Butterflake Herb Loaf, transformed

It was not that long ago that I posted about an old King Arthur Flour bakealong challenge that is loved by all of us – their Butterflake Herb Loaf. So it was to my surprise that this month they’ve brought the challenge back with some twists.

We were challenged to make different fillings and adjust the method slightly to yield a softer dough. Using the tangzhong method, you take a bit of the flour and milk that goes into the dough and you cook it in a saucepan until it forms a paste. Then you add it to the rest of the ingredients and knead the dough together. It didn’t take much longer and it definitely yielded a better result. Definite win.

The first filling variation was pepperoni pizza – you roll out the dough and spread marinara on it, then top it with pepperoni and shredded mozzarella. We loved this one! And there were many complaints that there was only the one loaf. When it’s out of the oven you brush on a bit of garlic oil and it adds just enough flavor without causing garlic breath. So good!

Not to diminish the dessert one. Butterscotch chips and cinnamon sugar – mmm mmm. This was so delightful with a cup of tea. You spread softened butter over the rolled out dough, then sprinkle on cinnamon sugar and butterscotch chips. It filled the house with the most heavenly smell, too. It was then finished off with a vanilla sugar glaze that made it a next level dessert.

I didn’t like the changed shaping method. While it is easier to just roll out a rectangle and cut strips for the pieces, it just didn’t seem to fit as nicely in the pans. Maybe I needed to be a bit more precise with the measuring (my measuring tape has disappeared and it’s driving me bonkers!) so I shouldn’t be too harsh a critic. It did fill the pan better and I do understand why they did it, the bigger fillings would’ve been a nightmare to individually place on the circles of cut out dough.

Overall I’m very happy with this month’s challenge. I hope next month brings something brand new though as the last two months have been variations on old challenges.

 

Butterflake Herb Loaf

This butterflake herb loaf which was the King Arthur Flour Bakealong challenge in March 2017 is one of our very favorite dinner breads. It is ultra comforting and perfect to accompany a bowl of soup or pasta.

You make an enriched dough that has butter, eggs and milk and let it rise until doubled. Then you roll the dough out and cut out discs before spreading with a buttery herb and garlic filling and folding the discs into half moons. Then you just lay them in a row in two small loaf pans and leave to rise until the fill the pan. Half an hour in the oven and you are indulging in one of the greatest things since sliced bread!

Look at the golden buttery layered goodness…

And the glamour shot of the inside…break me off another piece!

Savory Rugelach

The King Arthur Flour Bakealong challenge this month is a twist on an old challenge – savory rugelach made as spirals rather than their traditional roll ups. I must admit I wasn’t too excited by this one…I’ve made last month’s challenge several times already…but now that I gave it a go, I can see what the fuss was all about, they are so delicious!

The dough is a combination of cream cheese, sour cream, butter and flour – it’s chilled for an hour or so before you roll it into a rectangle, sprinkle on the fillings, roll it up into a spiral and slice off discs before baking. I had a really hard time maintaining the shape on these and think that next time I’d chill it again before slicing.

The first variety I made was spinach and feta – the recipe says that because there’s not much fat in the fillings that they brush on melted butter. I took it a step further. I made up some garlic butter for naan and was hesitant to throw out the remaining 1/4 cup so I chucked it back in the fridge. I remelted it and brushed it on before putting the fillings down and it worked perfectly and added a bit of extra oomph!

The second variety was cheddar and pecan and this was very scrumptious. I wasn’t too keen on keeping this as a log and cutting after baking but soon after I started cutting discs I worked out why they did that – the pecans go everywhere! Oh well…I just refilled them after I put them on the baking trays.

These cooked in about half the time that the recipe suggested. I can’t imagine how burnt these would’ve been had I just gone with the instructions. Aaron absolutely loved these – I made them to go alongside our family movie/cheese night and most of the 48 that the recipe made have disappeared.

Will I make them again? I think so – but like I said, I’d change the slicing method by refrigerating the rolled logs first – I think I’d like to try some different fillings still too. I can see throwing these together for a party appetizer/finger food option. The challenges are consistently great and I can’t wait to see what it will be next month!

Almond Puff Loaf Bakealong

Quite possibly this is one of the nicest things I’ve ever eaten. Choux pastry is one of those desserts that is never overly sweet, given the lack of sugar in the dough, and it’s very versatile and also very moreish. So no surprise that my first bite of this I was transported into dessert heaven. At first glance I wasn’t took thrilled with this month’s Bakealong challenge as I thought I was looking at puff pastry, and quite frankly, I’m sick of the flaky texture of it. And then when I noticed that it was choux on top of what looked to be shortcrust pastry, and that it didn’t take all day to make, I got out my mixer and my saucepans and set to work.

So like I said, the pastry is comprised of a shortcrust pastry that is topped with a choux pastry and they box take minutes to put together. The shortcrust is flour, water, butter and salt and you split it into two and shape it with wet fingers into a rough 10×3 inch log. Then you make the choux of virtually the same ingredients, but this time the salt, butter and water are brought to a boil, the flour is added and cooked until it congeals into a ball and starts to steam, then you cool it off in the mixer while adding 3 eggs and some almond extract. You spoon this over the top of the shortcrust and then using the wet fingers again you spread it evenly over the top of the first layer. Chuck it in the oven for about an hour and Bob’s your uncle.

You top the puff with some jam of your choosing (I had an open raspberry jam to use up so that’s what we have used) and then some toasted almonds and a simple icing made from icing sugar, milk and either vanilla or more almond extract (which I opted for). Slice it up and most definitely serve it with a cup of tea. I reckon the almonds would pair really nicely with some cherry jam and I’m keen to buy a jar just to try this again.

This is another dessert that I think would sit nicely on a high tea platter…maybe for the mothers in your life on a holiday that is coming up next month…hear that Aaron?!!