Tag Archives: bread baking

Honey Oat PB Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Honey Oat PB Swirl Bread - Sliced

Warm cinnamon-scented carbs… is there anything better?

I finally got back into the kitchen this week and baked up a recipe for my friends at Peanut Butter & Co. This time, they challenged Yum Squad members to see what we could come up with given any two jars of their peanut butter and a bag of Bob’s Red Mill old-fashioned oats. Two of my favorite things. My first instinct was a cookie, but I made a pledge to overcome my fear of killing yeast doughs by facing them head-on, so I tackled a sticky, yummy yeast bread with a cinnamon raisin peanut butter swirl.

I decided to use oatmeal in the dough, so I started by heating milk, water, salt, honey, butter and oats on the stove. The oats are not really cooked, just softened.

Plumped & Softened Oats - PB Swirl Bread

Once the milk & oats mixture was cooled, I added the yeast and let it sit until it was foamy and fragrant. When yeast blooms, it is fabulous to see and smell.

Growing Yeast - PB Swirl Bread

Once we had a full-blown yeast party, I blended in the eggs and added bread flour with a secret twist – Peanut Butter & Co. powdered peanut butter. I used their chocolate version. If you’ve ever wondered if you can toss powdered peanut butter into baked goods, the answer is yes! Just 3 tablespoons sifted into the flour added the perfect hint of peanut butter flavor to compliment the filling.
Do you have to use it? No. But if you can, do.

Liquids with eggs & PB flour added - PB Swirl Bread

Dough is ready! - PB Swirl Bread

Finished Dough ready to rise - PB Swirl Bread

Once the dough was mixed, I covered it in plastic wrap and a towel and let it nap in a sunny window. When it was doubled in bulk, I divided the dough into two equal rectangles, smeared half a jar of cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter over each, sprinkled them generously with a raw sugar and ground cinnamon mixture and rolled them cinnamon roll style.

Divide & Roll - PB Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Raisin PB Layer - PB Swirl Bread

Look at that gorgeous cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter layer. I could almost eat it just like this. Next, sprinkle with raw sugar and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle - PB Swirl Bread

Instead of individual rolls, I dropped them into buttered loaf pans and let them rise again. All I could think was “slice it, butter it, and toast it on a griddle” so I went with loaves. Two gorgeous, pillowy loaves. I wish you could smell them.

Rolled & In The Pans - PB Swirl Bread

Finally, just before I popped them in the oven, I rubbed on a little softened butter, sprinkled on some additional oats (oh, how I love these oats!) and finished with a drizzle of local honey. Just because.

Dressed & Ready to Bake - PB Swirl Bread

Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Yeast breads are hard. Yeast is too easy to kill. Yeast bread recipes take too long to make.’ I feel ya’ and I was with you until very recently. The truth is, yeast breads DO take longer to make due to all that rising, but don’t be fooled – they are EASY to make. I swear it.

NanaBread’s Honey Oat PB Swirl Bread:
(makes two 10″ loaves)

1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup raw sugar (or brown sugar)
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 of those little foil envelopes of rapid-rise yeast
4 whole eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons Peanut Butter & Co PB powder (optional)
4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 jar (16 ozs.) Peanut Butter & Co cinnamon raisin swirl PB
1/2 cup raw sugar + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, blended

Topping:
1/2 stick of butter, softened to room temperature
2-3 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill oats
2-3 tablespoons local honey

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water, salt, honey & raw sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often to keep the honey from burning, until the mixture begins to bubble and foam around the edges. Add the old-fashioned oats and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Give them a stir, remove from the heat, and add the stick of butter. Allow this mixture to cool to 110F.

While the liquids are cooling, sift two cups of flour with the peanut butter powder and set it aside. Measure an additional 2 1/2 cups of flour and have it standing by.

When the milk and oat mixture is cooled to 110F, add the yeast and allow it to sit for at least 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and frothy. With your paddle attachment on and your mixer at low speed, blend in all four eggs.

