Today we’re gonna talk about pastry, a world of baking to which I rarely venture. Pastry can be truly intimidating. I get it.
Specifically today I’m sharing a recipe for morning buns. Morning buns are kind of like a combination of cinnamon rolls and puff pastry. I’d say the filling is less gooey, and they are not typically iced. Or I should say, that’s at least my interpretation of these buns.
There’s a ton of variations online, and some don’t actually use puff pastry at all, but instead more of a brioche. But I’ve found that the puff pastry route, whatever you want to call it, is more what I’m into right now.
However, that also means making puff pastry from scratch. Eek.
Puff pastry, at least whenever I think of it, sounds like far too much. It makes think of spending hours of time trying to roll out dough with a huge block of cold butter folded inside, with many, MANY rounds of chilling in the fridge. BUT, I found a recipe from The Flavor Bender, and it totally changes everything.
This recipe for puff pastry only takes me about 30 minutes to put together, as long as you can work quickly to avoid letting the butter warm too much. After it’s done, you can keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it, and guys, it’s so good. It tastes awesome, it’s got ALL THE FLAKES, and it’s homemade pastry- you’re gonna feel like a flippin rockstar.
So here’s the deal- I’ve adapted the recipe below from the one found on this fantastic blog. I prefer not to weigh ingredients, and I’ve also added a few little items to fit the recipe for morning buns better. I’ve done my best to recreate the instructions below (don’t worry, I promise it’s not that complicated) but I highly recommend you take a peak over at the original recipe for more image-heavy instructions- they were a huge help to me!
So next we’re wrapping this amazing dough around some cinnamon and sugar, baking it up, and dipping it in more sugar. These pretty rolls are everything you guys- impressive, light, flaky, sweet, and perfect with coffee.
To clarify, there’s still a lot of steps involved here, and definitely some chilling when you get to the actual rolls to make sure we keep that butter completely cold throughout. So I’d call this a weekend project, but a super fun and rewarding one at that!
I hope you give ’em a shot- I’m telling you it’s totally doable and totally worth it!
For the puff pastry dough
- 1 1/4 cups grated butter, frozen, 1/4 cup separated
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 3/4 cup very cold water
For the filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbs. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the puff pastry dough
Keep your butter frozen until you use it throughout the process.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the 1/4 cup separated frozen grated butter until evenly distributed.
Slowly add in the cold water, stirring, until a dough begins to form, and the flour is completely incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead once or twice to finish incorporating all the ingredients. The dough should be fairly soft and easy to work with.
Working quickly, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 8 inches by 15 inches. Note that the size does not need to be perfect here. Sprinkle half of the remaining frozen butter onto two thirds of the rolled out dough.
Fold the dough into thirds, starting by folding in the side without any butter on it. Gently pinch the edges to lightly seal the dough.
Roll out the dough again, re-flouring your surface if needed, to the same size, and repeat the butter and folding process with the second half of the frozen butter.
Once again, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and fold into thirds, without any more butter (you should have used it all). Repeat the process two more times, so a total of 5 times.
Immediately wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
For the filling
In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside the remaining sugar in a bowl to use later.
Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it out on a floured surface to a large rectangle, about 10 by 16 inches.
Evenly sprinkle the filling mixture over the rectangle, and press down into the dough with your hands, or with your rolling pin.
Starting on the longer side of your rectangle, roll the dough into a tight spiral log. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the freezer, and trim off the edges of the log. Then, cut the log into 12 equal slices by cutting the log in half, each of those halves in half, and then each remaining piece into thirds. Place each slice into your prepared muffin tin, and place the tray in the fridge for 20 minutes.
While your rolls are chilling, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take the rolls out of the fridge and place directly into the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top through to the center.
Right after you remove the rolls from the oven, run a knife along the edges of each roll to loosen, and remove from the pan while hot- they will stick to the pan if you do not remove them quickly enough.
Cool the rolls for about 5 minutes, and then dip the tops into the remaining sugar that we set aside earlier. Enjoy warm!
