French Raisin Buns

French Raisin Buns


These rolls must be started a day in advance but well worth the extra planning.

1/4 cup dark rum

1/2 cup raisins

Brioche dough:

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. active dry yeast

4 cups flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 3/4 tsp. salt

5-6 egg, as needed

1 1/4 cups butter, cool

Pastry Cream:

2 cups whole milk

1 vanilla bean , split and seeded

1/2 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 egg, beaten for glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place the raisins into a jar with the rum, seal and let soak overnight.

Brioche Dough:

Place the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until bloomed. Transfer yeast mixture to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the flour, sugar and salt; mix until combined.

Add 3 of the eggs. Mix on low until blended; add another egg. Raise the speed and mix until nearly blended. Add another egg and mix. The dough should be smooth and elastic; not too dry or too soggy but should stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining egg. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is very smooth. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled.

Return the bowl to the mixer. Add the butterĀ  2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until absorbed. Don’t over mix. You do not want the dough to become warm. Transfer the dough to a bowl ; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Pastry Cream:

Combine the milk , vanilla beans and scraped seeds in a saucepan. Bring the milk mixture to a boil. Remove from heat; cover for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch. Place the milk back on the heat and bring to a simmer. Temper the egg mixture with the hot milk, adding about half, whisking in until combined. Pour the egg mixture back int the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine. Continue whisking mixture until it begins to boil; whisk constantly 2 minutes . Remove from heat. Place pastry cream in a bowl. Cover the top of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Strain the raisins from the rum; reserving the rum. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar; set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to a 14×14 inch square. Spread the cooled pastry cream evenly over the top of the dough, leaving a small clean edge of dough at one end. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the pastry cream. Sprinkle the drained raisins evenly over the pastry cream. Gently press the raisins into the pastry cream. Start rolling the dough up like a sausage ending with the clean edge of dough; seal together. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Place evenly on the baking sheet. Press each roll down slightly. Brush the tops with beaten egg. Reserve extra beaten egg. Place the uncovered sheet pan to rise for 1 hour. Brush the tops with remaining egg. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; leave oven on. Slide the parchment with the buns onto a wire rack. Allow to cool. Mix together the reserved rum and the powdered sugar. Brush tops of buns with the rum mixture and place cooled buns back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove and cool. Serve buns warm or at room temperature.

Jelly Doughnuts

Jelly Doughnuts


Yeast Dough:

1 cup warm water

2 1/4 tsp. active yeast

4 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

zest from 1 lemon

beaten egg white


powdered sugar

Bloom the yeast in the warm water. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the 3 cups flour, yeast mixture, sugar, and softened butter beaten eggs, vanilla, salt and zest. Blend and add remaining flour and continue to beat/knead until dough dough is smooth. Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise once. Punch down and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Roll dough out to a 3/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3-31/2 inch round cutter, cut out rounds and place on a floured surface until all the dough has been cut out.

Place 1 heaping tsp. of jam on half of the rounds. Brush the edges of the all the rounds with egg white. Place the unfilled rounds over the top of the jam filled rounds and pinch the edges to seal the seams. P[lace the filled doughnuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to rise about an hour or until really puffy.

In a large pot add about 3 -31/2 inches of oil; heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Add the doughnuts into the hot oil. Do not over crowd. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. You may want to check the first one for doneness and continue . Drain the doughnuts on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar.

Cowboy Bread



2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

12 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1/4 tsp. heaping of nutmeg

1 tsp. baking soda

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flour and butter a 9×13 inch pan.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, 1/2 CUP granulated sugar, salt, and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a mixing bowl. On low speed beat the mixture until it becomes crumbly. Remove 1 1/2 cups of this mixture and mix in the nuts. Press 1 1/4 cups of the nut mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Take 1/4 cup of the nut mixture and add the remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. nutmeg and the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside for the topping. Mix the remaining cup of the nut mixture into the remaining crumb mixture and add the baking soda, egg , vanilla and buttermilk. Mix on medium speed just until combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Allow to cool completely.