Sim Sala Bim

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | La Pêche Fraîche

Then the Earth shook, that was all that it took for the dream to break
All the loose ends would surround me again in the shape of your face

What makes me love you despite the reservations?
What do I see in your eyes
Besides my reflection hanging high?

Are you off somewhere reciting incantations?
Sim sala bim on your tongue…

—Fleet Foxes

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | La Pêche Fraîche

Ever since I was little, there have been certain thought streams that help me settle down and fall asleep.

Particularly in the winter, I imagine myself in the deep arctic, in a little pure white snow cave dug into the side of a hill while a storm howls around the landscape.
I think of each warm piece of clothing I’d don (long johns, leggings, two pairs of my warmest, softest wool socks, gloves and mittens and a cuddly sweater, etc…) and imagine myself, warm and cozy despite the cold.
At that point, sleep drapes itself over my drowsy body, yet another blanket of comfort.

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | La Pêche Fraîche

I’d be hard-pressed to imagine anything more cozy than a pan of fresh-baked, fragrant cinnamon buns.
Just look—! at them.  They’re snuggled up against their brethren, their nakedness revealing bewitching spirals that hypnotize almost as much as their scent does.

I made these for Christmas morning, because that’s really the time to break out your most indulgent breakfast recipes.  Served still-warm with a cup of hot coffee or tea makes for a morning treat that’s impossible to top.

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | La Pêche Fraîche

If you want to pull off the magic of warm cinnamon buns on a busy holiday morning, it’s definitely imperative to have a reliable and easy recipe.

My requirements for such a recipe:
it must require minimal effort in the AM, because you’re going to be preoccupied with other things and no one wants to fuss around in the kitchen for half of the morning

it must be quick in the morning, because if your family is anything like mine, they will be breathing down your neck and threatening to turn to cold cereal by 11am

it must be consistently worth the calories and evening effort; it needs must prep and taste like a dream every time.

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | La Pêche Fraîche

These cinnamon buns fulfill all of my stipulations.
They’re easy, fast, and taste like a cloud of sugary, buttery, spicy goodness.
The night before, you make and knead the dough—15 minutes in a stand mixer/3 dishes (1 measuring cup + 2 bowls) dirtied.  Done and done.
The dough, which has similarities to a brioche in its milk- and butter-rich proportions, rises quickly and is smooth, shiny, and supple, making it easy to roll out once risen.
A heap of softened butter and brown sugar and cinnamon gets spread generously over the dough, further enriching the rolls with all-around deliciousness.
Rolled up tight and cut with kitchen string (or floss), they are tucked into a buttered pan and set in the fridge to develop flavor and relax overnight.
In the morning, it’s just a matter of taking them out of the refrigerator and preheating your oven; once again, they rise quickly and bake in less than 30 minutes.
A classic cream cheesy glaze is lathered on top, making the already fluffy, buttery buns even more luxuriously sweet and sticky and creating rivals to even Cinnabon buns.

Pinky promise these will make whomever you live with happy.  They are irresistible!

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | La Pêche Fraîche

Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls 
makes 15 large buns
adapted from KAF

for the dough:
240 grams (1 cup) low-fat milk, 110 degrees F
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
75 grams (1/3 cup) butter, soft and cut up
530 grams (4 1/2 cups) flour
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

for the filling:
75 grams (1/3 cup) butter, soft
210 grams (1 cup) packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

for the glaze:
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon cream
170 grams (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
splash vanilla extract

Make the dough: bloom the yeast in the lukewarm water; set aside to become frothy.
Place flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment.
Add in the frothy yeast mixture and stir on low; add in the eggs one at a time and knead until a rough dough comes together; add in the butter one piece at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Knead on medium speed for 10 minutes, or until the dough isn’t too tacky and has created a “tornado” shape on the bottom of the bowl.
Dough should not be sticking to the sides of the bowl, but rather, be smooth and even and soft.
Remove from stand mixer bowl and form into a ball; place into a well-greased bowl and oil the top of the dough just a little.
Place in a warm, draft-free place with plastic wrap fitted snugly on top of the bowl.
Once doubled in size (about an hour), punch dough down.
Flour a surface lightly and grease a 9×13 or similar size pan.
Turn the dough out and roll out firmly into a 16″x21″ rectangle; dough should be fairly thin.
It will snap back as you roll it out, so be patient.
Once rolled out, spread the softened butter out all over the dough, leaving a small edge on one long side.
Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon all over the butter.
Starting from the long side opposite the little empty lip, roll up the dough into a snug spiral.
Using a piece of string or flavorless floss or a serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 2″ buns.
Arrange them snugly into the greased pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, remove from fridge and place in a warm, draft-free place.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
When buns have doubled in size, remove plastic wrap and place in oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant and a tester doesn’t stick in the center.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the frosting.
Whisk cream cheese and cream together with vanilla extract; sift in the powdered sugar and stir until a thick frosting comes together.
Spread over the still-warm buns in a thick layer.
Allow frosting to set, about 15 minutes, before serving with hot coffee.

