Tag Archives: Bread

Citrus Walnut Sticky Rolls

I freely confess that I am a big fan of the Pillsbury orange sticky rolls that come in the cardboard tube at the grocery store.  As a kid we were not allowed junk food except a box of any cereal we wanted around our birthdays, Hostess ding dongs when we went sailing, and these orange sticky rolls around the holidays.


Ohh, naughty!

As an adult, naturally, I felt the wild rush of freedom and indulged myself frequently in these rolls and then felt quite guilty for consuming a product full of trans fats and who knows what else.

This weekend I deliberately did not book anything for Saturday so that I could have a rest day at home. I planned to knit and recreate my childhood favorite holiday treat but in a healthier fashion.  It worked for the most part but I learned an important lesson.

The recipe I concocted for the sweet roll dough was quite healthy, it is a yeast risen dough similar to that used for cinnamon rolls but instead of egg yolks and lashings of butter I used fruity olive oil from Lodi.

The dough rose in my giant Wovo salad bowl for 90 minutes while I watched scifi shows on Netflix, knitted a shawl and sipped lungo shots of espresso.

Olive oil dough rising
This is a 10 quart salad bowl, almost brimming over with yeast dough

For the filling I zested some citrus – oranges and a grapefruit – with a microplane grater and mixed this into sugar, then added some juice to make a slurry to spread over the dough.

Getting busy with a citrus sweet roll filling
my apartment smelled wonderful at this point

I used a few tablespoons of the fruit juice to make a paste, then sprinkled over walnuts from Sonoma County that I toasted in a skillet.

This filling was inspired by some random food show I saw where a diner chef made enormous sweet rolls well sanded with sugar and butter.  In trying to make these healthier I omitted the butter entirely.

I rolled out the dough to a large rectangle, applied the filling and then rolled up the dough on the long edge to form a log about 16″ long.   I cut the log into about 12 even pieces and filled up a buttered pyrex baker.

Citrus walnut sweet rolls rising
About halfway risen

You can see how generous the citrus-sugar filling was and there were plenty of walnuts to go around.  I think perhaps I should have put fewer rolls in the pan though.

I had too many to fit so I made up an extra pan in a tin pie plate.  Lagniappe for the chef!

Bonus pan of sweet rolls
Ready to rise before baking

My apartment was nice and warm on this very foggy, dark day, and after about 45 minutes the rolls were puffed and yeasty and looking pleasantly plump – ready for the oven.

After baking I made up a quick frosting with more of the citrus juice and powdered sugar.  Despite using almost a full box of confectioners sugar there was barely enough icing to cover the rolls in both pans.

There is never enough icing
browned to a toasty golden

The aroma from the oven was mouth-watering.  A whiff of orange with a hint of grapefruit, the sweet sugar icing melting in between the rolls, citrus sugar caramelizing the walnuts, the yeasty baked rolls with a tang of rich, fruity olive oil, they smelled just like Christmas in my childhood home.

The citrus sticky rolls were best eaten warm out right out of the oven, but truthfully I think they would be much improved with some melted butter in the filling.  The icing wasn’t quite what I wanted either, I need to tinker with that a bit I think.

Citrus walnut sweet rolls

So luscious

I won’t admit how quickly this pan of rolls disappeared and will firmly disavow any knowledge of my actions.  They needed to be reheated if you don’t eat them right away.  Despite the liberal buttering of the baking pan they were hard to remove because of the caramelized sugar on the bottom.  They were not as tender the next day either and this is where I think the butter is essential.

The recipe includes the addition of butter but you can omit as your conscience dictates.  They were really wonderful and toothsome as is, but next time I make them I will use butter.

Citrus Walnut Sticky Rolls recipe 


Happiness Is… Fresh Buns

I’m picnicking on my bed after my one year post-surgery checkup, icing my ankle and having an impromptu supper of fresh buns and tea.

Happiness is…. a giant sourdough bun as big as my hand can hold, cracklingly crisp on the outside and moist and cool on the inside, smeared with raspberry jam.


