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Ginger is a traditional holiday flavor, but you can eat it year-round. In fact, if you’re a ginger lover, it’s a shame not to. “Ginger is a flavor powerhouse that never goes out of season,” says Hannah Kaminsky.
And, it’s a nutritional powerhouse, considered one of the world’s healthiest foods.
So how about gingerbread-lemon buns for a weekend brunch dessert?
“I’ve got one killer dessert recipe burning a hole in my pocket and I can’t wait to share it much longer,” says Hannah. Never mind the unattractive appearance, because this baked delight has inner beauty hidden within every fold.
“Singing out with the depth and soul that only dark, sticky molasses can bring to the table, these are not your average plain Jane cinnamon rolls. Boldly spiced, with ginger taking the clear lead, cinnamon is still invited to the party; but it is no longer the sole center of attention.”
A final tip from Hannah:
Cinnamon buns with a big hit of ginger. Photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.
“Don’t confine yourself to just orange or lime zest. Use grapefruit, tangerine or any other fresh citrus you have at hand.”
RECIPE: GINGERBREAD LEMON BUNS
Ingredients For 9-12 Buns
For The Gingerbread Dough
1 cup milk
1 cube fresh yeast or 1 packet ((1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1 tablespoon Vital Wheat gluten*
*Wheat gluten is used to help the stretchiness of the dough.
It’s easy to grate fresh ginger. Photo
For The Lemon-Sugar Filling
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1. HEAT the milk in a microwave safe bowl for a minute to warm, but do not bring it to a boil. Stir in the yeast and let is sit for about 5 minutes until frothy and active. Once re-awakened, pour the yeast mixture into a stand mixer, along with the sugar, oil and molasses. Mix to combine.
2. WHISK together in a separate bowl the first 3 cups of flour, spices, optional wheat gluten and salt. Make sure that all the dry goods are thoroughly distributed and there are no large pockets of unblended spices remaining.
3. ADD the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Beginning at the lowest speed, use the dough hook to slowly combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to keep everything incorporated, until the dough forms a cohesive ball. If it still seems excessively wet, add up to 1/2 cup of flour.
4. CONTINUE to knead the dough with the mixer for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You could also knead it by hand; just take 15 minutes to do so. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let rest in a warm area for about 1-1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
5. PUNCH down the dough and turn it out on to a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle of about 14 x 18 inches. Brush generously with the melted margarine. Combine the sugar and zest in a small bowl before sprinkling the mixture evenly over the entire surface. Starting from one of the shorter ends, roll the rectangle up as tightly as possible, pinching the seam shut when you reach the other end.
6. CUT the roll into 1-1/2-inch pieces, using a very sharp knife. Fit them into a lightly grease 9 x 9-inch pan, spacing them as evenly as possible. Begin preheating your oven to 350°F; allow the rolls to rise for 45 to 60 minutes before putting them in the hot oven.
7. BAKE for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown all over. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in.
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