Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Danish Rye Butter Buns

When I was young, my family lived on the same street as my grandparents.  I loved to go to my grandma's on Saturday morning when she was in the kitchen baking.  The kitchen always smelled so good!  I was able to sit at the kitchen table and play cards with my great-grandma while my grandma baked away.  When I got a little older, my grandma let me bake with her.  One the the things that I learned from my grandma was how to cut bread.  She let me make a small version of whatever she was making.  One day we were baking cinnamon rolls.  I remember her large pan ready for rising while she showed me how to cut my small roll into individual rolls.  She gave me a piece of string and watched me pull it through the bread for a gentle, but effective cut.

As I grew older, I tried to make bread several times and it never quite turned out for me, so I quit making bread from scratch.  It always bothered me because friends and family who know me, know I like to bake and cook everything I can from scratch.  I wasn't going to let yeast things scare me anymore and started this year with artesian bread which turn out wonderful, delicious and not difficult to make at all.  These rolls also come from Beatrice Ojakangas' book Scandinavian Feast.  The name is right on as there are 5 sticks of butter used in this recipe, but it will be difficult to actually stop eating these rolls.

Danish Rye Butter Buns

2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (about 110F)
1 cup warm milk (About 110F)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups rye flour
4 cups white flour
3 sticks cold butter
1 stick butter, softened

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in water.  Add the milk, sugar, and salt and let stand for about 5 minutes or until the yeast foams.  Beat in the eggs, melted butter and 1 cup of the rye flour.  Measure the remaining rye and white flour in a large bowl.  Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture.  Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture.  Carefully fold the two mixtures together until just moistened.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at minimum 4 hour and up to 2 days.

When ready to shape the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured board.  Knead gently to get rid of any air bubbles.  Divide the dough into four parts.  Roll the dough out to make a 15 inch circle.  With a butter knife, spread the surface of the circle with 1 tablespoon of the soft butter.  Fold the circle into thirds and roll it out into a 24 inch square.  Fold into thirds again to make a square about 15-16 inches wide.  Spread the surface with another tablespoon of the softened butter.  Roll up the dough (Jelly-roll style).  Cut into 8 pieces and place seam side down onto a baking sheet to rise.  Repeat with remaining three pieces of dough.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 2 hours).  Preheat oven to 400F.  Brush the buns with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a coarse salt.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and crusty.  Remove from oven and cool on racks.  Serve warm or cooled.
Makes 32 buns

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