Friday, August 17, 2018


One of the best things to have for breakfast are freshly baked sweet pastries, with a bit of jam or clotted cream on top, and a cup of hot tea or coffee. The texture of these gorgeous pastries almost resembles brioche pastry, and the fresh orange zest gives lots of flavour, combined with the warm vanilla, and dark rum.
Keep in mind that you do not have to divide the dough into eight pieces like I did, you can divide it into as many as you like, and make the pastries as large or as small as you need them to be. And also keep in mind that the baking time will vary depending on the size of the pastries, so keep an eye on them so they do not overbake. Serve them warm, with plenty of hot tea or black coffee.

350 grams soft flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
50 grams light brown sugar
75 ml vegetable oil
60 ml tepid water
2 medium eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
50 ml vegetable oil, for brushing

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the yeast, sugar and salt, and whisk it very well. Make a little well in the centre, and pour in the water, oil, lightly beaten eggs, as well as the orange zest, orange extract, rum, and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula until a very soft and slightly sticky dough forms. At this point, add a bit more flour if you need to, but try to keep the dough as soft as possible. Keep kneading the dough right in the bowl, for a couple of minutes more, until it becomes lightly tacky, but you will be able to shape it into a ball. Place the dough in a large clean bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise, at room temperature, for about an hour and a half, until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes. If the dough keeps sticking too much, add some additional flour. Divide the dough into eight pieces, and then shape each one into your favourite shape. If you aim for an intricate shape, you might need to add a tad more flour, to braid or twist it more easily. Arrange the pastries on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it sit in a warm spot for another hour, to rise again. Just before baking, brush it generously with oil and bake in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F), for 12-15 minutes.

Baker's note: As with any other baked bread, if you wish, you can brush the top with a bit of butter as soon as you take it out of the oven, for a softer crust.