29 Mar 2009

Bird's nests and almond paste buns

Spring is in the air.

I know, I know, it's just the end of march and the weather is still pretty unpredictable. But it's getting less dark every morning and when I step in my car at 7 a.m., the lark is already singing his favourite song.

It just feels so promising and new. Everywhere the green looks so fresh and it won't take long till the cow parsly will bloom alongside the canal behind our house. Bird's nests will be filled with eggs and in a few weeks I'll hear the little ducklings call for their mother while I'm working in the garden.

Just the moment for sweet bird's nests. This recipe was published on the Fresh Loaf and it stole my hart right away. One dough and two kind of delicious breads: bird's nests and raisin buns The only thing I've changed are the raisin buns; I've used almond paste softened with a few tablespoons of the egg glaze.

Bird's nests and almond paste buns
3 1/2 cup flour
4 gr. instant yeast
12 gr. milk powder
45 gr. sugar
10 gr. salt
3 eggs at roomtemperature
85 gr. soft butter

Egg glaze
1 egg
1 tbsp. milk (15 ml.)

Cream Cheese filling for the bird's nests
100 gr. cream cheese
23 gr. sugar
2 1/2 ml. vanilla extract
15 ml. egg glaze

Almond paste filling
150 gr. almond paste
30 ml. egg glaze

Sugar glaze
50 gr. sugar
65 ml. water
a few drop vanilla extract

Mix the flour, yeast, milk powder, sugar, salt and water in a big bowl. Mix till there's no dry flour left. Add the butter and knead 5 minutes till you get a sticky but soft dough. Leave the dough in an oiled container (covered) until doubled in size. This will take approximately 1 1/2 hour. Take the dough out of the container, punch it down and put it back again. Leave it for a night in the fridge.

The next morning you can divide the dough in two equal pieces. One is used for the bird's nests and the other for the almond paste buns. Make the egg glaze, the cream cheese filling and the almond paste filling just by combining the ingredients.

For the bird's nests:
Roll the dough out to a rectangle of 8 by 12 inches (20 x 30 cm.) and slice it into 8 long strips. Strech each strip as long as possible. Twist each strip and curl it up to make the shape of a bird's nest.

Place each nest on a baking sheet and brush them gently with the egg glaze. Make with your fingers a little well in the centre of the bird's nest and place a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in each well.

Let them rise till they are puffy. This can take 1 to 1 1/4 hour. Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes at 385 dgr. F. (195 dgr. C.). Brush them with the sugar glaze when they are still very hot. Let them cool down on an iron rack.

For the almond paste buns:
Roll the dough out to a rectangle of 8 by 10 inches (20 x 25 cm.). Spread the almond paste filling over it and sprinkle the cranberries over the filling. Roll the dough up into a large log and slice it into 12 pieces. Place each piece into a cupcake carton and fold it a bit open.

Brush them gently with the egg glaze. Let them rise till they are puffy and bake them 15 minutes in the oven at 385 dgr. F. (195 dgr. C.). Brush them also with the sugar glaze when they're still hot and let them cool down on an iron rack.


Lien said...

What a great idea to start spring! They look wonderful... maybe you could send one over, I'm having coffee right now, I think those would combine just fine!

Baking Soda said...

So cute! Wonderful idea and I love the soft drapes of the dough!