Zucchini Crepes with Mascarpone Almond Cream

food-blog-february-2017-0288There is no way I can connect this recipe with Black History Month. I’ve tried. The transition just isn’t there. But when this issue of The New Yorker showed up on our doorstep, with this beautiful new imagining of the iconic Rosie the Riveter staring confidently back at me on the front, I wanted to make sure you saw her. Clearly a response to the Women’s March, she is also a powerful image of intersectional feminism, replacing the white WWII era working woman with an African American marcher, pink pussy hat and all. And though the cover doesn’t bear Rosie’s original accompanying phrase – “We can do it” – there’s no way to divorce that message, with all its connotations, from this new version.

There is so much to do, but we can do it.

food-blog-february-2017-0260These started not as crepes but as a desire to modify my favorite zucchini spice bread recipe into a pancake (I told you there was no transition. I just wanted to show you my magazine cover and remind you about the history we should be celebrating this month). There would be nutmeg and cinnamon, there would be caramelized crisp edges, there might be golden raisins… and then I made the mistake of searching for “zucchini bread pancakes” online, and of course the first hit was Deb’s recipe, deepening, as ever, my intense love-hate relationship with her and her site. Let me be clear, before you start emailing me: I adore Smitten Kitchen (look, Deb, I’m even giving you traffic!). I have the cookbook, I went to a signing and thoroughly embarrassed myself, and I trawl through her archives all the time, because she has tried everything! But there’s the hate part (or, at least, the jealous part): she’s tried everything! I certainly wasn’t going to make zucchini bread pancakes if she already had the consummate version (which, of course, I just automatically assume she does. Being a jealous fan-girl is weird).

food-blog-february-2017-0263food-blog-february-2017-0267So I had to go with something different, and somehow something different became crepes. I wasn’t sure how they would work, given the sodden heaviness large quantities of shredded zucchini often contribute to a dish, but the zucchini were already in the fridge and the milk on the door was begging to be used, so the experiment had to move forward.

food-blog-february-2017-0255I’m calling these crepes, but they don’t share ratio or ingredient quantities with other crepe recipes. My grandfather called them Swedish pancakes, probably more because he was Swedish than due to any recipe authenticity. They are a bit moister than some crepes – a little less papery around the edges, maybe a bit heavier, and we’ve never been particularly fussy about getting them wafer thin. Here, the addition of the zucchini makes these qualities important, since the batter has to be substantial enough to hold up to the extra weight of the vegetation.

food-blog-february-2017-0268food-blog-february-2017-0272As I always yell at food competition contestants when they scrunch or tear or mangle their first crepe, the first one probably is going to be ugly. Maybe the second one too. But you have to persist. Crepes require a bit of a rhythm – you have to get a feel for how much batter goes into the pan, how steeply to tilt your pan while you swirl to get an even coating of batter, and how long it really does need to cook before you can flip that delicate, eggy circle. And ultimately, really, it’s okay when that first one rips, because now you get to eat it surreptitiously and make sure it’s good. Cook’s prerogative.

food-blog-february-2017-0277These were indeed good. The zucchini is mild, so don’t worry if it’s not your very favorite vegetable flavor, but it cooks so quickly that every bit of grassy rawness was gone. They could go in a sweet or a savory direction, but I opted for sweet, whisking mascarpone cheese with some honey, some lemon, and roughly chopped toasted almonds for a bit of crunch. Lemon and zucchini play well together, as do zucchini and almonds, and it’s nice to have some texture in with the softness of the cheese and the pliable delicacy of the pancake.

food-blog-february-2017-0280We had these for dinner as a decadent response to a rainy day, but they would make an indulgent breakfast or a superb brunch course as well. You can fold the crepes up into a triangular, handkerchief-like packet with a mound of cheese inside, or you can roll up into a cylinder, which is what my family has always done. I found I liked a few almonds sprinkled over the top, and an extra drizzle of honey as well. Any extra crepes keep fine covered in the fridge for a day or two, until you take them out, reheat them with a bit of salted butter, and smother them with cinnamon sugar, because some days require that kind of solid self care, so you can get out there and keep going.

