Some breads for the holidays-St Lucia on the 13th, and the Virgin of Guadalupe on the 12th. Both breads are simple enough to make (I did them both on the same day in addition to three other loaves of bread) though the streusel for the pan dulce is frankly, a pain in the arse. If you do the spreading on top bit (rather than inside) roll it between sheets of wax paper first-it will save you a good deal of frustration. Both recipes are from Sunset Breads, Step by Step Techniques 1984
Note: These recipes rely on a easy-mix method where the yeast in dissolved along with a small bit of dry ingredients, then beaten on high with a mixer. I use a food service grade yeast that does not work well with that method as the grains are much larger than store bought yeast. To counter this, I dissolved the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, and just kneaded everything by hand as I typically do. I will give the instructions as printed, but be aware that you can adapt if you don't have a mixer, or buy strange commercial yeast at the surplus store.
For Pan Dulce:
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated (not instant yeast)
1 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5-6 cups plain flour
2 large eggs
Streusel recipe (below)
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, 2/3 cup flour, 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, 2 egg yolks. mix dry ingredients, cut in butter. Add egg with a fork until mixed.
Do the same as above, but add 2 tablespoons powdered cocoa, and I added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon as well.
Knead dough until smooth, place in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.
Meanwhile, make the streusel.
\Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Divide dough into 14 balls.
Pat out rounds for the shells, then top with flattened streusel and score carefully with a knife. For horns, roll up like a crescrnt with the filling inside. For ears of corn, make a 4x8 inch oval from the dough. Fill by rolling carefully, and then scoring top.
Let rolls rise until nearly doubled again-about an hour in my cold kitchen. Brush with wash before baking (only filled rolls) and then bake 17-20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
Cool on racks.
For Lucia Buns:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/16th teaspoon (or a pinch) ground saffron
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
About 4 cups plain flour
About 1/3 cup raisins
Wash-1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water
In a small pan, melt butter. Remove from heat, stir in cream, sugar, salt, and saffron. Let cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, mix the yeast and water. Stir to dissolve. Add cooled cream mixture, egg, and 2 cups flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon. Add more flour as needed to make a dough that is smooth, and no longer sticky. Place in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.
Divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each into a ropeabout 9 inches long. Form into S shape by coiling ends in opposite directions. Place a raisin in each swirl. Place about 2 inches apart on a buttered baking sheet. Cover, let rise until doubled-about 35 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Brush rolls with wash, and bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned at edges and tops are golden. Cool on racks.
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