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Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

Posted by on Sep 15, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, yeast bread | 0 comments

These Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns are as delicious as they are beautiful, and that’s saying a lot.

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

This enriched dough is light and luscious, and almost melts in the mouth. It’s also somewhat tricky to work with as the dough warms quickly as the rolls are formed. I was dismayed as the dough became tacky as I did the final rolls, but you know what?

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

These rolls are beautiful as they are. Sure, Paul Hollywood would criticize them for not all being the exact same, but I’m not on Great British Bake Off–and neither are you. Embrace the wabi-sabi of these rolls, the perfection in imperfection.

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

Plus, when it comes down to it, the flavor and texture are fantastic. The buttery crumb is perfect with a likewise buttery center swirl that’s packed with cardamom and cinnamon.

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

These buns taste best when slightly warm. Eat them fresh, and after that, give them a quick toast in the oven to wake up the flavor.

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

The buns will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature, but be sure they are in a sealed container. They can also be frozen and thawed later, no problem.

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

Make these buns to really impress guests–and yourself. Like me, I bet you’ll find this recipe to be a keeper.

Modified from Saveur Magazine Volume 4 2018.

Bready or Not: Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns

These incredible buns take a day of wait and effort, but are so worth it! The bread is light, buttery, and luscious, gently warmed by spice.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: yeast bread
Servings: 10 buns
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • parchment paper
  • kitchen brush

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/2 cup cold milk or half & half
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (16 Tablespoons) cold, cut into cubes

Filling

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 Tablespoons) softened

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, 2 of the eggs, and the vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment affixed, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in the chilled butter cubes until they are broken down to the size of peas, which will take a minute or two. Keep the mixer running as the milk mixture is drizzled in. Everything should come together as dough.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill it in fridge for at least 6 hours, or a full day.
  • About 2 1/2 hours before the buns are to be served, prepare to shape them. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the filling’s two sugars, cardamom, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water and set it aside.
  • Lightly flour a large, clean work surface and a rolling pin. [Note for bakers who have hot kitchens: you may need to move fast here, as high-butter content dough can be finicky as it warms.] Roll out the dough into a 12×16 rectangle. Use an uneven spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly spread the softened butter over the surface, leaving a 1-inch border along the top and bottom edges.
  • Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture over the butter. Brush the edges with the beaten egg; set aside the egg to use again for a wash in a short while. Fold the dough in half so that the two egg-washed edges meet. Then use a knife, pizza cutter, or bench knife to make ten even slices perpendicular to the fold.
  • One at a time, pick up a strip at the two short ends and twist them each in opposite directions while pulling and stretching gently. Coil the strand to make a bun, tucking the outermost end underneath the round. Set on prepared sheet and continue to form more with several inches of space between them.
  • Cover formed buns with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until puffed, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat oven at 400-degrees and situate racks inside to have five inches of space between them.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and brush the buns with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 12 minutes, then swap the pan positions in the oven, then bake another 8 to 12 minutes. Buns should be a consistent brown, and a digital thermometer discreetly plunged into a center roll should be over 190-degrees.
  • Let rolls cool slightly before indulging. Rolls will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature, and will taste best warmed slightly in an oven or toaster oven. Rolls can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Come to the Online Book Club Meeting this Sunday!

    Posted by on Sep 14, 2021 in Blog, public speaking, red dust collection, Uncategorized | 0 comments

    Red Dust cover

    On Sunday September 19th, my collection Red Dust and Dancing Horses will be discussed in a virtual book club meeting on Facebook that is conducted by the wonderful Madame Askew. The event will happen at 4:30 MST. Buy the book ahead of time (if you don’t have it already) and join in on the discussion! I’ll be there to answer questions.

    #SFWAPro

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    Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

    Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in beef, Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, main dish | 0 comments

    Everyone probably has their own take on classic Italian Meatballs. This is mine!

    What I love about the recipe is that it, 1) tastes good, and 2) is convenient. I can mix the meatballs up ahead of time and stash them in the fridge or even the freezer. They can be cooked straight from the freezer, too! Just cook them a little longer.

    Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

    I always go with 93% lean ground beef, but use whatever kind you want–even do a meat of beef and pork or ground sausage. Consider this recipe a template. Mix it up, switch out or increase seasonings, whatever.

    Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

    These are great with all kinds of dishes, too. Use them with the standard spaghetti or other Italian pasts, or on zoodles, or with sauce on some submarine sandwich bread. They are even good heated up, eaten by themselves!