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Zucchini Crepes with Mascarpone Almond Cream
Makes 10-12 crepes in a 10-inch skillet
30-40 minutes
For the filling:
½ cup whole raw almonds
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
zest of one lemon
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
additional honey, to drizzle
For the crepes:
2 cups shredded zucchini, from 2 medium zucchinis
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 eggs
1½-1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt

 

  • First, make the filling. Preheat the oven to 350F. While it heats, roughly chop the almonds – it’s okay to have some uneven sizing. Spread them out on a baking tray and toast in the oven 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown. Start checking at 10 minutes; keep in mind they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
  • In a bowl, whisk the mascarpone cheese and the heavy cream together until light and fluffy (I used the whisk attachment of my stand mixer). Add the honey, the lemon zest, and the lemon juice, whisk again and taste for seasoning – you are looking for something lightly sweet, and rich but not overwhelming. When the almonds cool, fold ¾ of the amount into the mascarpone mixture, reserving the remainder to sprinkle atop the crepes.
  • To make the crepes, shred the zucchini in a food processor or with the large holes on a box grater. Collect them on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then squeeze once more.
  • Warm the milk slightly in a bowl or large glass measuring cup and add the melted butter, stirring to incorporate. This ensures the butter will integrate evenly, rather than hardening back into chunks. Let cool to room temperature and whisk in the eggs, then 1½ cups of the flour, the sugar, and the salt. Finally, whisk in the zucchini shreds. You should have something like a thin cake batter, probably thinner than your average pancake batter. If it seems too liquid, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour.
  • To cook the crepes, heat about 2 teaspoons butter in a 10-inch skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat. Pour in about ⅓ cup of batter, turning and swirling the skillet as you do so to allow for a thin layer of batter to coat the entire surface. Try to spread out the zucchini a bit – it has a tendency to clump up in the middle, which results in uneven cooking.
  • Cook 1-2 minutes per side, until golden and almost dry. Don’t be alarmed if the first crepe tears or is otherwise mangled – they are delicate, and you have to get a rhythm going. After every two crepes, add another few teaspoons of butter to the skillet.
  • As you finish cooking each crepe, remove from the skillet to a covered plate to keep them warm. They won’t stick together – there’s enough fat in them to prevent clinging.
  • To serve, spread out one crepe on a flat surface and spread a few tablespoons of the mascarpone and almond mixture in a line a bit to the left of the center. Use the tines of a fork or your fingers to lift the edge of the crepe over the mascarpone filling, then continue rolling up into a tight burrito shape. Remove to a serving plate and continue with remaining crepes and filling. Sprinkle the finished rolls with the remaining almonds, and if desired, drizzle with more honey before serving.
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Almond Raisin Roasted Cauliflower

2015 Blog September-0517This week, Los Angeles finally had some mercy on us and allowed the temperatures to drop just a bit. My building at work turned off the air conditioning in our offices. I didn’t change into shorts immediately upon getting home. In fact, I actually – and you might be shocked here, so get ready for it – I actually put on a sweatshirt and wore it quite comfortably for several hours. I dug my bedroom slippers out from the dust-bunny-laden corner of the closet and slid grateful, almost chilly, feet into their old embrace.

2015 Blog September-0501Of course, since this relief might not last very long, I did the only sensible thing I could, which was to buy a head of cauliflower and shove it into a high-temperature oven. Cauliflower and I were never friends in childhood, but Mark Bittman changed all that for me by offering a high-heat roast, rather than a steam or a boil, as the plan of attack. In fact at this point, I think N. and I would happily eat a tray of roasted broccoli and cauliflower three or four nights a week, without much to accompany them.

2015 Blog September-0502On occasion, though, a bit of accompaniment is nice. Though my typical procedure is just salt, pepper, and plenty of olive oil, I wanted to give the cauliflower some friends to play with as it bronzed slowly over the flames. The vegetable itself has such a mild flavor that it can easily go in a sweet or a savory direction, and I decided I wanted to play with these borders. Adopting a vaguely Mediterranean direction, after the first blast of roasting I scattered a handful each of golden raisins and sliced almonds over the cauliflower. Back it went just long enough for the florets to brown and the almonds to toast, but not quite long enough to burn the nuts or the delicate raisins. On the contrary, the raisins plump up a bit as they suck in some of the oil and moisture released from the cauliflower. A quick shower of chopped parsley as the tray leaves the oven, and the dish is ready.

