Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spanish Buns

This is just about the easiest recipe for a yeast bread you'll ever come across.  Although not a quick bread - it still needs about an hour of rising time - there's no kneading required.  Serve these yummy bread squares with tea or coffee for a sweet afternoon treat.  The buns are based on a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, and referred to as "Spanish" because they in turn derived it from a recipe for a Latin American cake.  See my post for Pennsylvania Dutch Tea Rolls for more adventures in sweet bread making.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated whole nutmeg*
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm non-dairy milk (between 100 and 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 4 Ener-G eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon vegan powdered sugar
1. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine 2 cups of the flour in a large bowl with the sugar, salt, nutmeg, and yeast.  Add the warm milk and butter, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth.  The mixture smells amazing the moment the warm milk hits it - a burst of nutmeg and butter in your kitchen.

2. Add the Ener-G eggs and beat with a hand mixer until combined.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Add the final 1 cup flour and stir until smooth.

3. Scrape the batter into a 13x9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Coat the dough with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour; the dough should be doubled in size, and bubbly on the surface.  I like to let dough rise in an unheated oven, where it will be warm and free from drafts.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes - the buns should be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before dusting evenly with the powdered sugar. Cut into squares to serve. 

*I loved using fresh grated nutmeg for this recipe, but if you prefer, substitute the same amount of ground nutmeg.

Nutrition Info:
16 servings (1 square), Calories 203 

Tasting Notes:
A sweet little tea time snack!  Wonderfully chewy and moist on the interior, and absolutely redolent with the fresh nutmeg.  Although the recipe suggests using less nutmeg if you prefer a more subtle taste, or substituting ground nutmeg for the fresh,  I recommend neither - the fresh nutmeg was what made these little buns stand out.  Definitely more cake-like, than bread-like.


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