There are about 2 tablespoons of jam left in my jampot and I am making the most of them, dolloping it onto hunks then swiping the inside with shreds of soft bread.


Crumbs dot the inside of my magazine. My pants are dusted with flour and so is my chin and I just don’t care at the moment. Each chewy and sweet bite is heaven, pure happiness.


These buns are from a loaf called a Magdalene, balls of sourdough are beautifully formed into pull-apart buns baked today at a Bay Bread on Pine, now taken over by La Boulange.

Grasping one bun firmly I pull and twist and then split it open a bit to smell the sweet tang of the sourdough center.


All too soon only a bite is left, then none. I sip my tea and feel so grateful and nourished by my simple supper.

My 2011 “Did It'” List

My friend Luna Raven recently posted her 2011 “Did It” List, inspired by one of her friends and I love all the things she got done this year.  Thus inspired I thought I should join the club and write about my accomplishments too.

I went to Mushroom Camp and  learned to mordant yarn and fabric and then dye it using foraged mushrooms.
Green shimmery stems!The red gilled dernacybe makes a gorgeous pinkAmazing spectrum of hues from mushroom dyesRed-Gilles Dermocybes with alum mordant make this coppery hue

I found my first candy cap mushroom in the redwood forests up in Sonoma.
My first mushroom foray, a candycap!

I attended the Fancy Food Show and scored twelve pounds of amazing blue cheese. (no picture, we ate it all!)

I discovered some amazing ramen places, including my current favorite, pork and corn butter ramen at Ramen Club.
*Ridiculous* dinner w @equan55 - butter ramen

I treated myself to some incredible yarn at Stitches West and have actually knitted up a few garments.
Zontee spotting!!The results of our card knitting class! Lorna Miserphoto.JPGChacha shawl

I gathered up all my courage and borrowed lots of courage from friends and had surgery to repair my shoulder from a tragic high fiving injury when we won the World Series in 2011.Two months later I did not listen to my doctors orders and returned to work a month early, which is why one should not make important decisions while taking pain medication!  Major life lesson learned!  (Is that technically an accomplishment?)
The *right* shoulder
(note to the surgeon)

I am still in physical therapy due to yet another accident while riding MUNI.  My  accomplishment there is patience and learning to follow directions and care for myself, and, even though it’s embarrassing, sit in the disabled seats on the bus.

I got to visit with my dearest childhood friend three times! ((Lovi!!))
Me & my BFFGurlzphoto.JPG

My friends and I made ten different kinds of macaroni and cheese on my birthday at a huge blowout party, and we almost ate them all!
Mac'n cheese blowout - in progressMy dear friends...

I celebrated one year at my new job and I am still loving every day. It was great to have health insurance, medical leave and understanding coworkers while I heal. I am so lucky!
Deflating the monkeyphoto.JPGphoto.JPGphoto.JPG

I went to San Diego on the most hilarious girls road trip to BlogHer – the Road Trip of Happiness!
Here it is, on a 20" plate, fried chicken BennieEeek! It's *so* big! @whats4dinnermomGetting reading for #KUYH Party @rubydw is thirsty!Tasering @domesticvalerie while waiting for brekkies is just rude @lunaraven13

I relearned how to embroider after taking a great class from Princess Animal and finished my first sampler.

I knitted my 26th pair of socks and learned how to darn them.
Skew socks in Alchemy's Juniper sock- Summertime BluesLast view, fun heel stripes, love this pattern!Finished my Twisted socks from @knittydotcomForgotten arts: darning socks (done!)

I created a new diet of bacon, chocolate, beef, wine and cocktails, bread and cheese because of weird food allergy/sensitivities – I’m doing just fine on it, it’s not privation that’s for sure!
Vegan chocolate cake ~ Wacky cake ~ with bourbon ganache. Thanks mOmIt's business time...Mmm lardons - thanks @nueskes @inyaku !

