Easter is coming soon and if you're looking for a wonderfully soft and delicious sweet bread for your Easter brunch I have a great recipe for you! Inspired by my blogging friend, Juliana, at Color Your Recipes, this bread incorporates the Tangzong or water roux method. I have been wanting to try this method of bread-making for a long time and finally got around to making some this week.
The bread is so soft and fluffy inside it's almost like eating cotton candy! Delicious on it's own with butter or jam, baked with a sugar topping as Juliana did, or drizzled with glaze and sprinkles like mine. You can visit Juliana's website to get the recipe and her tips by clicking the link above or also see the recipe with my tips below.
The end of March and beginning of April is always such a fun and busy time here as we celebrate three birthdays in our immediate family in the course of 2-1/2 weeks. Mine is first in March, followed by my husband's, exactly one week later, and then our oldest daughter's birthday is 9 days after that.
We had a big family dinner party last weekend at our home and celebrated all three at the same time. Gifts and cards from dear friend's arrived early...
Thank you, Dear Monique! We have been cyber 'Peas in a Pod' for can it be 25 years now? We share a love of gardening, painting, cooking and baking among many other parallels in our lives. The gift of friendship is the most valuable and cherished. ♥
Our middle grandson, Dane who just turned seven shortly before my birthday, gifted both my husband and me with one his original pieces of artwork. I love his artistic expression!
Sugar Knot RollsPrintable Recipe
Makes about 12-14 knot rolls, depending on size. It helps to have a digital scale that measures in both grams and ounces. In parenthesis I tried to give alternate measurements.
Note: I started making the bread dough in the afternoon and put the dough in the refrigerator for the first rise overnight. In the morning, it had tripled in size and was ready for forming into rolls.
Tangzhong or water roux:
50 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) bread flour
250 milliliters (1 cup) water
550 grams (3-1/4 cups) bread flour
90 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
7 grams (1-1/4 teaspoon) salt
7 grams (1-1/4 teaspoon or one packet) yeast
20 grams (4 tablespoons) non-fat dry milk
2 very large eggs (minus 1 ½ tablespoon), approximately 100 grams. Save what's left for the egg wash.
65 grams (1/3 not-quite-full cup) heavy cream
70 grams (5 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Milk stirred in to obtain drizzling consistency. Perhaps 2-3 tablespoons.
First make the water roux. In a small saucepan, whisk together the water and flour until well-blended and free of lumps. Cook over medium heat to the temperature of 65C/150F, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. This will take 2-4 minutes. When done, it should have the consistency of custard and the whisk should make visible lines in the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to keep a 'film' from forming. Cool. The roux can be kept in the refrigerator for 48 hours until ready to use.
To make the bread dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, place all of the cooled roux. Then add all of the other ingredients for the bread dough, except for the butter. That will be added after the first 'mix'. Turn the mixer on low and stir for 2-3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to level 2 and let it mix for 15 minutes. The dough will be sticky but do not add any more flour. As the dough mixes and the gluten forms it will become less sticky.
Add the softened butter and mix for another 15-20 minutes. To test if the dough is ready, take out of small, golf ball sized portion of dough and slowly stretch in all directions. This is called the windowpane test. If the dough is elastic enough the dough will not tear and you should be able to see light and shadows through the dough. If it tears, return to the mixer and mix for another 2-3 minutes and test again. Here is a short video on the windowpane dough test: Click Here.
Remove dough from the mixer and place into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to triple in size. This may take quite a while, depending on the temperature in your house. I placed my dough in the refrigerator overnight and the dough had tripled in size by morning.
To make the rolls, remove dough from bowl and deflate by pushing it down. Divide into about 12-14 balls of about 75 grams each pr about 2-1/2 inches round. To make the knots, roll out a rope from one ball of dough, about 12-14 inches long. Then tie the rope into a knot, tucking one end underneath and the other end bring over the top and push through the hole in the center, like a pretzel. Or twist into any shape you wish. Place each roll on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone liner. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to double in size.
When they are almost fully doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the top of the rolls with the reserved egg with a 1 tablespoon of water added to it. You can either sprinkle the rolls now with sugar before baking, or bake, allow to cool, and then drizzle a glaze over the top and then sprinkle with colored decors or sugar.