Thursday, July 3, 2014

Another Fun Day

Fun Sunday Breakfast crowd

When I was a new bride and also a true neophyte cook, I decided to have a tea party for my friends, all other college coeds.  Oddly, although I had about eight guests, and can imagine who they probably were, the only person I actually remember being there is my mother, who loved this sort of thing, and so gave enthusiastic moral support as well as the use one of her lovely tea service sets.  To me, it all felt quite elegant, as well as quite terrifying, this being the first time that I had ever “entertained.”  Previously, I had friends drop in for dinner often, but that was always spontaneous and hence very casual and so not intimidating. I don’t remember what I served that day, besides the cream cheese buns made from my new bread cookbook.  I thought them a very challenging production, and was quite pleased when they were a remarkable success.  Through the years, I often thought that I should make them again, both in memory of a fun day and because they were good,   Finally, as I was having guests for breakfast on Sunday (one of my favorite things to do – way less “performance anxiety” than guests for dinner,) I decided to check out the recipe and see if I could manage it without having to get up at five in the morning. No Problem!  I was hoping to adapt the recipe to one in which the dough rose overnight in the refrigerator, but that was actually what the recipe said to do.  Hurray!!

Egg millinery by Maria

As I happily mixed up the dough, thinking the while about that tea party and my mother, I realized that the dough was awfully goopy.  Is this how it’s supposed to be, I wondered?  Ciabatta has goopy dough, so maybe.  But probably not. I checked the recipe again, and saw with horror, that I had put in twice as much milk as called for.  Freak out time! I pondered my next move, and then decided that bread dough is remarkably forgiving, and so just added more flour so as to get it to an acceptable consistency.  And in the morning, all was okay.  Relief!

Puff Pillow Buns   or
Cream Cheese Fluffy Buns  (24 buns)

1 tsp instant yeast
¼ cup water
½ cup scalding milk
1/3 cup butter (2 2/3 ozs) softened
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, sort of beaten
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups flour

For the filling,

12 oz cream cheese*
1 tbs sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla

The evening (or at least 4 hours) before:

Stir together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the butter to the milk and let them cool till just warm to the touch.  Stir in the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest and stir that into the flour.  Beat till it is smooth, place in a greased bowl and refrigerate over night or at least four hours.

In the morning, divide the dough into four parts, remove one part and return the rest to the refrigerator.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the one part out into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle.  The dough will be thin.  Cut it into eight 4” squares.  Put about a tablespoon of the filling** on each square, fold each one up like a little square envelope, with the four corners meeting n the center, and place on a baking sheet, either greased, or better, with a silpat. Paint each one with a little beaten egg white. Let rise for about half an hour and till half again as big.  Bake in a 400° oven for 10 – 12 minutes, or until they are a delightful light golden color.

**For the filling: Just beat the ingredients together until they form a fluffy homogenous mass.  The original recipe says to use 6 oz, cream cheese, and then put two tablespoons in each bun, but do the math.  You will run out very quickly.  I used 8 oz, but then used only ¾ of the dough for the buns. I divided the filling into thirds, used a generous teaspoon for each bun, then evened them out by using the remainder of the third.  This seemed to be the right amount of filling. But…. I only used ¾ of the dough and later made flat breads with the rest. 

Ancient and well used cookbook.


Laura said...

Super adorable egg holder. Just makes one smile and I imagine helps make breakfast cheery. The buns look delicious and your breakfast guests look delighted!

I. F. said...

Those buns were so good I am seriously contemplating trying to make them myself.

Marta said...

What an adorable photo of all your guests. Your buns must have put them in a happy place.