Saturday, 30 May 2009

Cranberry Pecan Pull-Apart Rolls

Hubby has been home all week, and so far I have not tried to sell him to the highest bidder.. but give me time. We got lots of the garden cleaned up, the tender herbs in and the pond scrubbed and freshened for the new season.
I have still spent my fair share of time in the kitchen though, baking up a storm. Today I made these Cranberry-Pecan Pull-Apart buns with whole wheat flour. We have already been in the practice of baking with whole grains lately, but I am always happy for an excuse to try a new recipe. I thought I would try a fun looking one, and turned to King Arthur, the king has never let me down. These are soft and tender, made even more so with a coating of butter while they are still warm. Perfect for the chicken salad we are having for dinner. Come back tomorrow for that recipe, if you wish.

Cranberry Pecan Pull-Apart Buns
Whole Grain Baking
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Ingredients
Pre-ferment
1 cup traditional whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cool water
Pinch of instant yeast
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Dough
All of the pre-ferment
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
4 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1.5 cups traditional whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp. salt
3 Tbs packed light or dark brown sugar
2.5 tsp instant yeast 1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
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Instructions
To prepare the pre-ferment:
Combine all the pre-ferment ingredients in a small (2- to 3-cup) bowl. Cover the bowl, and let the pre-ferment rest overnight at room temperature.
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To prepare the dough:
Combine the pre-ferment with the remaining dough ingredients, except the cranberries and pecans, and mix and knead them- by hand, mixer or bread machine- until you have a medium-soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it is quite puffy, though probably not doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly grease a 9 x13-inch pan.
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To shape the buns:
Gently deflate the dough, transfer it to a lightly greased work surface, and knead the cranberries and pecans into it. Divide it into 16 pieces, rounding each piece into a ball. Evenly space the balls in the prepared pan. Cover and let the buns rise in a warm place until they are crowding against one another, 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Toward the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350F.
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To bake the buns:
Uncover and bake the buns until they are a light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and after several minutes transfer them to a rack. Brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will keep their crust soft. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These buns have been Yeastspotted!
This particular toad, I call him Virgil, was quite happy to see the now pristine state of the pond as well as the new plants and spitter.

The plant life is water lettuce, water hyacinth, and the little tiny stuff is duck moss. The fishies like it. The hyacinths look like they are falling down because they were just put in before the photo, they right themselves up pretty quickly. This is just a small pond, as I have a tiny backyard, but it gives me great joy.