Many significant moments have passed since my last blog post. Christmas in San Francisco, traversing wondrous Big Sur, falling in love with cactus and Joshua Trees, marveling at the magic of New York snowstorms, and experiencing an incredible women’s led uprising. Ah, what a time to be alive!
My family and I marched alongside 300,000+ of our New York neighbours yesterday. We jammed midtown. We stood for two hours with our kids, in one spot. There were too many people to march. Yet the mood was buoyant. We laughed at the witty signs, chanted and took photos. We marveled at the incredible, inspiring, powerful display of democracy. Often I have despaired about where America, and the world, is heading. What sort of world and future are we creating for our children? Can I raise my children in a country with a leader who is void of any of the values I teach to them daily? But then days like yesterday happen and my trust in humankind surges; I find hope and faith in our place here as part of the multicultural American landscape; and I find solace in this city's diversity, which I hold so dear. Together, we stand a chance.
This morning I entered my kitchen psyched and powerful - and ready to make sourdough! Sourdough has become an obsession for me since last Summer, as I’m sure many of you have seen on my Instagram posts. My sourdough journey has been full of ups and downs. It took me three or four months to master the starter. I failed three times and it was not until I discovered the Tartine Bread cookbook that it all came together. If any of you are interested in making sourdough, I would highly recommend either Tartine or my friend Sarah Owens’s James Beard award-winning book Sourdough as good places to learn about the highs, lows and in-betweens of sourdough making.
These overnight sourdough cinnamon and walnut scrolls are one of the many recipes I have developed over the past few months to use up excess sourdough starter (in case you weren’t aware, you discard about 80% of the starter every time you feed it!). You need to allow the dough to rest for a few hours – between 7-12 hours. I usually mix my dough the night before and allow it to ferment on my kitchen counter overnight. If you don't have your own sourdough starter, ask your sourdough-making mates for their starter discards.
Overnight sourdough cinnamon and walnut scrolls with honey caramel glaze
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small chunks
- 2 ½ cups plain flour
- ½ cup sourdough starter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and crushed (for topping)
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and crushed
Honey caramel glaze
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
The night prior to baking (allow from 7-12 hours), prep dough. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl and cut in the butter(I use my fingertips) until it resembles chunky sand. Stir in sourdough starter, maple syrup, milk and mix until a soft dough forms. Cover and place in a warm spot for 7-12 hours (I leave it on my benchtop).
The next morning, or 7 or so hours later, preheat oven to 350˚F / 180˚C.
Combine salt, baking powder and baking powder. Sprinkle this mixture over the fermented dough and knead the mixture in the bowl until it comes together as a soft dough. This will only take a few turns – don’t overmix!
In a small bowl, make the filling by combining the melted butter with the cinnamon and brown sugar to form a paste.
Flour your benchtop and rolling pin well. Roll out the dough into a ¼ to ½ inch thick rectangle (mine measured about 18 inch x 14 inch). Spread the filling evenly across the entire dough surface, and sprinkle over the walnut pieces. Then, starting with the long side of the rectangle, roll it up tightly. Cut into 1 inch thick slices.
Spray a large baking dish or tray with oil (I use my 3.2-Qt. Lodge cast iron combo cooker which has a 10.25-inch shallow skillet as a lid). Place the scrolls in the pan and bake for 25-30 mins or until golden.
Meanwhile, to make the honey caramel glaze, melt the butter in a small pan. Stir in the brown sugar, honey, salt and cream. Bring it the boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes, until glossy and golden brown.
While the buns are warm, spoon caramel over the top and sprinkle with extra walnuts. Eat warm.