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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pistachio Coffee Ring



Unshelled Pistachios
- Flickr Creative Commons ASA License



Pistachio Kernels - Photobucket Creative Commons ASA License





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...My husband loves pistachio nuts, so when I saw this recipe I had to give it a try. It was developed by James Beard and I've never been disappointed with his recipes. I think I began this adventure with expectations that were too high. This is the type of bread that old timers called a race track. The race track is formed when a rectangle of dough, covered or smeared with a filling, is rolled into a cylinder that, when cut, will show spiral tracks of whatever was used as a filling. Now comes the hard part. I hate to contradict a master, but Beard thought this to be "one of the best breads of this kind I have ever had." I found this to be a very ordinary bread made expensive by its use of pistachio nuts. There is nothing wrong with it, but neither is there anything here that's worthy of commendation. If you like coffee breads, or are a fan of pistachios, you may like this bread, so I'm posting the recipe with reservations. While it is gorgeous to look at, it's too sweet to be a bread and not sweet enough to be a coffee cake. I'll let you judge for yourself. Here's the recipe.

Pistachio Coffee Ring
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
8 tablespoons softened butter, divided use
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shelled, salted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:
1) Combine yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and water in a large mixing bowl. Set aside to proof, about 5 minutes. Add milk, 4 tablespoons butter, salt and 1/2 cup granulated sugar to yeast mixture. Add flour, a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. I used 3-1/2 cups flour to mix and 1/2 cup to knead.
2) Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball, place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3) Melt reserved 4 tablespoons butter. Set aside. Grease a cookie sheet or baking pan. Set aside. Punch dough down and turn onto a floured board. Let relax for about 10 minutes. Roll into a 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush surface of dough with butter. Sprinkle with reserved sugar and pistachio nuts. Using long end, roll dough as for a jelly roll, sealing each seam as you roll. Join ends of roll and seal together to form a ring. Transfer ring to baking sheet. Slice 2/3 of the way into ring at 3/4-inch intervals. Twist each slice to right so filling is facing upwards. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush surface of ring with beaten egg. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until nicely brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 12 servings.

Other coffee rings can be found at:
Recipes for the Future - Almond/Pecan Coffee Ring
Annie's Eats - Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
breadbasketcase - Chocolate Almond Coffee Cake Ring

This recipe is linked to:
Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting

44 comments:

Jamie said...

Ah, I saw the pistachios nuts - I love pistachios - and saw the beautiful ring like the coffee cake I made recently and thought "Yay another great coffee cake recipe". Thanks for your honest commentary and opinion. Maybe I'll put the two cake recipes together? It is really pretty, though.

Martha said...

It's certainly pretty -- I've always admired anyone who can do those wonderful coffee rings.

chriesi said...

Mmm...that is so scrumptious!

Coleen's Recipes said...

It IS beautiful. Maybe a glaze would help? I hate using expensive ingredients and getting just an average outcome.

KathyB. said...

Baking bread, I am so looking forward to finally fulfilling some planned obligations and commitments this weekend that will then leave me free to bake with abandon! Bread is one of those things I love to bake this time of year. I appreciate you writing your opinions about the recipes you post too. I might give this bread a try. I have not knowingly tried any of James Beard's recipes and your commendation of him makes me think I should check one of his cook books out of the local library.

. said...

I like pistachio so much.
Alfazema

Debinhawaii said...

Bummer you didn't like it more. It is such a pretty bread--love the pistachios.

Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

It sounds like a perfect breakfast for the holidays. We love pistachios also.
vickie

Donna-FFW said...

Oh pistachios how I love them!! This must be so very flavorful. They are so expensive to buy, I purchase them for special occasions. But this is a truly adequate reason, looks so wonderful.

Jane said...

My hubby loves pistachios, too. The bread looks beautiful. Perhaps I'll give it a try.

I am looking for a muffin recipe that contains pistachios...the Tampa Yacht Club serves them as their signature bread. They're fabulous! Unfortunately, I have not found anything like them. Have you?
Jane (artfully graced)

Foley said...

Love pistachios, but can't quite picture it in a bread! It looks fantastic though!!!

Federica said...

wow che bella!! adoro i pistacchi!! chissà che buona!

Joycee said...

