Moravian sugar cake
My Aunt Nellie used to get Moravian Sugar Cake from a bakery in North Carolina when we had Christmas at her house in Tennessee, and later my mother made a tradition of baking it for Christmas morning. This isn’t exactly her recipe (which made 7 cakes!), but is close enough and makes a more manageable 3 cakes.
flickr photo by ted_major shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
- 1⁄2 cup mashed boiled potato
- 3⁄4 cup reserved potato water
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 31⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
Peel and boil a small potato until soft. Mash potato and reserve 3
cup of the water.
Rehydrate yeast in the reserved potato water.
Combine egg, butter, salt, mashed potato, and sugar in a mixer and mix with a paddle for 4 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, add the remaining ingredients, and knead for about 10 minutes.
Turn the dough into a large buttered bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
Punch down, divide dough into three equal portions, and press each portion into a buttered 8 x 8 foil pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Mix together topping ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Poke indentations all over the top of the dough—my mother uses the handle of a wooden spoon; I use my fingers. Pour the melted topping over the cake, spreading with a pastry brush as needed.
To bake immediately, let rise for another half hour or so. Otherwise, refrigerate overnight. Can also be frozen after rising. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.
Bake at 400F for 18 minutes or until done.
flickr photo shared by ted_major under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license
Bad school cafeteria food is such a cliché that it hardly needs mentioning, but the elementary school cafeteria of my childhood had the exception that proves the rule: cinnamon rolls. I recently acquired a copy of the original yeast roll recipe* that was the basis for the rolls and adapted it for a more sane quantity. The recipe works nicely to make one pan of dinner rolls and one pan of cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
- 1⅓ cups warm milk
- 2 tsp yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 5½ Tbs butter, softened
- Cinnamon-sugar for cinnamon rolls
Mix milk, sugar, and yeast in the mixer bowl and let yeast rehydrate for a few minutes. Add half the flour, salt, and butter and mix into a batter. Add remaining flour until it forms a dough and switch to the dough hook. Knead with dough hook on medium speed for 10 mins. Butter a large mixing bowl, add the dough and turn to coat with butter. Cover and let rise for a couple of hours. Punch down and divide in half to make two pans of rolls, two of cinnamon rolls, or one of each.
Shape into 12 balls and put into a 9-inch cake pan. Let rise and then bake at 400F for 15 mins.
Pat or roll dough into a rectangle about ½ inch thick, roughly twice as long as wide. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and roll into a log. Cut into 12 slices and put in a 9-inch cake pan. Let rise at room temperature to bake immediately or cover and let rise overnight in the refrigerator to cook for tomorrow’s breakfast. Bake at 400F for 15 mins.
*Original version in case you need to produce institutional-size quantitites:
(adapted from Food.com)
Makes 6 muffins
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cinnamon chips
- 1 Tbs butter (cold)
- 2 Tbs white whole wheat flour, divided
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Next, make the streusel topping. Mix 1.5 Tbs flour, 2 Tbs brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a pastry blender to mix in the butter, leaving small lumps. Stir in remaining 1/2 Tbs flour to keep mix crumbly. Put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the chips. In a a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, mix milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir. Let rest 10 minutes to let the flour hydrate. Spoon batter into greased and floured muffin tins and bake 18 or so minutes until done. Remove tin to a wire rack, cool 5 minutes, and then remove muffins.