You may recall that last month I read The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Well, fun fact for you, there’s a recipe at the back of the book and my friend Jessica and I decided to try it out this past Saturday.
It was an exciting day! Not only did we have a chance to catch up, but we also did a little book swap – and by little, I mean big. She brought me three beauties to try out (Wuthering Bites by Sarah Gray, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, and Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev) and I lent her four of my favourites. Needless to say, these additions to my reading list will keep me busy for the next little while.
The main part of the afternoon was spent baking. I really love to bake but I am by no means a master pastry chef so things got a little wonky at times – the end result, however, was indeed delicious!
Now, I don’t want to give too much away because I know some of you plan on reading The Storyteller, but I will say that the recipe at the back of the book is for “Minka’s Rolls”, and these buns are an important symbol throughout the story. Because Jessica and I both loved the book, we thought it would be a great idea to try the recipe out. It will likely become a November tradition from here on out.
Here is the recipe we followed, which can also be found on Jodi Picoult’s website and at the end of The Storyteller.
1/2 cups warm milk, 110 degrees
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar, plus a pinch
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and muffin tin (it also works to use non-stick cooking spray)
¼ pound bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped or shaved
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter a large non reactive bowl for dough; set aside.
Butter a 12 cup muffin tin; set aside.
1. Preheat oven to 350. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated.
4. Change to the dough hook. Add 3 tablespoons butter, and knead on low speed until flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated, about 10 minutes. Dough will be sticky.
5. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Set aside in a warm place to rise until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
6. If dough is not in a warm area it may take longer to rise. A simple trick to help warm your dough-place a large pan of boiling water on the lowest rack in your oven and place bowl of dough on the next highest rack. This should help the dough rise.
Prepare filling –
7.Place chocolate, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Add 3 tablespoons butter and toss to combine. Alternately, place chocolate, cinnamon and butter in food processor and pulse to combine. Set aside
8. Once dough has doubled, turn on to a well floured surface and deflate. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
9. With rolling pin, roll dough into large rectangle shape. Sprinkle filling over dough; roll the dough into a log and slice into 2’ pieces. Place each slice in muffin cup. Cover muffin tin with plastic and let sit for 15-20 minutes or until dough rises slightly.
10.Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
Try the recipe out – guaranteed your rolls will look different from ours because you are going to follow the directions, right? Right. *But if you mess up, worry not! Ours were still scrumptious!
Until next week, happy reading!