2015 Blog September-0506The flavors here are perfect, and it’s hard to describe perfection, but my unexpected favorite thing about this dish was the play of textures. The cauliflower gains an almost-crisp crust on its exterior, but the inside is meltingly soft in an entirely pleasant way. The raisins don’t stay plump for long after exiting the oven, but they provide a subtle chewiness I enjoy, and the almonds are a perfect crunch.

2015 Blog September-0509I usually try to give you pairing suggestions, and while I think this would be good with everything from turkey to lamb, I feel no shame in admitting that, since I was dining solo, I just ate the whole tray and called it a night.

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Almond Raisin Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 2-3 as a side, 1 as a main
45-50 minutes, mostly unattended
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 medium head of cauliflower
generous ⅓ cup golden raisins
generous ⅓ cup sliced untoasted almonds
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

 

  • Preheat the oven to 450F with a foil-lined 9×13 inch baking tray inside. We want to preheat the cooking surface as well as the oven to start the cooking process immediately.
  • While the oven heats, whisk together the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Cut the cauliflower into medium florets (a large bite-size) and toss in the seasoned oil for even coating.
  • Carefully remove the preheated baking tray from the oven and dump on the oiled florets, arranging them in a single layer. Return to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, during which time you can assemble and prep the remaining ingredients.
  • After 20 minutes, take the tray out of the oven and, using tongs, flip over the florets. Yes, each one. Yes, it’s tedious, but it will make for a better end product. Push them back into the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tray from the oven again and scatter the raisins and then the almonds over the cauliflower. This protects the raisins a bit and ensures the almonds toast nicely. Back into the oven once more for a final 10 minutes, then remove, scatter with chopped parsley, and serve hot or warm.

 

 

Apricot Coffeecake Ring #TwelveLoaves

Food blog July 2014-0388Things get a little lax in the summer. Example: you’re not getting a sauce this month. What can I say? I’ve been on vacation! I’ll make it up to you in August, though, along with a slew of other delectable options I’ve got pending. I was determined, however, not to fall behind in my Twelve Loaves baking. In my haste to stay on schedule, I merely glanced at the beautiful apricots gleaming up from Lora’s bread this month, and assumed these gorgeous fleshly globes were the theme of July’s assignment.

Food blog July 2014-0362Food blog July 2014-0364Food blog July 2014-0365Turns out the theme was “summer fun.” Well. I think I’m still glad I went with apricots. Their beautiful swelling cheeks and slight fuzzy skins remind me of a healthy summery glow. After a week of beaches and bronzed bodies, the peachy simplicity of apricots seemed like the right move.

Food blog July 2014-0366I’ve been auditioning yeasted coffeecake recipes for a while now, sometimes ending up with a stunner, sometimes with something that merits a revisit, and sometimes with something that wasn’t a yeasted coffeecake at all. But for this, I turned to the place I should have looked from the very beginning: Baking Illustrated. This hefty volume from the brains and kitchens of the Cook’s Illustrated crew does all the heavy lifting for me, and if I’m ambitious enough to read the whole story, tells me why and how each item came to be, from a food science, aesthetics, and taste-bud angle.

Food blog July 2014-0356Food blog July 2014-0358Food blog July 2014-0367Food blog July 2014-0369This loaf is slightly adapted from their yeasted coffeecake recipe with an orange-apricot filling. I omitted the orange, used fresh rather than dried apricots, and opted to forgo the heavy streusel and icing in favor of a light sprinkle of almonds and a bit of coarse sugar for an appealing crunch. I took their suggested horseshoe shape and swung it all the way into a circle for a pretty golden ring oozing jammy splotches.

Food blog July 2014-0371Food blog July 2014-0373When this came out of the oven, I – forgive me the overshare – just about drooled right on it. The apricot filling escapes in spots, bubbling and thickening like the filling at the edges of a pie. The dough itself, crusty on top with its sugared almond adornments, is burnished and soft and puffy and gorgeous. Describing the creation to his parents the evening we sampled it, N. called it a giant bearclaw, and though the loaf is a bit denser than a doughnut, the effect of the snipped dough with caramelized filling oozing through is similar.

