Scandinavian Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon bunsRecipe Courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2016) and taken from a book called Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe.

Although best eaten warm, these cinnamon buns are good for a few hours after baking.

Makes about 12

Ingredients:  1 tsp active dried yeast; 45g caster sugar; 200g plain flour; pinch of salt; 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom; 1 egg; 40g butter, plus extra melted butter for glazing; 1 egg, lightly beaten; 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus a little extra for dusting; 175g raisins; icing sugar, for dusting

Step One:  The day before, mix the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 70ml lukewarm water in a medium bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Stir in half the flour, ten leave to stand for about an hour, or until roughly doubled in size.

Step Two:  In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour with the salt and cardamom.  When the pre-dough is ready, add it to the flour, along with the egg.  Mix until you have a dough.  Put the butter between two sheets of baking paper and bash it with a rolling pin to soften.  Fold the butter into the dough and knead until fully incorporated, then cover and rest for 10 minutes.  Knead the dough again, then cover and rest for another 10 minutes.  Repeat once or twice more, until you have a firm, smooth ball of dough.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step Three:  Next day, knock back the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Flatten into a rectangle about 25 x 10 cm.  Brush with the beaten egg, then sprinkle over the remaining sugar, followed by the cinnamon and raisins.  Roll up the dough into a long sausage, like a Swiss roll, then cut into slices about 2 cm thick – you should get about 12.  Nestle the slices into a greased 23cm baking dish or tin, cover with a tea towel and leave until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Step Four:  Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF) and sit a roasting tin on the lowest shelf.  Put the buns in the oven, pour a cup of water into the tin and reduce the temperature to 180oC.  Bake the buns for 10-15 minutes until golden, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  While still warm, brush with melted butter, then dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.

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Manaeesh (Flatbread, also known as manakeesh)

manaeeshThis recipe is courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Makes: 4   –   Prep time : 15 mins, plus 2 hours standing time   –   Cook time : 20 mins

Cals per serving: 173   –   Fat : 2g

Ingredients: 7g (1/4 oz) sachet quick-acting dry yeast; 750g (1 ½ lb) white bread flour; 2 tsp salt; 2 tblsp olive oil

For the topping: 125g (4oz) za’atar spice blend mix

  1. Place the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add olive oil and 420ml (13 fl oz) of tepid water.  Mix using a dough hook for about 5 minutes until the mixture comes together and forms a really soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, then shape into a large ball.  Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth or cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Heat the oven to 240oC (gas mark 9). Punch down the dough with your fist to expel the air.  Knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 minutes and then shape into four balls.
  3. On a lightly oiled surface, use a rolling pin to shape each dough ball into thin 5mm (¼ in) rounds, then transfer to two baking sheets.  Make a few indentations in the dough with your fingertips.
  4. Brush the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Slide the manaeesh off the trays onto the oven shelves and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until crusty.

Spices

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