chestnut pull-apart bread

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This bread came about when I stumbled upon a Korean sweet bread involving chestnuts that resembled monkey bread, except not as sticky-looking. Just as well, as we’re not too fond of excessive sugar in our breakfast foods. So I thought it an excellent opportunity to use up sweet roasted chestnuts and have my first go at a pull-apart style bread.
chestnut pull-apart bread

For the water-roux/tangzhong:
18g bread flour
88g water

For the dough:
44g unsalted butter, room temp.
40g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temp.
116g bread flour
116g all-purpose flour
68g milk, lukewarm
4g instant dry yeast
all of the water-roux/tangzhong

For the caramel chestnut paste:
200g peeled roasted chestnuts
50g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
180g water

For the sticky sauce:
20g unsalted butter
20g brown sugar
pinch of salt

The directions to make the main dough are identical to that for the soft fluffy cinnamon rolls.

To make the chestnut paste, add the chestnuts and sugar into a saucepan on medium heat. Gently shake the pan once in a while but don’t stir. After a while the chestnuts will begin to toast and the sugar liquefy, continue to cook until the sugar turns into a rich amber colour. Add half of the water to start, stir the contents occasionally and cook until the chestnuts are tender and mashable, and the liquid reduces to a thick syrup (add some of the remaining water at a time if syrup is very thick but the chestnuts aren’t soft yet). Cool completely. Place the chestnuts with about half of the syrup into a food processor/blender and process until the desired consistency is reached (mine was semi-chunky). Add more syrup if it looks too dry to spread.

After the first rise (of the dough), punch down the dough and roll it out into a thinner rectangle. Divide the dough into 16 pieces, keeping the rest covered while you work with one. Fill each piece of dough with a teaspoon to a tablespoon of the chestnut paste, pinch together the dough and roll it into a ball. Repeat with the rest.

Make the sticky sauce by boiling the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

In a greased and/or lined ovenproof container, arrange the 16 balls as indicated:

8 stretched and flattened pieces around the sides, 8 more in the centre. As an optional step, I also stuffed some of the remaining paste into the gaps. I also poured in half of the sauce into the bottom.

Cover and let rise for a second time until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 175C. In the meantime, re-warm the sauce and pour over the top. Bake for about 35 minutes, you may need to cover the top with foil in the last 10 minutes to avoid overbrowning.

 

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