    Bready or Not Original: Easy Italian Meatballs

    These gigantic meatballs are easy to make. If you want, form them early in the day and stash them in the fridge. Meatballs can also be frozen, cooked or cooked, and heated up later–and they can be taken straight from the freezer, too; just add a few more minutes to the cook time. This is also a great recipe to double to feed a crowd.
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Italian
    Keyword: beef, cheese
    Servings: 8 meatballs
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • food scale
    • 9×13 dish or large rimmed baking pan

    Ingredients

    • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for pan and hands
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups panko
    • 1/2 cup milk or water
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 ounce Parmesan or Grana Padano, freshly grated, roughly 1/2 cup
    • 1 pound ground beef

    Instructions

    • Move rack to top third of oven and start to preheat at 425-degrees. Rub or brush a 9×13 casserole pan or rimmed baking sheet with oil.
    • In a large bowl, use a big spoon to mash together the 2 Tablespoons oil, eggs, panko, liquid, salt, pepper, seasoning, garlic powder, and cheese. The goal is to create a smooth paste. Add a handful of meat. Mix in, and gradually drop in the rest of the meat to thoroughly combine.
    • Use a food scale to weigh the meat, then divide that total by 8 (or any other desired increment). With oiled hands, press together meatballs, weighing each to create ones of equal size.
    • Bake meatballs for 20 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip over each for the browned-bottom is on top. Bake for another 6 to 10 minutes, until meatballs are fully browned. An instant read thermometer plunged into one should read over 160-degrees.
    • Serve as desired. Leftovers are great to refrigerate or freeze.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Posted by on Sep 1, 2021 in biscoff spread, Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

      These Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are embodied with extra cookie dough flavor thanks to the miracle of cookie butter.

      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

      It always seems someone is always discovering cookie butter for the first time, so I shall repeat: this stuff is basically ground-down cookies blended with oil, giving it the same consistency as peanut butter, but without the health benefits. And oh yeah, it’s delicious.

      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Ccookie butter can be found under the Biscoff brand at many grocery stores (and sometimes in a store generic brand) and at Trader Joe’s as Speculoos. You can use it just as you would peanut butter for sandwiches or for baked goods.

      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

      It’s fantastic stuff paired with chocolate, as in this recipe. It makes cookies taste more… cookie. Once you try it, you’ll know what I mean.

      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

      This recipe makes a nice, big batch of crispy, chewy cookies. Use any kind of chocolate chips that you want–or use a mix! It’ll all be good.

      Bready or Not Original: Chewy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

      These firm, chewy cookies have amped-up cookie dough flavor thanks to cookie butter, the fantastic jarred concoction found near nuts butters in the grocery store. Using a tablespoon scoop, this makes about 44 cookies.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: chocolate, cookie butter, cookies
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • tablespoon scoop

      Ingredients

      • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 cube), room temperature
      • 1/2 cup creamy cookie butter
      • 1 cup brown sugar packed
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 eggs room temperature
      • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
      • 2 Tablespoons water
      • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 1 bag milk chocolate chips or semisweet chips, about 1 3/4 cups

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 375-degrees.
      • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
      • In a big mixing bowl, beat butter and cookie butter until completely blended. Add the two sugars. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
      • Use a tablespoon scoop to dole out dough onto a cookie sheet, giving each one room to spread while baking. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until golden, then let them sit on the sheet another 5 to 10 minutes to set. Transfer to rack to completely cool.
      • Store in a sealed container at room temperature. They will keep well for up to 3 days.

      *OM NOM NOM!*

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        My Virtual CoKoCon Schedule for September 4th through 6th

        Posted by on Aug 30, 2021 in Blog, public speaking, writerly advice | 0 comments


        CoKoCon is September 3rd through 6th! The convention is online and totally free. To attend, you must register and use their Discord server. Find out all about that on their website. Please also check out the charity book auction, which will benefit a great local group, the Joshua Tree Feeding Program.

        Here’s my final schedule. I say final, but of course, things may change and the internet may choose to be fickle at the worst possible time. Find the full schedule for the weekend here. All times are Pacific time.


        Saturday, September 4
        2:00pm – 3:00pm Steampunk in the Round
        What is it that makes steampunk a lasting trend? We’ll discuss: The evolution of steampunk, how do you see it in a few years? The literary and media side of steampunk. The commercial side of steampunk. The splinter divisions of Steampunk. Q&A with audience.

        3:15pm – 4:15pm The Wonderful World of Cheese
        Join author Beth Cato and friends as she leads a lively discussion on the world of cheese, from its early history to modern day.

