Better than Doughnuts: Peanut Butter & Jam-filled Tangzhong Bread
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This is a case of “do as I say, not as I do.” When I mixed this dough together I was completely puzzled. Why was the dough so wet and sticky? Had KAF made a mistake in their recipe? I added flour and more flour and fought with the dough sticking resolutely to my fingers. Then I looked again at the recipe. Oops. Instead of adding one half cup of the starter, I’d added it ALL. Luckily, the dough came out just fine – though I had lots more than the original recipe. As a result, I ended up with 16 delicious rolls instead of only six. So…I’m offering the recipe as written – well, with my vegan modifications – and not as I incorrectly interpreted it. These rolls are very delicious and they can be filled with an infinite number of ingredients from sweet to savory.
Peanut Butter & Jam-filled Tangzhong Bread
3/4 cup unbleached bread flour
2 cups cool water
1 3/4 cup whole wheat white flour
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1/3 cup maple sugar, divided
1/2 cup tangzhong starter
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. egg replacer + 3 tbsp. water (whisk together until frothy, then let sit for a few minutes)
1/2 cup warm soy milk
3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
~5 oz. fruit-juice sweetened jam (I used strawberry)
chunky, natural peanut butter, as needed…
a few dashes of cinnamon
Make the starter:
Put the bread flour in a medium-sized saucepan and slowly whisk in the water. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and bubbles a few times. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Use right away, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make the dough:
In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, water, yeast and 2 tsp. of the maple sugar. This forms a rather thick dough, so you may need to use your hands. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the starter, salt, remaining maple sugar, egg replacer/water mixture, soy milk and AP flour. Mix until a dough forms, then transfer to the counter and knead for about 5-6 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to hands. Dough should be smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise for one hour.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 6 equal pieces. Form the pieces into rounds and cover with a clean kitchen towel to rest while you put together the ingredients for the filling.
Make the filling:
Combine the jam and cinnamon in a small bowl. Have the peanut butter handy.
Assemble the rolls:
Preheat oven to 350F and line a small baking pan with parchment paper. Roll out each piece of dough to a roughly 3″ x 8″ rectangle. Spread a small amount of peanut butter on the dough – you’re not aiming for perfection – just smear it on there. Spread about 1 tbsp. of jam on top of the dough and loosely roll up the dough from the long side. Fold the roll into thirds. Proceed with the remaining dough and tuck each roll next to each other on the baking pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes or until puffy.
Gently brush the tops of the rolls with soy milk, if desired, and bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top. The rolls will sound hollow when tapped. Place pans on cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before devouring.
(The recipe comes from the winter 2012 edition of The Baking Sheet, by King Arthur Flour. KAF used a filling made of tahini, honey and dried cranberries. Good, but… I wanted something closer to what you would find in a doughnut – jam – and peanut butter is always good. I upped the amount of white whole wheat flour, used applesauce in place of butter, subbed egg replacer for one egg and used soy milk instead of dairy milk.)