Food blog July 2014-0374Are you sold? Let me tell you one more thing. This cake is essentially a two-day project. I’m serious. But don’t run off just yet! This is actually an advantage for a summer loaf. Because it has so much butter in it, and a pair of eggs to boot, it takes this dough a long time to rise. For the same reasons, it has to be chilled after its initial rise before you can really work with it at all. It’s quite similar to brioche in that way. But this is an advantage because it means you are not switching on the oven in the middle of the day, when your hair is already plastered to your forehead and you cannot bear to be in the kitchen another instant. It’s a mix in the morning, a long rise in a preheated house, and then you can shove it in the fridge and ignore it until early the following morning, when you finally bake. It means a little planning ahead, but I think it works out better in the long run.

Food blog July 2014-0378Besides, when you taste this, with its sugared crunch and soft elastic chew and golden sunshine-y tart-sweet apricot, I think you’ll decide it was worth it.

Happy midsummer. I wish you heaps of fun.

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Apricot Coffeecake Ring
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
Makes one 8-10 inch ring
Note: this is, unless you are willing to get up very early in the morning, a two day baking process. I think it’s totally worth it, but be sure to give yourself sufficient time to execute it.
Note: because this is a very rich dough, it is also very soft and sticky. It will be difficult to work with by hand, so I’m only including directions for a stand mixer.
Dough:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm milk
¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 – 2½ cups bread flour (you may not need the entire amount)
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick, or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but not melted, cut into small chunks
Apricot filling:
1½ cups peeled, chopped apricots (for me, this was 5 apricots)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rum, optional
Topping:
1 egg white
1 teaspoon milk or cream
2-3 tablespoons raw sliced almonds
1-2 tablespoons coarse sugar (I used turbinado)
  • Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the sugar over the warm milk in the bowl of your stand mixer, stir to dissolve a bit, and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is bubbly.
  • Add the remaining sugar, the eggs, and the vanilla, and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until combined.
  • Now, add the salt and 1 ¼ cups of the flour, and again mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated.
  • Increase the speed by one notch so you are at medium-low, and begin adding the butter one chunk at a time, beating until each chunk is incorporated before adding the next. This will take a few minutes, but it allows them to disperse evenly into the dough. When all the butter is incorporated, the mixture will look like thick cake batter.
  • With all the butter incorporated, replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and add 1 cup of flour. Run the mixer at medium-low for about 5 minutes, kneading until the dough is soft and fairly smooth. If it looks disastrously sticky or does not seem to be coming together, you can add the remaining flour a tablespoon or two at a time, but be sure you knead thoroughly between each addition. This is supposed to be a soft dough.
  • After you’ve kneaded for 5 minutes on medium-low, increase the mixer speed to medium and knead an additional 2 minutes. According to Baking Illustrated, this tightens up the dough a bit.
  • Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size. This should take 3-4 hours (it’s a rich, heavy dough; it will take the yeast a while to work through all that butter!).
  • When the dough has doubled, punch it down by depressing your fist gently into its center, replace the plastic wrap, and stow it in the fridge overnight (Baking Illustrated’s precise instructions are “at least 4 or up to 24 hours”).
  • When you are ready to make the filling, which also needs to chill thoroughly before being added to the dough, heat a medium pot of water to boiling. Score the bottoms (flower end, not stem end) of each apricot by cutting a shallow x through the skin and just barely into the flesh with a sharp knife. Plunge the scored apricots into the boiling water and leave them for about 60 seconds. Then, remove them, drain them, and set them aside until they are cool enough to handle.
  • Using a small knife, carefully peel back the skins of the apricots starting at the x you’ve scored into the bottom. The skins may already be peeling away, and should separate from the flesh easily. If they prove particularly stubborn, stick them back in the boiling water for another 30 seconds.
  • Remove the pits and chop the peeled apricots, then put them into a pot with the brown sugar and rum, and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until they collapse into a glorious pulpy mess. Remove from heat and pulse the mixture in a food processor until almost smooth. Or, if you are lazy like me, mash it up with a potato masher. Either way, once your apricots are almost smooth, stow them in the refrigerator until quite cold.
  • When you are ready to shape the coffeecake, remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and gently dump and scrape it out onto a well floured board. Pat the dough out into a roughly 6×5 inch rectangle, lightly flour the top, then use a rolling pin and some elbow grease to flatten the dough into a smooth, 15×9 inch rectangle (it will be about ¼ inch thick).
  • Spread the cold apricot filling over this large rectangle of dough, leaving at least a ½ inch border on all edges.
  • Using both hands and starting with one of the longer edges, roll the dough up tightly into a long log. Seal the seam securely by pinching the dough, then coax the log into a circle and pinch the ends together to join them in a ring shape. During this process some of the filling will likely ooze out; don’t worry too much about it.
  • Transfer the ring of dough to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. With a pair of kitchen scissors, snip about halfway through the log at 2-inch intervals. Again, you will get some lovely orange ooze. No worries; this will get lovely and caramelized when it bakes. Just drape some plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel over the whole thing and let it rise again until slightly puffed; about 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle.
  • When the loaf has risen again, beat the egg white and milk together and brush it over the exposed dough evenly. Sprinkle the sliced almonds and coarse sugar over the loaf, and then slide it into the oven and bake until deeply golden and registering around 190F on an instant-read thermometer. This should take 25-35 minutes.
  • Cool at least 20 minutes on a wire rack (just slide the parchment straight from sheet tray to cooling rack) before slicing and serving.
  • This cake is amazing warm or cold, and though I suspect it would last a week wrapped in foil and refrigerated, we scarfed it within 3 days.

