South Leigh Seasonal Recipes

These buttery, cinnamon or rich chocolate twists are the perfect weekend indulgence and will make coffee at home an event. E.L.

Cinnamon Sugar Twists (Makes 16)

275ml full fat milk
40g butter
500g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
50g caster sugar
pinch salt
one small egg, beaten

For the filling:
100g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3-4 heaped tsps ground cinnamon

For finishing: a knob of butter
50g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Gently heat the milk and the butter together until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. When the milk and butter mixture is just tepid, stir into the flour and mix until you have a fairly sticky dough. Add the beaten egg and continue working the dough until it is all combined.

Dust the work surface with flour and tip out the dough. It will be very sticky, that’s ok, just continue to knead for about 10 minutes or until it becomes a smooth, pliable dough. Transfer to a floured bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling by blending together the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside in a warm place as you need the filling to be spreadable. Prepare two baking trays lined with baking parchment.

When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a floured surface and gently roll it out to a rectangle measuring 30 x 40 cm. Spread the filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough.

Fold the dough in half so that you have a rectangle measuring 15 x 40 cm and press down gently. Cut this into 16 or so short strips measuring approx. 15 x 2.5 cm.

To make the twists, hold both ends of a strip and twist in opposite directions until you have a spiral shape. Holding on to one end and still gently twisting the dough, wrap the twist around the end you are holding, until you have a slightly messy bun shape. Tuck the loose end in to the centre of the underside of the bun to stop it unravelling.

Arrange the twists on the prepared baking trays, leaving space between the buns to allow them to rise a little before and during baking. Set aside in a warm place for a further 30-40 minutes. Heat the oven to 190º C / Fan 170º C / Gas 5. Check that the twists haven’t become untucked. If any of them have, gently tuck the end back in place. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The twists will be golden brown and some of the filling will have oozed out, don’t worry but be careful this doesn’t burn you when you lift the twists on to a cooling rack.

Brush each twist with a little melted butter and dust liberally with a mixture of caster sugar and cinnamon. Best eaten warm.

Indulgent Dark Chocolate Twists…

Follow the recipe for Cinnamon Twists but change the filling to the following:

100g butter
100g soft light brown sugar
20g cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Gently heat together the butter, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon. Stir in the chocolate and continue to heat very gently until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth thick sauce. Set aside until ready to use.

TIP: You can freeze these twists uncooked. Simply shape the dough after the first rise then arrange the twists on a lined baking tray and freeze. When frozen, transfer the twists to a plastic freezer bag. To bake, place as many twists as you want on a baking parchment lined baking tray, cover loosely and leave for about 2 hours at room temperature. When ready to bake the twists should have risen slightly, and the dough should feel slightly puffy, leaving an indentation when prodded. Bake, finish with a good dusting of sugar and cinnamon and… enjoy!

Cinnamon twists
Photo © Eve Lawson

TIP: You can freeze these twists uncooked. Simply shape the dough after the first rise then arrange the twists on a lined baking tray and freeze. When frozen, transfer the twists to a plastic freezer bag. To bake, place as many twists as you want on a baking parchment lined baking tray, cover loosely and leave for about 2 hours at room temperature. When ready to bake the twists should have risen slightly, and the dough should feel slightly puffy, leaving an indentation when prodded. Bake, finish with a good dusting of sugar and cinnamon and… enjoy!