Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Braided Rum & Raisin Buns ~ #BreadBakers

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with 
fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” – James Beard



A few weeks ago I happened to mention in a post that I missed being part of a bread baking group. Lucky for me a friend (thanks Karen!) saw my comment, and connected with the #BreadBakers, and now I am a member of the group.  I am excited to be part of a group that is passionate about their bread and generous with their knowledge, and thrilled that I will be able to continue to learn from their experience.






This month's theme is Braided Breads, and I decided to make Rum & Raisin Buns.  I really wanted to add some coffee-flavored rum, but you know what it is like when you buy an entire bottle of a particular alcohol and then it sits in the cupboard forever.  Instead I wrapped some whole coffee beans in a piece of cheesecloth, and then added them to the Bundaberg Rum and raisins, and allowed them to all soak together for the next four days. This worked like a charm.






This is only my second time making a braided bread, and it did not go exactly to plan.  The buns turned out way bigger than they were supposed to and this was probably because my braid was not tight enough. I thought about remaking them, and then I realized that we don't have to be perfect. There is so much pressure on us to achieve perfection - in our family life, jobs, body, education, with friends - and we need to give ourselves permission to be ourselves.  So that is just what I did.  I took a step back and gave myself a pat on the back for attempting something new, and then sat down to enjoy them. Not for one minute did I regret digging in.  These buns are soft and sweet, with just the right amount of coffee-rum running through the braid, and I know I will be making them again soon so I can practice my braids.







If you would like to know more about #BreadBakers and see what the other bakers made for the Braided Bread theme please scroll down below the recipe.


Braided Rum & Raisin Buns
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients
Rum & Raisin ~
  • 140g (1 cup) raisins
  • 120ml (½ cup) dark rum (I used Bundaberg)
  • 15g (2 tablespoons) whole coffee beans

Dough ~
  • 60ml (¼ cup) warm water, 110℉
  • 7g (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 50g + 15g (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
  • 240ml (1 cup) whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (whites reserved)
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 615g (4½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 85g (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • Cinnamon Filling ~
  • 85g (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • 65g (⅓ cup) granulated sugar
  • 62g (⅓ cup) brown sugar, packed
  • 10g (1 tablespoon) ground cinnamon
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) Penzeys Cake Spice (optional)

Topping ~
  • reserved egg white
  • turbinado (raw) sugar, for sprinkling, as needed

Preparation
Rum Raisin ~
  1. Wrap whole coffee beans in cheesecloth.
  2. Combine raisins, dark rum, and wrapped coffee beans in a small bowl, stirring to combine.
  3. Cover and allow mixture to steep for 3 to 5 days. 
  4. Strain raisins, reserving rum syrup for other uses if desired.
Dough ~
  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and 15g (1 tablespoon) sugar, whisking to combine.
  2. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow yeast to bubble and activate.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together remaining 50g (¼ cup) sugar, milk, egg, egg yolk, and salt.
  4. Add the yeast mixture and whisk until incorporated.
  5. Change to the dough hook attachment, and add in half of the flour.
  6. Mix on low speed while adding the softened butter one tablespoon at a time.
  7. Once all the butter has been added, add the remaining flour to the mixing bowl, and continue to knead on low speed until dough comes together.
  8. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough clears the sides of the bowl.
  9. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow dough to rest for 2 hours in a draft free environment allowing it to double in volume.
Filling ~ 
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and Cake Spice until smooth; set aside.
Assembly ~
  1. Preheat oven to 180℃ (350℉).
  2. Remove plastic wrap and punch dough risen dough.
  3. Divide dough into 6 equal parts, keeping the dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying out.
  4. Working with one portion of dough, roll dough into an 45cm x 10cm (18 x 4-inch) rectangle.
  5. Spread about 30g (2 tablespoon)s of filling over dough.
  6. Sprinkle about 30g (2 tablespoons) of rum-soaked raisins over dough.
  7. Cut the rectangle into two 22cm x 10cm (9 x 4-inch) rectangles.
  8. Starting from the long side, roll dough, and pinch seams shut.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut through the dough lengthwise, keeping one end of the dough attached.
  10. Twist the two sides so they both face upward, then twist dough over itself to braid the two sides together, and pinch the end of the braid together.
  11. Starting at the uncut portion of the dough, roll dough on itself and tuck the end under the center of the roll.
  12. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing rolls about 5cm (2-inches) apart.
  13. Repeat with remaining dough portions.

Topping ~
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together reserved egg white and 5ml (1 teaspoon) of water.
  2. Brush assembled rolls with egg wash mixture.
  3. Generously sprinkle turbinado (raw) sugar over rolls.
  4. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until golden brown in color.
  5. Best served warm.



#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

This month's Bread Baker's theme is Braided Breads and is hosted by Gayathri of Gayathri's Cook Spot.


Here is the collection of all the beautiful braided breads from our team ~



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