I’m doing it again! I’m sharing another of my Mamma’s most popular recipes. You guys are so lucky to get this — and you must make it! My mother’s recipe is totally “Hipcooks,” meaning that it’s a snap to make, yet so special and delicious that everyone will be fawning over it (and you!) when it comes out of the oven, smelling sweetly of cinnamon and walnuts. You won’t believe it, but this bread is no-knead, and no-fuss. A child can make it (and does)!
The last time I made this recipe I was Lucia’s age. How fun it was to re-discover this delicious bread with her.
Basically, you plop warmed milk, butter, yeast (from a packet) some sugar for the yeast to eat into a mixer, and add egg and flour. Mix until just combined.
Cover, and throw the whole thing into the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or a maximum of 3 days. True! The bread does not care! It will prove (rise) just the same.
Roll it out.
Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar, plenty of cinnamon, golden raisins and chopped walnuts. Roll it into one big log, and transfer to a baking sheet. You can give it a horse-shoe shape, a circle, or a heart (credit to my daughter Lucia for best idea ever).
This bread will rise further in the oven, brown on top and smell like home.
Do not resist the temptation to cut a piece straight away, slather with superfluous butter and go straight to 7th Heaven.
Without further ado…
My Mom’s “Hefeteig” – Pinwheel Bread
Makes one fabulous loaf, great for sharing.
1 package yeast (like Fliechmann’s)
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (1 stick) + ¼ cup butter for brushing (1/2 a stick or so).
4 cups flour
4 tablespoons cinnamon (at least!), have fun judging the amount yourself
1 cup chopped walnuts (at least!), see above
1 cup golden raisins (at least!), like before
½ cup brown sugar (at least!), you’re getting the hang of this!
Stir the yeast and warm water together. Scald the milk, and mix in the sugar and salt. Remove the milk from the heat and add 1 stick of butter. Once the butter has melted, check the temperature of the mixture. (Adding cold butter to the milk will both melt the butter while bringing down the temperature of the milk to just lukewarm, which is what you want. The Goldilocks Principle applies: too hot will kill the yeast, too cold and it will not activate.
Once the milk mixture is lukewarm, add it to a mixing bowl along with the yeast. (A stand mixer bowl is the easiest method, but you can mix by hand as well.)
Add 2 cups of flour, mix, add the egg, mix, and then the rest of the flour. The dough will be sticky — that’s fine! Cover the bowl and let the dough rest and prove in the fridge. (Minimum, 2 hours. Maximum, 3 days. Hint to the parents out there: make the dough in the evening, and then roll out the dough the next day with your kiddo.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Turn the raised dough (it will smell delicious already!) onto a floured surface. Roll out as thin as you dare…go for baking sheet size (about a foot by a foot and a half, if you’re a measurer.)
Brush the entire surface of the dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, copious amounts of cinnamon, golden raisins (yes!) and chopped walnuts. Use as much or as little as you like. Roll away! Shape the loaf as you please, and brush the top with butter.
Bake until the loaf is evenly browned and smelling fantastic, about 30 -40 unites depending on the size and shape you have. (It may rise a little in the process, don’t worry either way.) Remove from oven and enjoy immediately (who can resist!) Only superheroes and other very cool individuals are fearless about applying extra butter to each delicious slice.