Start adding the flour with the powdered peanut butter first, about 1/2 cup at a time, until almost blended. Switch to the bread hook attachment and start adding additional flour until the dough is thick but not dry and tries to climb over the top of your dough hook. I used 4 1/2 cups total, but you may need more or less.

Once blended, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the mixer and dough hook. Place the dough in a buttered or oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and set it in a sunny window to rise.

When doubled in bulk, divide the dough into two equal portions. On a piece of buttered parchment paper, shape each half of the dough into a rectangle as wide as your loaf pan. Spread on half the jar of peanut butter, working it out close to the edges. Sprinkle with half the raw sugar & cinnamon mixture, then roll like a jelly roll and place into your buttered loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow them to rise until doubled again.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Rub the top of each loaf with softened butter, then sprinkle with oats and drizzle with honey. Place the loaf pans on a parchment-covered baking sheet (in case of spillage during baking) and bake for 15 minutes uncovered. After 15 minutes, tent the loaves with foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the loaves are risen, browned and make a hollow thump noise when you tap them. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to finish cooling (at least one hour).

I’m embarrassed to admit I avoided yeast dough for too long. So if you like hot buttered carbs as much as I love hot buttered carbs, promise you’ll tackle a yeast bread soon. Today, maybe. You can do it. I believe in you.

Honey Oat PB Swirl Bread - CloseUp

Note: As a member of the Peanut Butter & Co Yum Squad, I am occasionally given jars of peanut butter (and sometimes additional products like the Bob’s Red Mill old-fashioned oats in this recipe) to play with. What I choose to do with them is up to me. I am not compensated for the recipes or the posts.
If I like it, I share it. It’s just that simple.

YumSquad-Banner-Oatober-02

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Sweet Potato Buns (two ways!)

Sweet mother of billowy buns – these have my head spinning! Made with a freshly baked sweet potato & a touch of honey, these orange-tinted beauties will leave you craving more. Even better? They’re easy to make.

Flaky Buttery Sweet Potato Rolls

It’s rare that I decide to make homemade sandwich buns, but when I saw this recipe I knew I would give it a shot. That one lonely sweet potato in my pantry was just begging for it. The fact that they’re naturally sweetened with honey sealed the deal. What do I love most about these? Everything.

Baked Sweet Potato Buns - CloseUp

Soft on the inside. Flaky on the outside. Slightly sweet. Gloriously eggy. And as dough goes, versatile. First up was sandwich buns. Cutting this gorgeous dough into strips, I tied them into knots and smeared them with softened butter.

Buttered Sweet Potato Buns - CloseUp

Baked to golden perfection, they were perfect for grilled chicken sandwiches.
To make, we marinated boneless breasts in lime juice, garlic and olive oil then cooked them on the grill. Layered with lettuce, tomato, purple onion, a little mayonnaise and a slice of provolone, it’s one of our favorite sandwiches.

Sweet Potato Buns in Action - Grilled Chicken Sandwich

That’s not all this dough can do. It also makes perfect cinnamon rolls. Using half the dough for sandwich buns, I reserved the other half for these breakfast beauties – Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with orange cream cheese frosting.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls - Glazed

If you thought this dough made a great looking sandwich bun, wait until you take a bite of these cinnamon buns. Without a doubt, these are the best buns I’ve ever made. Here’s how you can make them for your family.

NanaBread’s Sweet Potato Bread Dough:
1 medium sweet potato (roughly 14 ozs.)
1/2 cup warm water (115F)
6 tablespoons honey
2 envelopes (or 1/2 oz.) active rapid-rise yeast
1 cup mashed sweet potato (from the sweet potato above)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole large or jumbo eggs, plus one additional egg yolk
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, sifted
1/2 softened butter, to finish (instructions below)
1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon (for cinnamon rolls)

Cinnamon Roll Frosting (optional):
1 package of cream cheese (8 ozs.), softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2-3 drops Fiori de Sicilia orange essence (optional) OR 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

To make the bread dough: wash the sweet potato and prick the skin all around with a fork to create steam holes. Wet two paper towels and wring them out, then wrap the sweet potato in the damp towels. Microwave on high until the sweet potato is soft inside (roughly 3-5 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave). When done, set it aside to cool.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm water and honey. Give it a quick stir with a spatula and add the rapid-rise yeast. Give it another quick stir, then walk away for at least 10-15 minutes so the yeast can bloom.

