............... What, in the world, am I talking about? Well, it's the indescribably amazing aroma that filled my house as these delightful rolls were baking. Oh my goodness, it's enough to drive one into a delicious craze. And though I can't send it to you the way I'd like to, I'm sharing the recipe and technique because ............... well..... just because I really, really like you!
Imagine the delight of your family and/or guests if you woke them up one of these upcoming holiday mornings with a yeasty, cinnamon-y, heavenly fragrance. Of course the pièce de résistance would be when they get the first glimpse of these twirly-swirly beauties on the breakfast buffet ..................... then they'd be the ones flipping!
It's Thanksgiving week here in the States, a special time of the year we set aside to spend time with loved ones and to celebrate the magnitude of our blessings. For me, my faith and family are at the top of the list, but the treasure of sweet friends also ranks right up there. As I made these delicious cinnamon rolls, and added the flavorful ingredients, I was reminded of a few of these comrades ................. like Frances, who came to work one day with two bulging bags of pecans, fresh from her backyard tree!
................. and Wendy, who raises chickens and delighted me a few days ago with a carton of lovely brown eggs (see how pretty they are in the pictures? I almost hated to break them open.)
I also thought of Regina who surprised me recently with a huge jar of the most delicious honey you've ever tasted ................ straight from her favorite Carolina mountain beekeeper. And do you see that darling little white honey pot? Don't you love it? It was a gift from my son and daughter-in-law ............. knowing it's from them seems to somehow make the honey taste even better!
So you see why I'm thankful for dear friends? ................ imagine how plain-Jane and boring my rolls would be without their thoughtful gifts!
One last thing; if you don't have a white (flour) thumb, don't worry; you can use this recipe and technique with frozen dough! And speaking of frozen, you can make the rolls ahead, up to the second rise and freeze them for up to 4-5 weeks. The night before the big reveal, let them thaw in the refrigerator and then ................ let the drama begin!!! :)
P.S.- I wish I could tell you I had a friend with a cow and he (or she) milked the cow and churned the butter for me, but I'd be a big fat liar. I do love Land O' Lakes butter though, for baking, cooking and at the table. I stock up on it whenever I see a good sale!
Twirly-Swirly Pecan Cinnamon Brioche Rolls
1 tablespoon dry yeast
½ cup warm water, 105-115˚F, if you're not used to working with yeast, use a thermometer
4 large eggs
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling
½ cup butter, softened
Ingredients for the egg wash:1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup pecans, finely chopped (I throw them in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped)
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water, then whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour in order to form a loose paste. Allow to rise in a warm place until the batter has risen and fallen (this usually takes about 1 hour.)
2. Add eggs, sugar, salt and remaining flour to the fallen yeast mixture. Knead the dough until it is smooth. (I use a stand mixer with a dough hook inserted.) Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add the soft butter and knead until it is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled; about 1 hour (this may take longer if your kitchen is cool.)
3. Combine pecans, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
5. Pat each ball into a roughly shaped rectangle and cover all but one with your towel.
10. Continue rolling until complete with seam facing down. (see picture) Take one end and make a turn to the side. (see picture)
11. Pick up the turned end and continue rolling across the top of the roll. (see picture) When you get to the end, tuck it underneath. Pick up the roll with two hands and place on prepared pan, fanning out edges a bit, if needed. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, placing on pans and leaving 2-3" in between each roll. I only put 5 rolls on each sheet pan to allow room for the rolls to rise and grow.
13. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on the top and bottom. Cover with foil the last 5 minutes if they're getting too brown on the top. Cool on cooling rack then store in an airtight container.
Note:Rolls can be made ahead completely and frozen. Freeze on a large sheet pan until frozen, then store in a zippered bag or airtight container. To serve: thaw and rewarm in a 350˚F oven (on a sheet pan covered lightly with foil) for 5-10 minutes.
Another option is to make rolls as directed up through step 11. Place in freezer for 1 hour or until frozen, then cover well with plastic wrap and/or foil. Will keep for 4-5 weeks. Remove from freezer the night before serving and allow to thaw on a sheet pan in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. In the morning remove from refrigerator and remove plastic wrap. Cover with a clean kitchen towel until doubled in size, then proceed with the egg wash and baking in steps 12 and 13.