Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin-fest, Part Deux- baking substitution & cinnamon rolls!

Randy Mayor; Mary Catherine Muir- Cooking Light
Here we are on this GLORIOUS Tuesday for part two of pumpkin-fest. Today's blog is short and sweet, I'll use the rest of today to finish out pumpkin-fest, and I need all of the time I can get!
Did you know that you can use pumpkin puree as a substitute for oil/shortening/butter in baking? As someone who has a dairy allergy, I'm often using substitutions in baking, and this one is no exception.
As I mentioned yesterday, pumpkin is SUCH a healthy food. It is FULL of antioxidants and vitamins, while being sooo low in calories. When you juxtapose that against the health *ahem* benefits of butter/vegetable oil/shortening, it really isn't a competition. In most cases, the amount of puree you're using is so minimal that it doesn't even change the taste of the recipe. However, any fruit puree can be substituted as well including prune and applesauce which are both very popular. I usually substitute an even exchange (ie, 1 tbs to 1 tbs). I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite pumpkin recipes while we're talking about using puree in baking. It's adapted from Cooking Light, and a blog I follow called Lick the Bowl Good. It's INCREDIBLE. I prepare the dough in batches and keep it in our freezer for quick Saturday morning breakfasts.

DOUGH:
2.25 tsp yeast, or 1 package
1/4 c. warm water
3 3/4 c. bread flour, divided
1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. low-fat/almond/coconut/soy milk
1/4 c. butter, melted (optional, I never use it)
1 tbs brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp almond extract/bakers emulsion

FILLING:
3 tbs granulated sugar (I actually use natural instead)
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbs chilled butter, cut into small pieces (optional)

GLAZE:
3/4 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 tbs hot water
1/4 tbs vanilla extract

For the dough, dissolve the yeast in warm water for 5 minutes. Using a stand mixer, place 3 cups of the flour, the yeast water and remaining dough ingredients into the bowl and mix on medium til smooth. Remove and knead for about 10 minutes, adding the remaining 3/4 cups of flour as necessary. You can also finish this in your stand mixer if you have the appropriate dough hook. Remember to knead it for less time since the mixer is more efficient than hand-kneading and it's important not to over-knead dough.
Place the dough in a greased (I use a misto with olive oil) bowl, place in a warm area and allow it to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and allow it to rise for 5 more minutes. (after this, I freeze the dough if I'm not making the rolls that day)
While it's in it's second resting stage, combine the filling ingredients together with a fork.
Roll out the dough on to a flour surface in a 12 X 10 inch rectangle and sprinkle filling on top. If using the chilled butter, place slices of it all around on top of the filling. Roll the dough longways (hot dog- start with the long edge) into a tube. Using a sharp knife, cut the long roll into 12 pieces, I mark the halfway spot, then I score those two into half and so on until I've made 12 even pieces before cutting them all the way through.
Place the buns flat into a greased pan, cover and let rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Whisk the glaze ingredients together and pour over warm buns. Serve immediately.
Delicious.
I'm VERY excited about the blogs for the rest of the week. Tomorrow's should be especially interesting. I'm even working on my own pumpkin-spice latte :)
Enjoy your day and don't forget to make these rolls this weekend!

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