Remove the skin from the cooked sweet potato and mash it with a fork until mostly smooth (a few small lumps are okay). Sift the bread flour and set it aside. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk with a fork until well blended.

When the yeast is ready, add the sweet potato puree, melted butter, salt and eggs and mix on low just until blended. Start adding the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough becomes sticky and clings to the dough hook (may take 3-5 mins.).

Note: this makes a soft, sticky dough. Humidity plays a part in how much flour you may need to achieve the proper texture. I’m in Houston, where the humidity was 75%, so I used all 4 cups of flour. You may use less, depending on your climate. Start by adding 3 cups of flour (one cup at a time) and slowly add more until you get a soft, sticky dough that clings to that dough hook.

Once the dough clings, stop the mixer and scrape the dough off the dough hook. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly just until it forms a smooth ball. Place the dough ball in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a clean towel, and place the bowl in a sunny window to rise until doubled in bulk. Once doubled, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll or press into a rectangle roughly 8″ x 20″.

To make sandwich buns: cut the dough into 1″ x 8″ strips (I use a rolling pizza cutter). Tie each strip into a knot, tucking the cut end underneath, and place them on a parchment or silpat mat lined baking sheet. Gently run the top of each bun with softened butter. Cover with plastic wrap and a lightweight towel and allow to rise again for at least 30 minutes, or up to one hour.

To make cinnamon rolls: combine 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Liberally coat your rectangle of dough with softened butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Roll the dough, working along the long side of the rectangle, then pinch the seam to seal it. Roll it over until the seam is facing down on the floured board, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Using a sharp blade (I use my bench scraper), cut the dough into pieces 1 1/2″ wide and place them cut-side up on a lined baking sheet, at least 2″ apart. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow them to rise one last time, for 30 minutes.

To bake: Pre-heat your oven to 375F. Once hot, bake your rolls one sheet at a time on the center rack of the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, or until golden brown. A good way to test sandwich buns is to gently press the center of one bun with your finger. If it feels soft and depresses easily, leave them in a little longer. If they feel firm, they’re done. Remove from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack, and allow the buns to cool completely.

To make the cinnamon roll frosting: soften the cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and orange essence or concentrate in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until the mixture holds its shape when you drag your whisk through it. Scrape the frosting into a quart ziploc bag. Press the air out and seal the bag, then twist it to work the frosting into one corner of the bag. Snip the corner off with a pair of scissors, and frost the cinnamon rolls. I used a criss-cross pattern, but you could also start in the center and pipe a spiral or make the frosting thinner and use it as a glaze.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls - CloseUp

This recipe made 16 buns – 7 sandwich and 9 cinnamon rolls.

Baked buns can be frozen for future use. For the sandwich buns, place them in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible, then place into a second freezer bag. For cinnamon rolls, leave glazed rolls on a baking sheet and place the pan into the freezer. Freeze cinnamon rolls for 2-3 hours, or until the frosting and buns are firm. Remove frozen rolls from the baking sheet and double bag them in freezer bags, just as you would the sandwich buns. Double-bagged buns should last up to 2 months in the freezer, if they last that long.

This recipe is adapted from a sweet potato roll recipe posted on the Tasty Kitchen website by Deana at Country Mom Cooks. I doubled the amount of sweet potato puree and yeast, and added more honey, melted butter and an additional egg yolk for a richer dough. Click the underlined link to the original.

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