I launched a new blog – The Inadvertent Redhead – as an outlet for my non-food related talents, and I love it! And yes, I’m still a redhead!
Irish coffee #2 at the Buena Vistaaaahhhhphoto.PNG

Because of my blog and social media I was invited to a multitude of wonderful parties and events and I feel so privileged to have these opportunities and to know so many wonderful writers, cooks, chefs, photographers, stylists and artistan food producers from many genres.
Chef Corey Lee of BenuSour Flour

Despite all the challenges and sadnesses of this year it has been a really good one and I am looking forward to many fun things in 2012.

I am most especially looking forward to another year with my wonderful family.
Ken and Barbie

Here’s to health and happiness ahead!
Cheers my friends!

Soft Rolls for Thanksgiving

Last Thanksgiving I made several batches of these amazing, soft rolls for our dinner.  They were so delicious that as the first batch came out of the oven we “sampled” them so much that we did not have any left over for the next night and I just *had* to make more.

Poor us.

I love these rolls so much and tweeted their picture *a lot* last year, and this year, and my friends not-so-gently reminded me that I that did not share the recipe.

The genius thing about these rolls is how easy they are to make, especially if you have a stand mixer.  If you have never made dough in your life you can easily make these rolls.

My mom has her glorious “Red Baron”, a glossy, fire engine red Kitchen Aid that does all but the dishes for you.    You add all the ingredients into the bowl, turn it on and do other things for a few minutes (like the dishes).  The dough gets turned out to rest in a bowl for an hour or so, then formed into the rolls and popped into two cake pans.  After another rest (just long enough for a restorative glass of wine and feet up on the couch) into the oven they go.  When they’re done they’re basted liberally with melted butter, and then comes the hard part – not eating them all before dinner time.

Given my current bout of weird food allergies these are one of the few things on the holiday table I will be able to eat (with a minor modification), so you know I will be buddying up to the basket of rolls this Thursday.  And Friday.  Heh.

Soft Rolls for Thanksgiving

3 1/2 cups all purpose
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 T potato flour or 1/4 cup instant potato flakes (or in my case, I am just using more regular flour)
3 T nonfat dry milk
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 2 more T melted for basting)
2/3 c  water, warm
1/2 c milk, lukewarm (out of the fridge for an hour or s0)

Place everything (except the melted butter) into the bowl of the stand mixer and mix to make a dough, using the dough hook.  Let the machine run for 7 minutes at medium speed.  The dough should be pretty smooth at this point.

If you do not have a stand mixer, mix together everything with a spatula or wooden spoon until a rough dough is formed.  Then knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface for about 7 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth and pretty much not sticky.

Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a ball and put in a bowl that has been well buttered.  Cover the top with a little plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in a warm place ~ about an hour.

When the dough has doubled, deflate it by a gentle punch right to the midsection.  Oooph!   Divide it into 16 even pieces.  I do this by rolling the douhg into a long log, then cutting it in half, and keep cutting each half until I have 16 pieces.  Roll the balls in your hands until they are nice and round, or pull the sides down to the bottom of the ball and pinch, then roll gently.

Butter two 9″ round cake pans well and arrange eight balls of dough in each pan (see picture).   Cover the pans loosely again with plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled again and nice and puffy, about an hour or so.  If they don’t look like they are filling the pan let them rise another 20 minutes or so.

Bake at 350 F for 22 to 24 minutes, remove from the oven to a rack and brush the tops well with melted butter.

Try to contain yourself and not eat them all while hot, and I wish you the best of luck with this.

If you make the rolls earlier in the day during Thanksgiving, you can reheat them in the oven after you take out the turkey.  Turn off the oven after you extract the bird and leave the door ajar,  put in the pans of rolls in for about 10 minutes (set the timer!) and they will be beautifully warmed.  I would even go as far as brushing the tops with more butter, because there can never be enough butter on Thanksgiving.

I think this recipe might have originated from the King Arthur website but cannot find it, so please forgive the lack of attribution.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Locavore Lunch

Today for lunch I decided to have foods that are only made locally, or to be specific, foods produced and sourced within 50 miles. We in San Francisco are so incredibly lucky to be able to find fabulous local fare with ease.

Time for lunch..

I strolled slowly down California Street to the Ferry Building and purchased a loaf of pain epi from Acme bread. It was still warm from the oven and its pointy tips were trying to poke out from its long, slender bag.

