Eggless Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman Cream Buns)

One of the many benefits of taking part in group challenges is the learning that comes with the cooking of delicious dishes! Until the start of this month I never knew that there was a bun called Maritozzo!!

But when this was chosen to be the bread of the month for Aparna's We Knead To Bake as suggested by Niv, another member in our group, I expected it to be a bit elaborate to make.But I was mistaken!Had I known that it would be so easy to make,I would have baked this long back!

I made this last night.The house smelt wonderful and the kids could not wait for it to come out of the oven! I am no expert in shaping the buns and they were not all that even yet when they came out of the oven, they looked so good!And the texture was so good,so soft, that I fell in love with it instantly.



Here is what this bun is all about....

Maritozzi (singular Maritozzo) are very fragrant and soft sweet buns, filled with whipped cream. These buns are commonly served especially during the breakfast hours in coffee bars in and around Rome (Lazio region of Italy).

Traditionally the dough is flavoured with pine nuts, raisins and candied orange peel, and once they’re baked the buns are brushed with a sweet water and sugar syrup. After they have cooled, the Maritozzi are cut in half (almost through but not all the way) and filled with loads of smooth sweetened whipped cream.

The Maritozzi dough is essentially slightly enriched brioche dough, and a less rich version uses only orange zest for flavouring the dough and raisins. This version is also quite popular and is served without the cream filling.





Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman Cream Buns)
(Adapted from various sources)


For the buns:

Instant yeast-1 1/2 teaspoon
Warm milk-1/2 cup
Flour-1 3/4 cups plus more for dusting
Sugar-1/4 cup  Butter, soft at room temperature-50 gm
Pinch of salt
Raisins-1/8 cup- soaked in 2 to 3 tablespoons of warm water 10 minutes
Pumpkin seeds- 1 tablespoon, lightly toasted*
Zest of 1 lemon *
Vanilla extract-1 teaspoon

Powdered or icing sugar for dusting



Method:

Take the warm milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, the  yeast and half a cup of the flour in a large bowl and mix with a spoon to create a smooth paste. This is the starter or sponge. Loosely cover the bowl and set it aside for 20 to 30 minutes. After this time the starter/ sponge would have risen a bit and contain bubbles.




Add 1 cup of flour, the remaining sugar, butter, and salt into the starter / sponge bowl  and knead a little. Then add the raisins (with the liquid), the pumpkin seeds, the lemon zest and the vanilla and knead until you have a dough that is soft and smooth but not sticky. Add as much of the remaining 1/4 cup flour (or more liquid) as you need to reach this consistency of dough. Knead till soft and elastic.
 Dust a little flour in a bowl, and place the ball of dough in it. Loosely cover and let it rise till double in volume (about 1 ½ to 2 hours).






Lightly knead the dough to remove air pockets and divide the dough into  8 equal portions. Roll each into a smooth ball and then flatten it out into a circle with your fingers. Roll up the circle, jelly/ swiss roll style and seal the seam. Shape into an oval ad pace on a lined baking sheet leaving enough space between the rolls for them to expand when they rise.Loosely cover and let them rise for about 30 minute.



 Bake them 180C (350F) for 15 to 20 minutes or till they’re puffed up and a golden brown colour on the top and the bottom. Don’t over bake or the bottoms will darken/ burn and the buns will lose their softness. Cool on a wire rack.


 Serve with coffee



Note:

You need

For the glaze:

3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
OR


For the filling:

500ml fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of icing sugar (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream per bun)

If you’re going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while they’re baking, Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan, until the sugar dissolves. Brush this syrup on the tops of the hot buns once you’ve taken them out of the oven.

Let the buns cool, completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut all the way through and keep one side intact. Open them up slightly and fill with whipped cream, making the edge smooth the flat side of a palette knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar glaze sticking to your fingers and pulling pieces of the brioche away.
  Bon Appetit...

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