Friday, September 21, 2018


When it comes to autumn breakfast, really nothing beats fresh, soft rolls first thing in the morning. With a cup of coffee, preferable. These rolls rise slowly, overnight, but they are well worth the wait. Fluffy and soft sweet dough, delicious cinnamon praline buttercream filling, and just a tiny dollop of fresh cream on top, make for a wonderful breakfast treat.
Although French praline is usually made with almonds, I quite enjoy the combination of roasted hazelnuts with cinnamon; and one can never go wrong with adding fresh caramel to anything. Sugar cooked until it becomes a glistening amber, then quickly poured over the whole hazelnuts; a lovely start of a wholesome autumnal sweet breakfast.

For the dough
450 grams soft flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
200 grams vanilla yogurt
50 ml vegetable oil
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling
150 grams granulated sugar
100 grams whole roasted hazelnuts
120 grams butter, softened
1 ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the cinnamon frosting
100 ml double cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Take a metal tray and line it with baking parchment, then arrange the whole roasted hazelnuts in a single layer, and set it aside. Pour the sugar in an even layer in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or a skillet. Place the saucepan over medium heat and let the sugar melt slowly. Do not rush this process or stir the sugar at this point. You can very gently sway the pan, but do not stir.
It will take some time for the sugar to start melting, but once it starts to brown around the edges, slowly move the melted parts towards the centre. Keep cooking whilst keeping a close eye on it, until it starts to turn darker in colour and become very fragrant. Once it becomes a deep amber colour, remove it from the heat, and pour it evenly over the prepared hazelnuts, then leave it to cool down completely. Once cool, use a food processor to grind the praline into fine crumbs. Take the softened butter and whip it up for a few minutes, then add in the praline and cinnamon, and mix well.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add in the yeast and cinnamon, and whisk well. Make a little well in the centre, and pour in the oil, vanilla, beaten eggs, and yoghurt. Start mixing slowly with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough comes together. Proceed to knead it by hand for about 5 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and springy to the touch. If it sticks too much to your hands or the work surface, add a tiny bit of flour more. Let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, then roll it out into a large square.
Be patient in this step, and if the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for a few more minutes. Spread the soft buttery filling evenly on the dough, then gently roll it up into a log, and slice it up into twelve equal rolls. Arrange them in a small baking pan (18x18 cm), lined with baking paper, cover them snugly with cling film, and place them into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Next morning, or when you are ready to bake, remove the cling film, and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, to warm up and rise slightly, then bake in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for about 20 minutes. Serve them warm, with freshly whipped cinnamon cream. Yields 12 rolls.

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