Let Them Eat Cake

Hey y’all!
I hope you guys had a wonderful slew of holiday celebrations.
I’m here to give you some marvelous news: the good times keep on rollin’. 
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Today is Epiphany, the celebratory feast of the last day of the twelve days of Christmas.  In the past, upcoming religious observances like Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Easter Sunday, were announced on Epiphany, when calendars were not readily available.
In France, today, Epiphany is often celebrated with one of two special cakes: un gâteau des rois or une galette des rois.  
The gâteau des rois (literally, cake of kings- indeed, this is where the New Orleans King Cake, which is eaten to signal the beginning of Lent, originated) is traditional in Provence, and consists of a brioche ring topped with crunchy pearl sugar and candied or dried fruit.  
The galette is a much slightly more indulgent affair, traditionally comprised of two rounds of buttery puff pastry sandwiching a layer of sweet almond frangipane. 
Now, keeping in mind the holiday feasts which have just passed, I chose to make un gâteau des rois, because brioche has about one tenth of the butter and far less sugar than puff pastry, and I used part whole wheat flour for an small but appreciated health boost.
So there you go!  You can have your cake, and eat it too.  Even if you’re in an early-January post-resolutions funk.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.


Gâteau des rois avec les kumquats confits
recipe lightly adapted from Tartelette
75 mL (1/3 cup) milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
1 heaping teaspoon instant yeast
75 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar
1 small egg or 1/2 a large one (beat it and either weigh it and divide in two, or just eyeball it.  If you have jumbo eggs, a yolk will do just fine.  And if you cannot be bothered, just throw the whole egg in.  What I’m trying to say is that such a small amount of egg makes little difference here.)
small pinch sea salt (use 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon orange juice, or orange blossom water
140 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) flour (I used half white-whole wheat and half all-purpose)
35 g (2.5 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon cream or milk, for egg wash
3 tablespoons jelly or preserves (I used a mix of meyer lemon and apricot)
Honeyed kumquats (see below)
Large pearl sugar (I used Belgian and Swedish)
Measure out the warm milk in a glass measuring cup or bowl.  Stir the yeast and sugar in gently.  Let foam up for 5 or so minutes, then pour into the bowl of a stand mixer or just a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the egg, sea salt, and orange juice and mix until all combined.  Begin to add in flour (if you aren’t using a stand mixer, use a wooden spoon and gather all of your kneading strength and courage), until all is combined.  Knead for 1 minute, then begin to add in the butter, piece by piece, waiting until the previous piece is incorporated before adding the next.  Now, knead for at least 8 minutes.  It is a wet dough, so be aware.  Once the 8 minutes are up, the dough should be barely sticky and supple, and smell like sweet butter and yeast.  Either place in a lightly oiled bowl with plastic wrap pressed right onto the surface, and allow to age and mature overnight in the fridge (this will make for better flavor), or continue right on.  Divide the dough into 8 equal weight chunks- mine were 51 grams each and were approximately 1/4 cup in size.  Roll the chunks into smooth balls, (put a dried bean in the middle of one) and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment.  Make a circle of balls, then place a jelly jar in the middle of the ring.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Allow the brioche to rise until doubled in size and very puffy, about 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  Fill the jelly jar with water, so it does not crack in the oven, then brush the dough with the egg wash and bake until the internal temperature is 190 degrees F, or the dough is shiny and deep golden.  Remove from oven and let cool, then carefully remove the jelly jar.
Heat up the jam until liquid, and strain out any large pieces of fruit, if using preserves or jelly.  Brush hot glaze all over brioche, then sprinkle on pearl sugar and place the candied kumquats on each little bun.  Enjoy!

Honeyed Kumquats
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 pint fresh kumquats, washed and cut into thin rounds
place the honey, sugar, and water in a heavy, medium sized pot and bring to a boil.  Once the syrup reached 234 degrees F, place all the kumquat slices in and allow them to cook for 8-10 minutes, until translucent.  (If you double the recipe, do this in two stages so as not to overcrowd the pan.)  Remove from syrup with a slotted spoon, and place on a sheet of parchment until needed.