This would be hit with my husband too. Mary, if you tweaked this recipe and pehaps did a flaky puff pastry would it be good. Did it need more sugar too. I am NOT good at doctoring up a recipe so I need some pointers here. Definately want to make this a "One Perfect Bite!"

ButterYum said...

Too bad... I love yummy pistachio baked goods. Maybe you could drizzle it with a lovely glaze and call it dessert.

I have to head to the pantry for a pistachio fix!

:)
ButterYum

Alyssa said...

I never ate pistachios as a child, not because I didn't like them, but because I can't remember them ever being in the house. As an adult, I've discovered a fondness for them, and I'm excited to see this recipe. Thanks!

Alyssa said...

Whoops, hit send too soon. Anyway, it does look good, and it's a shame it was a bit less than you expected. Maybe just a bit of tweaking is all it needs?

Cathy said...

It is a beautiful bread, Mary, and reminds me of a coffee cake my mother used to make. She called it a Swedish Tea Ring. It had a filling of dates and nuts.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Mary this came out beautiful. i haven't tried any of jame Beard's recipes, a lot of bloogers really raves about him.

I like that pistachios are used in this instead of the usual walnuts, pecans or almonds.

Mary said...

Jane, I just did a google search and found pistachio muffin recipes. If you can describe the muffins I'll find the one that most closely resembles the one you are looking for and test it.

Mary said...

Joycee, I would use a brioche dough and more sugar and pistachios in the filling.

Colleen and Butter Yum, a glaze would help but the real problem is in the dough. It's neither friend or foe. The ring needs a richer dough and the filling could use more pistachio flavor.

Toni said...

Well... it does look pretty!

zurin said...

Oh Im sorry the bread was disappointing. But it looks so so good and the pistachios....I love pistachios! But you certainly made it look beautiful n no one would think it wasnt good by just looking at it. But I suppose it never hurts to try something new :)Tq for the honest review though... n for ur comment on my blog :))

Pam said...

My father loves pistachios. I think I will make this for him the next time he visits. Bookmarked!

Maria said...

Lovely and Congrats on being listed in the top 25. I was thrilled to see both of us there!

Mary said...

Maria, congratulations to you as well! I was really surprised.

Gala said...

But it does look very pretty....maybe with a different filling it will work out better.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your honesty. Other food blogs only post their successes - never inferior recipes. I trust your judgement & won't spend my grocery budget on this cake.

Martha in KS

Olga said...

pistachios are my favorites. I'd probably eat them all before even starting on the dessert ;)

noble pig said...

That turned out so beautiful! Wow, I love these nuts too, all nuts actually.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pistachios are so pretty. What a lovely coffee ring.
Sam

heartnsoulcooking said...

WOW!!! what a BEAUTIFUL coffee ring. I love pistachio, they are one of my favorites along with pecans. I like a coffee cake that's not to sweet.
Geri

The Blonde Duck said...

Pistachios and hippos...I love ya'll!

Katy ~ said...

I love nuts, pistachios are a particular weakness of mine. The ring looks beautiful. I am sorry that the taste did not live up to it's promising beauty.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

It looks wonderful!
I have only made one bread shaped like that and I stuffed it with savoury ingredients. I hope to make a tea-time one soon.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Wow this looks wonderful! Thanks for your kind visit last week on my cornbread post -- I hope you'll try it sometime!

Velva said...

As always, another fabulous recipe! Yum!

Helene said...

I don't know where you find all these delicious recipes. This ring looks so good.

Mimi said...

Looks lovely. It's always a bit of a bummer when you spend time and money on a so-so recipe.
Mimi

My Little Space said...

Mary, this looks soooo good! Love pistachio & coffee flavour. Pistachio is quite expensive over here lol. Will try to get some anyway! Thanks.

Lori said...

Your lucky husband! It looks wonderfully delicious.

I actually just got an old copy of one of James Beards books with his signature in it. I actually got the book free!

Mimi said...

It sure does look pretty (if that is any consolation)

Laura said...

What a shame you didn't like this bread. It does look amazing. Hmm. Maybe with a almond paste coffee cake filling or maybe a chocolate almond paste filling. Pistachio looks so stunning peeking out from chocolate.

Sara said...

Oooooooh, this looks so good!! YUM. :) I love pistachios and the coffee cake looks SO tender and delish!

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