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Butterhorns

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recipe adopted from Taste of Home.  [Recipe makes 24 butterhorns].

At the start of this year, I was asked by a relative if I had ever head of butterhorns before.  Sadly I hadn't, but it sounded like a fun thing to experiment with.  I was told that they are similar in appearance to a croissant, except for the fact that the ends aren't curved inwards.  As far as the taste, they should be sweet and soft like a yeast doughnut rather than the flaky texture experienced with croissants.  To top it all off (literally), the ones she was familiar with were dipped in a glaze and topped with chopped walnuts.  I'd like to believe that they turned out pretty well for a first attempt, but we'll have to see what my relative says the next time we meet up.  [Is anyone else familiar with this pastry?  It seems like there's quite the number of variations out there].

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 ounces (~1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon) sugar
1/2 cup water, warmed to 110° F
1/2 cup milk, warmed to 110° F
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
19 ounces (~ 4 cups) all-purpose flour

12 ounces (~3 cups) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk (more or less depending on consistency)

1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Pinch of kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a stand mixer, add the yeast, sugar, water, milk, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour.  Mix on low using a hook attachment.  Once combined, add the salt and the remaining flour.  Mix on medium low until a smooth and uniform dough is achieved.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter, and knead by hand for 5 minutes.  Grease the mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, transfer dough to a lightly floured counter and divide in half.  Form each half into a uniform ball and roll each portion into a 12-inch diameter circle.  Use a pizza cutter to divide each portion into 12 wedges.  Lightly mist dough with water, and then roll each wedge, starting with the wide side and ending with the tip.  Transfer each butterhorn to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (12 butterhorns per sheet pan).  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.  While rising, adjust an oven rack to the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350° F.

Once ready, transfer to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just starting to brown.  Remove from oven, and transfer from the sheet pans to a cooling rack.

The butterhorns can be left as-is and served as you would a dinner roll.  But if you wish for them to be more of a dessert or sweet breakfast item, start by sautéing the walnuts and butter.  Once the butter has melted and you can smell the nuts, sprinkle in some kosher salt and toss to coat.  Transfer the nuts to a bowl to cool.  For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and vanilla with enough milk to get a light glaze consistency (up to 1/4 cup).  Dip the tops of each butterhorn in the glaze, and sprinkle on the nuts.  Let the glaze set (about 10 minutes) before serving.

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