These terrific recipes include gooey cinnamon-pecan buns and buttery oversize biscuits.
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The soft and sticky dough for these baking powder-boosted sweet buns—made without butter or oil—gets its richness from pureed cottage cheese. Don't worry that the cut dough spirals look a little lost in the springform pan; as they bake, they rise and puff into a perfect round of pull-apart buns.
"Over-the-top, sticky, gooey goodness—or, as I like to call it, 'love.'" That's how pastry chef Catherine Schimenti describes the thrilling moment she first dipped a warm sticky bun into sweet-salty butterscotch sauce. Schimenti flavors the sauce with a splash of Scotch. "I love adding glamour to old-school desserts," she says.
"Saturday mornings at the deli are all about the biscuits," says Matt Neal. "Our friends, the farmers, everyone is always clamoring for them. Some people get two filled biscuits at a time, but that's a lot." When he's rolling out the dough, he gives it two turns to evenly distribute the butter and make the biscuits extra-flaky. Then he serves them with different fillings: house-made spiced pastrami (mustard is optional); cheddar and a breakfast-sausage patty; or classic strawberry jam.
Grace Parisi loves popovers, but baking them can be tricky: They don't always rise as they should. For these foolproof ones, Grace adds a bit of baking powder to the batter and chooses to use a regular (not nonstick) muffin tin.
In the winter, Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) fruit, like the kind sold by Cascadian Farm, is often a superior alternative to fresh fruit shipped to the US. IQF raspberries are terrific in these soft, puffy yeast rolls—a fun twist on a cinnamon bun.
Chef Spike Mendelsohn was inspired by the new beehive in the White House garden to make these lovely, not-too-sweet muffins. "I'm not a big breakfast eater, but I have muffins in my house right now," he says.
When baking these scones, be sure to use whole wheat pastry flour, which is less dense than whole wheat flour. Mixing in some all-purpose white flour also lightens the texture of the scones, so they're more delicate and tender.
Christy Timon opened her bakery in 1982, hiring Abram Faber to help with deliveries. The now-married couple are revered as early champions of classic European baking. They continue to hunt down rare recipes, like these light doughnuts adapted from Robert Jörin, a third-generation Swiss baker at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.