Sunday, September 14, 2008
Autumn is my hands down favorite season. I love everything about it, the chill in the air, the musty sweet smells, evenings by campfires snuggling up together with mugs of mulled cider. All of my favorite events fall between September and December, starting with L & I's anniversary (8 years on Weds, sadly all unmarried - oh well, someday!), then the steeplechasing race we look forward to each year, Halloween (although it's not my favorite fall holiday), apple picking, leaf gawking, my birthday in early November, a full house at Thanksgiving and to cap it all off my favorite holiday of all, Christmas. I can't tell you how sad I am on New Years, knowing that it will be 9 long months.
So, while other people are still reveling in summer's bounty of peaches, tomatoes and corn, I've moved on, hurrying into fall. These sweet rolls are the perfect example. I've told you before about my thoughts regarding cinnamon rolls (nice but boring, and L hates them), so this time they get a makeover with fall flavors. Pumpkin and spice lend moistness and flavor to a brioche dough (based on Peabody's recipe), which hugs a filling of pears, pecans and dulce de leche. Start making these the day before, then you can just pop them in the oven and you'll have an easy and delicious breakfast.
Pumpkin Spice, Pecan & Pear Sweet Rolls
2/3 recipe Pumpkin Spice Brioche Dough
1 cup dulce de leche
3 small , 2 medium or 1 large pear, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup toffee bits, such as Heath Bar
1 cup pecans, toasted and crumbled
pumpkin pie seasoning
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Frangelico liquor
4 Tbsp water
Roll out dough into a large rectangle, no more than 1/2 inch thick. Arrange rectangle so that the longer sides are the top and bottom. Spread with dulce de leche. Top with pears, toffee bits and pecans. Sprinkle with spices.
Grease a 9 x 13 or other large baking vessel. Roll dough up like a jellyroll, from bottom to top. Use a sharp knife to slice the roll into 2 inch thick pieces (for smaller rolls, make your rectangle much longer on the top and bottom and cut thinner slices). Place each piece into the baking dish as you slice it, with it's best looking end up.
Wrap loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to proof or let sit at room temperature one hour to rise. The following picture is what they should look like after proofing:
Preheat oven to 375. Brush with egg wash if desired. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Mix together powdered sugar, liquor and water to make a glaze. Pour it down over the rolls. If desired, top with a sprinkling of toffee bits.
Pumpkin Spice Brioche Dough
1/4 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
15 oz canned pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dry nonfat milk powder
1 cup bread flour
6 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp pumkin pie seasoning
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
Combine water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir and let sit until foamy. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, milk powder, and 1 cup bread flour. Let sit until it's puffed in size, about 40 minutes.
Add remaining bread flour and spices and stir with the dough hook on low speed. Add eggs, one at a time, until all are incorporated. Turn speed up to medium low and add butter, 1 Tbsp at a time. Dough should become shiny and slightly moist. Knead for about 5 minutes in the machine. Turn out into an oiled bowl and let rest until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
If making sweet rolls, proceed from this point. With the remaining dough, roll it out into a rectangle as long as a loaf pan, brush with butter and top with a mixture of either brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice or chopped sage, fried pancetta and parmesan. Roll up bread and put into a greased loaf pan. Let rise 1 hour, then bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Reduce heat to 350 for remainder of baking time, about 20 minutes.