Next I stopped in next door to Cowgirl Creamery and consulted with the staff about local goat cheeses. In truth I purchased over $60 worth of cheeses but I was thinking ahead for the weekend. Well, truthfully, you must be very careful shopping at Cowgirl when you are hungry, unless you want to overindulge like I did!

My target wedge for lunch was a medium-ripe Truffle Tremor cheese, a rich goat cheese infused with chopped truffles with a bloomy, soft rind. The medium-ripe aspect presented itself with a ring of soft gooey cheese under the rind, and the center was firm but creamy.

My last stop was Boccalone where the charming Tatiana Graff helped me secure their “meat cone” or Salumi cone filled with a few slices of mortadella, salame and headcheese. I also picked up a personal sized pot of marinated olives. I also snagged a tub of their lard, not for lunch, mind you, but for a pie that I’m planning later in the week.

Fully laden I headed out to the back of the Ferry Plaza pier and found an empty bench overseen by grumpy seagulls.

I laid out my lunch goodies, found my picnic knife in my purse and dug in to my locavore lunch.

My lunch, and I'm not sharing.

The sun was strong but a light breeze fluffed my hair about my face.  Feathers of fog were soaring over the clock tower, which then struck the half hour and the Tiburon ferry zoomed off laden with tourists. In the distance I could see the massive fogbank near Treasure Island. Was it reaching or retreating? People were laughing and chatting, seagulls were screeching and faint drifts of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers playing at Hog Island mingled together for a pleasant hum of city life.

Lunch views

It’s amazing to me to realize most people in the city never look up, I watched the fog and the hands of the clock tower tick around, and then gazed in awe at a triad of pelicans flying soundlessly overhead. No one noticed but me.

One-Handed Cooking


Finally after surgery my appetite has returned a bit. I still can’t eat much but it is a good feeling to have that little growl in the belly back.

I’m recuperating nicely and have been well taken care of by wonderful and amazing friends. As dear D___ said it is nice to have food bloggers as friends because they bring you chocolate pudding and other divine treats.

It is hard not to be in the kitchen and it’s literally been months since I’ve cooked anything of note and weeks since I’ve done anything but reheat things. This week I managed to unhook my frying pan from the rack and made myself the ultimate comfort food – grilled cheese.

Ah, grilled cheese, how I love you. The crispy buttery crust, my teeth biting through good bread then sinking into the hot melted cheese, wow. It really hits the spot.

Today I indulged myself using St. Pat’s cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, which has nettle and herbs on the soft bloomed rind that hides a triple cream buttery cheese made with Straus milk. I love this seasonal cheese so much! A big thank you to my office for sending me a cheesy goody box from Cowgirl.


On top of the slabs of gooey cheese I added shreds of leftover rotisserie chicken from the market over ruggedly sliced Acme sourdough. I jazzed my sandwich up a bit using Gewürzmühle salt from Navarro Vineyards, which imparted an earthy divine tang. Their rosé is amazing as are all of their wines and a glass would be terrific with this sandwich.

Just hearing that sizzle lifted my spirits immensely and made me feel that things are nearing normalcy.


It is a bit tricky cooking one-handed, like slicing bread and planing cheese, but it works. My new physical therapy this week is to wipe the table or counter with a sponge. The doc told me to practice my “wax on, wax off” moves, which made me giggle. So not only am I fending for myself it is also prescribed therapy and pretty soon I will know karate.

I munched down my melty lunch while reading the Saveur sandwich issue and dreamed about making something fabulous for an upcoming picnic with the Bay Area food bloggers.
Muffalata anyone? After cleaning up I took a nap for four hours, a combination of cheese coma and recuperating induced fatigue. Despite this it was a good start to returning to cook.

I think I need to try something with bacon tomorrow, don’t you? Another favorite of mine is thinly sliced apple and Tillamook extra sharp cheddar, a fabulous combination that I highly recommend you try. What are your favorite grilled cheese sandwich fillings, or do you prefer the classic?

Wordless Wednesday