamon bun or leave it to cool so it is only warm. Baked like this rolls can stay out of fridge for a day, no more, or you can keep them in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Warm up cold/refrigerated buns before eating them, to at least room temperature.

*And I think I'm doing a great job after a few weeks practice if you don't mind me saying so! You can check my progress on twitter (my handle is @derzafanistori) as I usually tweet my lunch idea for the day. And all this without being late for work! :D

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