Orange Marmalade and Almond Sweet Rolls

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Guys, I’m pretty excited about this one.  It’s a mile marker for me in a couple of ways.  One, it’s a sweet application of yeast dough, which I’ve never tried before.  Two, I’m well into the second month of this project and I haven’t had any true disasters yet or fallen off the horse, which buoys my confidence.  Three, except for temperature and cooking time, which I had no idea about, I didn’t consult the internet a single time for clues about how to make this.  But four, and unquestionably most important, this is an adaptation of one of my Nana’s recipes, and I made it successfully.
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Nana was a cook.  She was an old-fashioned, from home, meat/starch/veg-that-sometimes-came-from-a-can kind of cook.  She was a clean-your-plate-before-you-can-have-dessert and sometimes a there-are-starving-children-out-there kind of cook.  But that was her era.  She raised her three kids on three square meals a day plus cookies.  She taught my two aunts how to cook, she cooked for our Pap almost up until the day he died, and she sent out a yearly box of Christmas cookies until I was almost through college.  My freshman year I remember getting a slip in my mailbox that meant I had a package to pick up, and finding, after returning to my room and tearing at it feverishly, that it was filled with sweets.  Chocolate dipped apricots, cream horns, which we called ladylocks, nut rolls, seven layer bars, pizzelle; these were how Nana sent us her love.  I always meant to send one back to her, when I was “grown up.”  It tugs at me a little that I never did.
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When she heard I was learning how to cook, she gave me my first cookbook: The Complete Guide to Country Cooking, along with a subscription to Taste of Home magazine.  One summer when we came to visit, I offered to help with the menu and she told her friends her granddaughter was going to be her cook for the week.  She said it was good, too.
In 2007, when I was about to get married, I received a large red photo album from my female relatives, featuring favorite recipes from their own kitchens.  Nana couldn’t attend my wedding – she was on oxygen and too weak for the plane ride across the country from Pennsylvania – but she had contributed recipes to this book, and even as I cherished her contributions I never thought I would make most of them myself: I was too inexperienced to try these dishes she had clearly mastered – lemon meringue pie and yeasted sweet dough were beyond my capabilities.
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But when I thought about cooking this past week, I thought about that stretch of dough from my dill bread and in its place saw cinnamon rolls.  They are, after all, filled and constructed in a similar way.    I love cinnamon rolls, but sometimes the dripping gush of cinnamon pooled in pounds of sugared butter is just too sweet for me.  Orange marmalade came into my mind, and with it, almonds.  They seemed like such a nice pairing, and as I wondered how to make them I found myself back in Nana’s section of my big red cookbook, staring at directions that now seemed less intimidating than they did six years ago.
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This is a beautiful, elastic, slightly sweet dough.  It is smooth and rich and expansive, and it makes a glorious roll.  It sighs like a feather pillow when you punch it down.  It wants very little from you – just a massage with melted butter, a liberal smear of marmalade and almonds, and gentle, careful rolling.  Inside, after baking, the orange and almond marry well, since the jammy part of the marmalade pools against the dough, but the zest and the almonds retain texture for the teeth to play with.
I doused one pan with a glaze made from fresh orange juice and powdered sugar, but I think that overdid the sweetness factor a bit too much: the glaze tasted like liquified orange Pez.  Better, I would say, would be a slick of soft cream cheese, perhaps whipped with a little brown sugar if you absolutely must.  But plain, browned, warm out of the oven, and a little sticky with its own sweetness, is just perfect all by itself for breakfast, for dessert, for mid-morning snack.  For any time that is right now, really.  Thanks, Nana.
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Orange Marmalade and Almond Sweet Rolls
Dough:
¼ cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
¼ cup scalded whole milk (heated to just below boiling – 45 seconds in the microwave does the trick)
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 egg
¼ cup soft or melted butter
2 ¼ cups flour (you probably won’t need all of it – I ended up using a total of 1 ¾ cups)
Filling:
¼ cup melted butter
1 cup orange marmalade, warmed slightly
1 cup sliced almonds
