Pastry can be so beautiful. It takes practice, time, & patience. With that kind of dedication you can produce something lovely. A lovely pastry makes people smile. This Pecan Twist can make one large braid or two regular sized braids. I made two regular sized braids while preparing The Pecan Twist for this blog entry. We shared one with friends who stopped by for a visit and I gifted the other to our local librarians. The Pecan Twist freezes well up to six months. You can bake one to serve and then freeze the second one in unbaked form. Take it out of the freezer when ready to prepare it, and place in fridge overnight to partially thaw the braid and then on the counter for 2-4 hours away from drafts. Place in oven when thawed and braid has risen. Apply an egg wash, or spray with non-stick spray, or brush with melted butter before placing in oven. Adjust bake times according to how clean a toothpick comes out of the inner center of the braid. Here is the recipe. I made the dough portion in my bread machine. You can use a bread machine on dough cycle or do this dough process by hand.
Do The Pecan Twist:
3 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs [room temperature]
1/2 c. warm water
1/4 c. warm milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 c. melted butter
1 envelope yeast
1. Place all dry ingredients in inner pot of bread machine, except yeast.
2. Place wet ingredients on top of dry ingredients.
3. Add yeast on top of wet ingredients.
4. Wait for yeast to begin to foam.
5. Put bread machine on dough cycle and hit start.
6. One hour and fifteen minutes later remove dough and place on lightly floured surface.
7. Knead for one minute and let dough rest for 5 minutes.
8. If making two regular braids divide dough in half. Place second half to the side with a clean kitchen towel draped over it.
9. Make pecan filling. [recipe next]
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/3 c. packed brown sugar [light or dark, your choice]
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. melted butter [2 Tbsp. of to be brushed on dough after you roll it out]
10. Roll dough out into a 6" wide by 15" long rectangle.
11. Brush 2 Tbsp. of melted butter on dough rectangle.
12. Crumble pecan filling on the top of the melted butter.
13. Roll up dough on the long side. Pinch seam together with your fingers. Place dough on length of parchment paper .
14. Use a sharp knife to cut rolled dough in half lengthwise.
15. Braid two pieces loosely together.
16. Form into a circle. Dampen fingers with cool water and gently attach two ends of braid together.
17. Brush with egg wash, melted butter, or spray with non-stick spray [ I used non-stick canola spray]. Lift braid with parchment paper and place on cooking sheet.
18. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
19. Place in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean from inner circle of the braid twist.
20. Finish with second half of dough the same as the first.
Browned Butter Icing Recipe:
3 Tbsp. butter
1 c. shifted powdered sugar
5-6 tsp. of heavy cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Lightly brown butter in sauce pan on medium heat. Watch carefully. Do not let butter over brown.
2. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Whisk in heavy cream and vanilla extract as you are whisking powdered sugar into browned butter.
3. Drizzle over Pecan Twist 30 minutes after twist has been out of oven. Drizzling too soon and icing will flow off of the hot twist to the cake platter.
Then there is the beautiful, lovely, poised, and intelligent Rooney always waiting patiently for me to complete a food project, so that she can take me for a walk, and give us the wonderful distraction of being outside in the crisp, cool Fall air! What a gal!
Do The Pecan Twist this week!