Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Knead To Bake #28 : Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman Cream Buns)

       We  baked Maritozzi or Roman Cream Buns from a recipe by Emiko Davies  for the month of june 2015.
     Maritozzi (singular Maritozzo) are very fragrant and soft sweet buns, filled with whipped cream. These buns are commonly served especially during the breakfast hours in coffee bars in and around Rome (Lazio region of Italy).

    Traditionally the dough is flavoured with pine nuts, raisins and candied orange peel, and once they’re baked the buns are brushed with a sweet water and sugar syrup. After they have cooled, the Maritozzi are cut in half (almost through but not all the way) and filled with loads of smooth sweetened whipped cream.

      The Maritozzi dough is essentially slightly enriched brioche dough, and a less rich version uses only orange zest for flavouring the dough and raisins. This version is also quite popular and is served without the cream filling.

    If you prefer you can leave out the sweet glaze and just lightly dust the Maritozzi with powdered sugar, which is what I did.

Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman Cream Buns)
(Adapted from various sources)

For the buns:

             1 ½ tsp instant yeast( I used 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast proofed and added )
1/2 cup warm milk
1¾ cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 egg ( I substituted by adding  ½ cup milk  )
1/4 cup sugar
50 gm butter, soft at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup raisins, soaked in 2 to 3 tbsp warm unsweetened orange juice warm water for 10 minutes) *
1tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted*
Zest of 1 orange or 1 tbsp candied orange peel, finely chopped*

                                     ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
Powdered or icing sugar for dusting

For the filling:

500ml fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of icing sugar (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream per bun), optional

Method :
       To the yeast add the warm milk, a teaspoon of the sugar and half a cup of the flour in a  bowl and mix with a spoon to create a smooth paste. This is the starter or sponge.
       Loosely cover the bowl and set it aside for 20 to 30 minutes. After this time the starter/ sponge would have risen a bit and contain a lot of bubbles.

       Put this starter/ sponge, 1 cup of flour, the egg, the remaining sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of your processor and knead a little. Then add the raisins (with the liquid), the pine nuts, the orange zest and the vanilla and knead until you have a dough that is soft and smooth but not sticky. Add as much of the remaining 1/4 cup flour (or more liquid) as you need to reach this consistency of dough. If necessary stop kneading by machine once the dough has come together reasonably well, and then knead by hand till soft and elastic.

         Dust a little flour in a bowl, and place the ball of dough in it. Loosely cover and let it rise till double in volume (about 1 ½ to 2 hours).

       Lightly knead the dough to remove air pockets and divide the dough into 6 or 8 equal portions, according to your preference. Roll each into a smooth ball and then flatten it out into a circle with your fingers. Roll up the circle, jelly/ swiss roll style and seal the seam. Shape into an oval ad pace on a lined baking sheet leaving enough space between the rolls for them to expand when they rise.  

      Loosely cover and let them rise for about 30 minute. Bake them 180C (350F) for 15 to 20 minutes or till they’re puffed up and a golden brown colour on the top and the bottom. Don’t over bake or the bottoms will darken/ burn and the buns will lose their softness. 

If you’re going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while they’re baking, Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan, until the sugar dissolves. Brush this syrup on the tops of the hot buns once you’ve taken them out of the oven.
    Let the buns cool, completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut all the way through and keep one side intact. 
     Open them up slightly and fill with whipped cream, making the edge smooth the flat side of a palette knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar glaze sticking to your fingers and pulling pieces of the brioche away.

       Serve with coffee. This recipe makes 6 or 8 buns.

Chef 's Recommendation :
  I made this buns as eggless.
  I didn't add any glaze or cream.
  The buns were sweet so i didn't dust sugar.
  As pinenuts are not available , i didn't add them. 

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