Monday, December 17, 2007

Festive Maple Butter Twists

2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter, cut up
1/4 cup water
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Add the first eight ingredients to bread machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Select the dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough. Punch down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, for filling: In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, the all-purpose flour, the 1/4 cup butter, the maple syrup, cinnamon, and maple flavoring; set aside. Grease two 8x1-1/2-inch round baking pans. Grease the outsides of two 6-ounce custard cups. Place a cup upside down in the center of each prepared baking pan; set aside.
3. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough portion into a 16x6-inch rectangle. Spread with half of the filling and sprinkle with half of the pecans. Starting from a long side, roll up into a spiral; seal edge and ends. Cut spiral in half lengthwise.
4. To shape, line up the halves side by side with cut sides up; loosely twist halves together, keeping cut sides up. Gently stretch to 20 inches long. Transfer to prepared baking pan, forming it into a ring around custard cup; moisten ends and press together to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling, and pecans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (30 to 40 minutes).
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baking pans on baking sheets to catch any drips while baking. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and carefully remove cups. Remove bread from pans; cool slightly on wire racks. Serve warm or cool completely.
6. Makes 16 servings
7. Bake-ahead tip: Prepare as directed. Wrap each bread twist in foil or plastic wrap, or place in a plastic bag; store in a cool, dry place (not in the refrigerator) for 2 to 3 days. For longer storage, place each completely cooled bread twist in a freezer bag or an airtight container or wrap in heavy foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 1 hour.

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