Milk Bread Rolls for Beth

 

A few days ago I received a very encouraging letters from Trix Wilkins, I went to her blog  and I discovered that she wrote a novel,  The Courtship of Jo March: a variation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women , that of course I am dying to read,  meanwhile to thanks Trix of her kind words, I prepared milk bread rolls, soft and fluffy, the kind of bread that Beth, Jo March’s fragile little sister, would have like to have with her tea. Those bread rolls are not the Japanese bread rolls that are very fashionable on food blogs on those days. They are actually small bread rolls that are used in Italy, but I would dare to say in the all Mediterranean area, to prepare savoury or sweet snacks as the taste is pretty neutral.

Milk Bread Rolls for Beth
Hear how they look like, I made 12 of 60 gr each

Ingredients:

  • 400 gr flour
  • 200 gr milk
  • 50 gr butter
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 10 gr dry yeast
  • 5 gr salt
  • 1 egg for the wash
Milk Bread Rolls for Beth
Still warm…

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk (35 C.) and combine in the bowl of a stand mixer with the honey, yeast and a tsp of flour. After about 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients, attach the dough hook and run the mixer, starting on low to wet the dry ingredients.
  2. Turn speed to medium and run the mixer for 15 minutes. The dough is ready when it came together and gather in the centre of the bowl attaching itself to the hook.
  3. Divide the dough in small pieces of 60-70 gr each, set them in an oven pan covered with baking paper, cover with plastic wrap and set the pan in a warm place for about 90 minutes until more than doubled
  4. Roll each portion into a log and flat it gently and roll it (like the snail shell). Place each piece of dough inside the oven pan, giving some space between each roll. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and let rise again until double in size, about an hour or so.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 C’. Make the egg wash by lightly beating the egg. Brush the surface of the rolls with the egg wash without letting the fluid drip to the sides
  6. Bake in 180 C’ oven for 20-25 minutes or until rolls are deeply golden on top.
  7. Serve them with warm or cold with savoury or sweet fillings
Milk Bread Rolls for Beth
Ready for a savory snack with Italian Prosciutto
Milk Bread Rolls for Beth
And for a spring snack with pink lemonade and orange jelly

 

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Semlor, a sweet treat for Nils Holgerson

“TWO days later, another strange thing happened. A flock of wild geese came flying one morning, and lit on a meadow down in Eastern Skåne not very far from Vittskövle manor. In the flock were thirteen wild geese, of the usual gray variety, and one white goosey-gander, who carried on his back a tiny lad dressed in yellow leather breeches, green vest, and a white woolen toboggan hood.” The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgerson by Selma Lagerlöf 

Did you know that this child novel is actually a geography school book?

Nils is a mean child which is turned very small by an Elf. He took off with a flock of wild geese that fly over Sweden, he finally learn the geography of his country but also how to be kind.

Selma Lagerlöf is one of my favored author especially the novel “The prince of Portugalia”Today’s recipe I learned when I was living in Lund, in the beautiful Skane, and I decided to prepare it today because is a seasonal treat, the Lent bun.

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INGREDIENTS

100g butter

300 whole milk
100 gr caster sugar
500g, strong floor
10 gr tsp fast action yeast
¼ tsp ground cardamom
a good pinch salt
1 egg

FOR THE FILLING
100g  marzipan, grated
¼ tsp ground cardamom
200ml (7 fl oz) whipping cream
3-4 tbsp icing sugar
lingonberry jam

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the butter and milk in pan and heat until the butter has melted, let it cool until 35 c.
  2. Place 1 tbs of caster sugar, 1 tbs of flour, 1tbs of honey and the yeast, along with the milk and butter in the bowl of a free-standing mixer and an mix it for a minut.
  3. Let the mixture rest for an hour.
  4. Add the rest of the sugar, the rest of the flour, the egg and the cardamom. Use the dough hook on the mixer to, then knead over a medium-to-low speed for 15-10 minutes
  5. Place the dough in a clean bowl covered with a damp tea towel.. Let it rest for 3 hours or until doubled in size, in a warm place.
  6. Dust your surface with flour, knock the dough back and roll into a sausage shape. Divide into 14 same-sized buns of about 8g  (I weight any piece of dough to make them as regular as possible.)
  7. Place on a large baking tray, spaced evenly apart and lightly cover with cling film. Leave to raise or about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Once the buns are ready, brush the tops of the buns with milk. Bake the buns for 25-30 minutes in a 200 C. oven.
  9. When the buns are cooled cut the tops off and use a teaspoon to scoop out some of the crumb inside the bun to make space for a for a teaspoon of lingonberry jam and some crumble of marzipan.
  10. . Whip the cream and pipe over the top of the marzipan and to the edges. Place the hat back on the top of the buns and dust with icing sugar.

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Maritozzi (Poetic Buns)

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 I want to celebrate Giacomo Leopardi, the great poet, with those exquisite buns. Actually Roma claims the ownership of those buns, but they are well known in all central Italy and I am sure that Leopardi enjoyed them in his Recanati.

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INGREDIENTS:

10 gr. of active dry yeast

450 gr. of strong flour

200 gr. of full-fat milk

100 gr. spoonful of sugar

125 gr. of seed oil (I used hazelnut oil)

1 Tsp of olive oil

30 gr of honey

1 egg

1 lemon’s grated zest

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

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DIRECTIONS

Prepare the sponge:

  1. Sprinkle yeast and sugar into 50 ml of warm milk in a bowl and stir to dissolve (if you have a kneading machine you will save a lot of work).
  2. Mix it with 50 gr of floor, one tablespoon of sugar and the honey. let it rise for about one hour.

Prepare the dough:

  1. Mix the remaining sugar, milk, the egg, the oils, the lemon’s rind and the vanilla to the sponge.
  2. Add the remaining flour and knead it until you have a smooth and elastic dough (I used Kitchen Aid, with dough hook, speed two for about 20 minutes).
  3. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise three hour (but it depends on room temperature, less if it is a hot summer day).
  4. Knock back the dough and make the buns (around 12).
  5. Let it rising for another ½ an hour, and glaze them with some olive oil.
  6. Bake it in a preheated oven at 400°F/200°C for 25 minutes until golden and light. If you have a steam oven like me, then just use the sweet rolls program.
  7. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
  8. When cooled sprinkle with icing sugar, and if you want to feel yourself in Rome, open it and fill it with whipped cream.

 

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