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In the bottom of your mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water and stir gently.  Let it sit for at least 5 minutes so the yeast wakes up a bit.
Meanwhile, heat your milk, then cool it down.  You can hasten the cooling process if you forgot to soften your butter: just drop the still-cold stick right into your warm milk and swirl.  You’ll cool the milk and soften the butter simultaneously.
When the yeast bubbles and smells bready, add the cooled milk, softened or melted butter, sugar, and egg.  Stir to combine.  When the mixture has homogenized a bit, add 1 cup of the flour and the salt and stir again.  You will have a soggy, unworkable mixture.
Continue to add the flour ¼ cup at a time, stirring after each addition (if you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and just keep it on low speed until things come together).  When it starts to look like bread dough – pieces begin to have that floured, torn texture and hold together – and becomes just workable, don’t add any more flour to the mix.  Switch to your dough hook or a well floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Once kneaded, put your shiny, smooth ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl and roll it over so all sides are moistened by the oil.  Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles – at least an hour and a half.  I like to heat my oven to 200F (my lowest setting) for a few minutes, then turn it off and let it cool for another few minutes before stowing my dough inside.
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When the dough is ready, it will have doubled in size, and the bottom will be covered with puffy little bubbles like the ones that let you know your pancake is ready to flip.  Punch it down by pushing your fist gently into the middle to let the gas escape.  Turn it out onto a floured board and roll gently, forming a rectangle of probably 2 feet by 3 feet.  Maybe 3 by 3, if it seems willing.  It should be ¼ – ½ inch all the way around.  My board was, clearly, a bit on the small side for this undertaking.
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Give your layer of dough a massage with the ¼ cup melted butter, spreading it evenly over the surface until it’s gleaming, but leaving an inch or so margin around the edges.  This will help prevent spillage of the inevitable ooze when you start rolling.
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Spread the warmed marmalade over the buttered dough, again respecting the inch margin.  Warming it up by microwaving it for just 30 seconds or so helps it spread more evenly.  Sprinkle on the sliced almonds and get ready to roll.
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Food Blog February 2013-0675Food Blog February 2013-0677You have to do the rolling in small stages, I found.  Begin at the middle of the longer edge of your dough rectangle and make a few tight rolls, but then move to the edges and help them catch up.  They don’t roll on their own, since the piece of dough you are working with is so big, so your fingers will be busy (and no doubt sticky) flying from side to middle to side again.  Continue this process until you have created a long, tight roll of dough.  Some filling will unavoidably ooze out the ends, but if you’ve left a margin around all sides this should be minimal.  Turn the tube gently so the outer edge faces up, then pinch it gently into the next layer to create a seam so your rolls don’t become unrolls.
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Carefully slice your rolled tube into individual portions.  I ended up with about a dozen squashy, messy, less-than-round offerings.  Deb at Smitten Kitchen suggests using a serrated knife and sawing gently, letting only the weight of the knife move down through the dough, to prevent the squashing I experienced.
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Nestle your rolls filling side up in greased baking trays – I used 9 inch cake pans – and let them rise again for 30 minutes.  This would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 375F.
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Stow your pans in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes, at which point the tops will be golden, the exposed marmalade will be somewhere between dripping and caramelizing, and the edges of each roll will have puffed against each other, some adhering thanks to the sticky filling.
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While they are warm, you can drench them in glaze or icing if you wish, or you can just gently liberate them from their pans and eat them with fork or fingers.  I like to unroll mine as I eat, saving the extra buttery, extra jammy middle bit – which everyone knows is the best part – for absolutely last.
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Most of the photo credit on this one goes to N., who got really into his job as stand-in photographer this week!  Thanks, honey.