On Sunday I hosted a brunch at my place with my fellow Blog ‘n’ Bake friends (Wendy, Sam, Hannah) and Charlotte with her boyfriend Nathaniel. There wasn’t a special occasion to celebrate, the truth is that we all wanted to try Nathaniel’s cooking after hearing great things about it (and suffering with rumbling stomachs in front of Charlotte’s Instagram snaps over the years)!
Nathaniel (aka @reallyhungryman) showed up at my door with a massive carton box full with fresh produce from Oval Farmers Market and their local Portuguese deli, as well as three huge cast-iron skillets! Just to give you an idea, the biggest one is nicknamed ‘Big Mama’ and barely fits into my oven!
Nathaniel worked in the kitchen for more than two hours and prepared several brunch dishes (including the best baked beans I have ever tasted). Have a look at Charlotte’s blog post for more photos and details on the dishes.
I made a fruit salad with the strawberries Nathaniel and Charlotte had bought at the market (I simply added sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice). I had also previously baked a loaf of Wholemeal & Spelt Bread and Orange & Almond Breafast Buns (scroll down to see the recipe) while Hannah made Paleo Double Chocolate Biscotti (my favourite!).
We had much more food that we could possibly eat, but nobody complained about that! ;)
The brunch gave me a good reason to experiment with breakfast bun recipes. I had always wanted to bake cinnamon rolls, but somehow they seemed too simple now. I needed something different!
For the dough I wanted to use a recipe I could trust, so I headed to Smitten Kitchen and adapted Deb’s Cranberry-orange breakfast buns. For the filling I used grated marzipan, flaked almonds and candied orange peel (inspiration came from this Sweet Paul recipe). The glaze is from the Smitten Kitchen recipe (made with icing sugar and fresh orange juice).
These Orange and Almond Breakfast Rolls were a success! Nathaniel said they reminded him of an Italian Easter cake; I hadn’t thought of that, but the Colomba Pasquale is in fact a sweet bread with almonds and candied orange peel, so the flavours are similar.
Makes 12 buns.
For the dough
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 large whole egg
- 50g white sugar
- 85g butter, melted
- 175ml buttermilk
- Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
- 470g plain flour
- 7g (1 packet) dry yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oil for bowl
For the filling
- 20g butter
- 150g marzipan
- 50g light brown sugar
- 80g candied orange peel
For the orange sugar glaze
- 1/2 orange, squeezed
- 240g icing sugar
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, buttermilk and orange zest together. Add 250g of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened.
Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour (220g) and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.
Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled (approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours).
Melt the butter and set it aside. Chop the candied orange peel to small pieces and set them aside.
Butter a large baking dish or two small ones (a heavier ceramic or glass dish is ideal here). Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is roughly 45cm wide (the side nearest to you) and 30cm long.
Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar. Grate the marzipan evenly over the dough and scatter the orange peel over it.
Roll the dough into a tight spiral. Using a sharp knife, gently cut 1cm off the edges of the log. Cut the rest of the log into 10-12 rolls roughly 4cm wide. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.
The next morning, take your buns out of the fridge 305 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 175°C.
Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden, approximately 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly.
Make the icing by whisking the freshly squeezed orange juice and icing sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.