Hey guys! I’ve got about two more months before our little one comes into the world, and pregnancy is hitting me hard lately. I have to say, it’s all been pretty easy for me so far, we’ve been really really lucky, so I think a little struggle at this point is okay!
Do you ever sit down and just know you want to make something, but you just can’t figure out what that something should be? That’s me like, all the dang time. I have stacks of recipe ideas and areas I’d like to explore, but decision making just isn’t all that easy, amirite?
I sat down to figure out what to bake a few weeks ago, and my husband suggested biscuits. But I wanted to do more than just a classic biscuit- something with a bit of a deeper, sweeter flavor. And this is so it. I was thinking of having honey on top, but then I decided it’d be nice to have a bit of a sweeter base- sweetened with honey on the inside of the biscuit too!
Here’s how everything looks as we bring it all together. First, mix your dry ingredients, and throw in some shortening:
Next, cut that shortening in until it looks a little something like this:
Moving onto wet, we’re pouring in buttermilk and honey to pull everything together:
And once you’ve stirred and worked a little, it should look crumbly like this:
Then we’re turning out the dough to knead it slightly to bring it together. Work quickly here- we don’t want to melt that shortening! Then pat it into a rectangle and fold into thirds, like this:
The brown sugar extends through the entire biscuit, including on top, where it browns and becomes a crispy sweet crust that is too-flippin-good.
Biscuits from scratch are super easy you guys. You don’t need special equipment (though a pastry blender can help some) and they come together really quickly. Best of all, it’s one of those satisfying things that you’ll come back to over and over again.
This recipe is adjustable, you just want to keep your wet and dry ingredients at the same ratio. It’s my go-to. You can add in topping sweet or savory, and season these pretty things however you please!
Maybe this is just me, but I never had homemade biscuits growing up, which makes them feel really special even though they’re so easy to pull together. With a super simple recipe, you can really adjust and update it however you like, sweet or savory, and they become something everyone will be impressed by.
I’m hoping that you find this dessert-style biscuit as satisfying as I did. We topped ours with more honey (whoops) and apricot jam, although they are seriously fantastic all on their own, or just with a little bit of butter.
Brown Sugar Honey Biscuits
- 4 cups flour
- 3 tbs. brown sugar
- 2 tbs. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup shortening, very cold
- 1 cup + 2 tbs. buttermilk, cold
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 tbs. brown sugar
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using a pastry blender or just your hands, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
Add in the buttermilk and honey, and stir together until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and pat into a long rectangle.
Fold the dough into thirds, and pat out to a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2.5 inch cutter, cut out your biscuits. You can re-use the dough scraps once.
Place the biscuits onto a lined baking sheet, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
While the biscuits chill, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and mix the butter and remaining brown sugar together.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter and brown sugar mixture, and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown on top.
Serve warm, with honey and jam or butter!
I know we’re nearly into Spring now, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and toasty winter-style recipe for the season’s end.
Marzipan challah isn’t my idea, I first saw it on TV from Breads Bakery, and have since seen it done on a few other blogger websites as well. I wanted to give it a little twist, and also make it even more of a dessert style bread, which is where the addition of cinnamon comes in.
I’ve never made challah, but man it’s fantastic. Even just the dough feels lush and soft and fluffy the whole way through. I’m into this bread, filled or not you guys.
Alright so, we’re starting with the dough. Once you’ve got everything completely mixed up and kneaded, here’s what you should be seeing:
After letting it rise for the first round, it’ll look quick similar, but puffy and larger of course:
Then, we’re going to start working on each of the ropes. You’ll flatten out each section of dough into a long rectangle, and put a little line of the marzipan mixture right in the middle:
Wrap it up tight, pinch the seam, and roll it out to about a 16 inch rope:
Then, you braid. Now listen, there’s just no way I can explain or show this to you any better than this video, so if you want to stick with this 6 braid design like me, check out this video. This was my first try, and you can tell my loaf is a little lop-sided. It’s cool, the ugly loaves are still delicious, I promise.
