Weekends always pass by outrageously fast. I literally can't list five things that I actually do, but somehow, they just go away so fast. Today wasn't a very busy day at all; I woke up, got ready to go out, took Liam to the movies and we had lunch... and that's it. Before I knew it, it was 5PM, and it was dark. And the blues started setting in. Sunday night blues. I got the baking bug, all at once. I didn't want the weekend to go unnoticed. I was trawling through Nigella's At My Table column these last few days, and I remembered a fabulous sounding recipe, 'Chocolate and Pistachio and Whirligig Buns'. These are like Nigella's cinnamon buns from HTBADG and include an insane amount of yeast added in. Yeast to me is like the bell to Pavlov's dog. Just the thought of it sends me in a tizzy, gets my blood working overtime. I love the idea of proofing, dough coming to life. I wanted to make these buns; I didn't care that it was Sunday night.
The proofing of the dough was only about 30 minutes, which made baking it and eating it all the more possible in a short period of time.
The rest was really easy; it is the type of dough, similar to challah, that is quite easy to work with. The buns were done after only 15 minutes in such a high oven, so it is the type of recipe that needs to be watched carefully. I had a lukewarm bun while writing this post -- amazing. Th 'bread' is not too sweet and lends itself well to cold mornings on the couch with a cup of tea nestled in your hands. But since I'm off to work tomorrow morning, I guess I'll enjoy this while drinking my cup of tea with milk and two sugars in front of the computer. Blues made slightly sweeter this evening.
Chocolate and Pistachio Whirligig Buns
Published in the New York Times: March 5, 2003
Time: 1 hour, plus 35 minutes for dough to rise
For the dough:
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 packets rapid-rise, bread-machine or other instant yeast
7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups milk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for bowl
For the filling and the glaze:
8 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
3/8 cup shelled pistachios (I used dried cranberries)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten.
1. To prepare the dough, heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 5 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a small saucepan, combine 7 1/2 tablespoons butter and the milk, and place over low heat until lukewarm. In a medium bowl, beat eggs lightly, and then whisk in milk mixture. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.
2. Using a mixer with a dough hook, or by hand, knead dough until smooth and springy, adding more flour if necessary. Form into a ball, and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 30 minutes.
3. Punch down dough. Line a 13-by-10-inch baking pan with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one-third of the dough, and place in pan. Roll out remaining dough to a rectangle about 20 by 10 inches.
4. To make filling, mix together the butter and sugar to make a paste. Spread paste evenly over large rectangle of dough. Chop pistachios until splintery, and sprinkle evenly over dough. Top with chocolate chips. Starting from longest side, carefully roll up dough so it looks like a long sausage. Cut dough into 20 slices, each 3/8 inch thick, and arrange with a cut side up on top of dough in pan.
5. Brush buns with beaten egg, and let them sit in a warm place until puffed up and snugly filling pan, about 15 minutes. Bake until buns are risen and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from baking pan to cool on a rack. Serve warm.