        5:45pm – 6:45pm From the Paddock to Pern
        Judith Tarr. Tamora Pierce. Robin McKinley. Mercedes Lackey. Our panelists discuss the impact of “horse girl” fantasy.

        Sunday, September 5
        10:15am – 11:15am Book Discussion: The Calculating Stars
        Join avid reader and sometime blogger Michael Senft, and Nebula and Dragon award nominee Beth Cato (The Clockwork Dagger, Breath of Earth) as they discuss Mary Robinette Kowal’s award-winning “Lady Astronaut” alternate history.

        2:00pm – 3:00pm Author Self-Care: COVID Edition
        Surviving the past year has been an ordeal for everyone. Our authors talk about how COVID affected them, and what they did (and are still doing) to cope with pandemic, lockdown and deadlines.

        4:30pm – 5:30pm Writing Speculative Poetry
        Join our panelists as they discuss writing speculative poetry, as well as share their own works.

        Monday, September 6
        2:00pm – 3:00pm From Tabletop to Text and Vice Versa
        Whether Dungeons & Dragons or Final Fantasy, our panelists discuss how gaming influenced their writing, and how their writing influences their gaming.

        #SFWAPro



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        Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

        Posted by on Aug 25, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, yeast bread | 0 comments

        My no-fuss Food Processor Brioche Rolls recipe will dazzle your mind because they are SO EASY. Enriched doughs like this have a reputation (that is well-earned) to be time-consuming and aggravating. Not anymore.

        Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

        The food processor is what makes this easy-peasey. It mixes the dough in no-time, and aerates the butter and eggs into the flour and develops that all-important gluten.

        Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

        These rolls are good for any variety of uses, as they can be eaten with things sweet and savory. As the bread is nice and durable, we found they worked well for shredded pork sandwiches, with barbecue sauce and all.

        Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

        Once these are baked-up, they are fantastic to freeze and thaw, too. They really are best eaten within a day–I suppose they still had to be fussy in at least one way!

        Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

        Bready or Not Original: Food Processor Brioche Rolls

        This brioche dough takes minutes to make but needs 24-hours to develop in the fridge. Two versions are supplied below so that the amount of rolls can be customized. A 1-pound batch makes 4 rolls, wherein the 2-pound batch makes 8.
        Course: Bread
        Cuisine: French
        Keyword: yeast bread
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • food processor
        • food scale

        Ingredients

        1-lb batch

        • 1/4 cup warm water no hotter than 130-degrees
        • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast 1 packet
        • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
        • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 2 large eggs room temperature
        • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted

        2-lb batch

        • 1/2 cup warm water no hotter than 130-degrees
        • 4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast 2 packets
        • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 6 Tablespoons white sugar
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 4 large eggs room temperature
        • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted (1 1/2 sticks)

        For egg wash

        • 1 large egg room temperature
        • 1 Tablespoon milk or half & half

        Instructions

        Follow these same directions, regardless of the batch size.

        • Affix steel S-blade inside food processor.
        • In a cup, stir together the dry yeast and water. Place the flour in the work bowl, followed by the yeast-water, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times. Add the eggs and spin until they are mixed in, no more than 10 or 15 seconds.
        • Start the processor on low and pour in the melted butter in a solid stream. Stop mixing after about 20 seconds. The dough will be very sticky and fluid.
        • Apply nonstick spray or butter in a big mixing bowl. Pour in the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has tripled in size, no more than 3 hours. Keep an eye on it, because it can expand fast.
        • Flour hands and punch down dough.
        • Cover bowl with plastic wrap again, and stash the bowl in the fridge. Keep it there overnight, at minimum, or up to a day. It will rise a bit but nowhere near as much as the initial rise.
        • To make rolls, prepare a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick spray.
        • Prepare egg wash. Crack egg into a bowl. Beat in milk. In addition, add water to a small saucer and set it within reach.
        • Grab small handfuls of dough. To get amounts even, use a kitchen scale to measure out 4-ounces worth. Working fast, pat into a ball. Dip fingers in water then stroke dough to smooth out rough spots. Set rounds on prepared sheet, spaced out. If the dough gets too sticky to work with, place in fridge briefly to chill again.
        • Once rolls are formed, brush them with the egg wash. Let them rise for an hour, until nicely puffed.
        • Preheat oven at 400-degrees.
        • Gently brush on more egg wash. Place in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned and set. Doneness can be double-checked by jabbing a thermometer into a subtle spot along the bottom to ensure the middle is over 190-degrees.
        • Rolls are best eaten within a day, but they keep very well frozen. Eat them warm or at room temperature.

        OM NOM NOM!

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