After you let the dough rise once more, you’ll brush it with your egg white wash, and brush it good. Here’s what my shiny braid looked like:
And that’s it really, then you’re just baking it until golden brown- easy peasy. I loved this bread you guys. It’s like the perfect little dessert bread treat, and it makes french toast you would just die over. See below.
Seriously doesn’t that sound amazing? Well it was, and you should do it up too. Enjoy guys!
We’re at it again this week- yet another excuse to eat cake for breakfast. If it’s called coffee cake, that means it’s breakfast as far as I’m concerned. And okay, if it’s not called coffee cake, I probably consider that breakfast too.
I’m really into breakfast, it’s definitely the best type of food as far as I’m concerned, and so making breakfast desserts is a thing I’m also really into.
This recipe is just a variation on classic crumb cake. The crumb is stuffed with almonds and oats to give it a little more umph, and the cake is made with almond extract instead of vanilla. The end results are something almond lovers can rejoice over.
So first, the cake is super simple and easy to whip up- no need to even mix your dry ingredients before tossing them into the wet. Since we’re just making enough cake batter for one 8 inch layer, you don’t even need a very big bowl. The batter will be thick and smooth when it’s ready to go into the pan.
There’s nearly as much crumb as there is cake, and that’s how it should be as far as I’m concerned. You want that crumb to be the big star here. Toss it over the top of the cake batter before impatiently waiting on that darn baking time.
I like to make mine in a round cake pan, though you can absolutely make it in a square pan, which is the traditional method. I think it’s just pretty to be able to cut it into slices like a layer cake. After all, it’s layers of crumb AND cake, that’s a layer cake, alright?
Serve it with coffee or eggs or toast or juice, or whatever the heck is on your breakfast table this morning. I promise it’ll complete the meal, or be the whole meal, whichever you prefer!
Almond Crumb Coffee Cake
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbs. milk
For the crumb:
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup melted butter
For the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 inch round or square cake pan. Line with parchment paper for easy removal.
In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, almond extract, and sour cream.
Add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and milk, and beat until completely combined. The batter will be thick.
Spread evenly in your baking pan and set aside while preparing crumb.
For the crumb:
In a medium bowl, stir together the cake flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, almonds, and oats.
Pour the melted butter into the dry mixture, and work it together with a fork until completely coated.
You should have a crumbly mixture that forms large chunks.
Sprinkle over your prepared batter evenly, using the entire crumb mixture.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Cool and enjoy.
Man, these are my favorite kinds of recipes. I made this buckle on a snowy day when I didn’t feel like leaving the house and with leftover blackberries that I had lying around. It’s easy, it doesn’t make a huge mess, and the results are warm and cozy.
Let’s start with the name- there seems to be some debate on what desserts are considered a “buckle.” Some folks think it refers to cobbler type dishes, and some thing it only refers to crumb cakes like this one. My opinion is as follows- buckle is a really adorable name for a dish, and I like it, and you can call yours whatever you like best.
Our base here is a soft, simple cake mixture. We’re folding in chopped blackberries, which adds a pretty purple swirl to the color of the cake batter before baking. Sour cream makes the cake just the right texture, and we splash in some vanilla for that flavor we all love (even though vanilla is bananas expensive right now).
On top, this crumb is simple, sweet, warm. I don’t always think of cinnamon with berries, but it’s actually totally perfect in the winter. It’s a great combo of vibrant, slightly sour, and warmth. Have I said “warm” enough times for you to want this yet? If not, I’m thinking there’s not snow near you.
Like many of the recipes I post here, you can use whatever type of berries you like best, whatever kind you have in your fridge, or whatever kind is cheap at the store that day. In my part of town, blackberries and blueberries are cheap this time of year.
Speaking of blueberries, they are actually the classic berry for a buckle, or so I hear. So go for it if you love blueberry muffins, or whatever.
This is the right excuse for cake for breakfast you guys. I mean, all cake is a breakfast cake when it really comes down to it, but this one FEELS like breakfast food too. And like, get your fruit in for the day, honestly.
Anyways, I hope you guys make this, it’s truly one of my favorites in so long. Enjoy!