This month’s spice challenge theme, hosted by Vanesther at Bangers and Mash, is paprika. I wanted to try something new and found myself drawn towards making a paprika flavoured bread. After a Google search, I came across plenty of recipes for savoury breads but it was page five or six before I came across a sweet bread recipe called Paprikas Kalacs, which is Hungarian for paprika bread.
Traditionally, it is made with a sweet paprika from Kalacs (famous for producing the best paprika in Hungary) which is designated noble sweet in the quality rankings. The traditional paprika bread is shaped like a swiss roll and is flaky due to the high lard content.
Inspired by Paprikas Kalacs, I used my own sweet dough recipe, which gives a lovely tender crumb, and had a play with paprika flavoured sugar cream. Tucked away at the back of my spice box, I discovered some mild paprika and surprisingly, after a small taste, it did have a mild sweet note to it. The result of my paprika mini-journey (into the pantry and back) was Sweet Paprika and Walnut Swirls. I used less fat and less paprika than the Paprikas Kalacs recipe so I decided to add chopped walnuts to half of my swirls for extra taste.
Friends and family were given small pieces of swirls with and without walnuts. It was a blind tasting and I didn’t want to give any information – instruction was to taste and give a verdict. Result, the swirls went down a storm with an overwhelming majority favouring the swirls with walnuts.
Sweet Paprika and Walnut Swirls
- 600 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 75 g softened butter
- 400 ml buttermilk (or half milk and half natural yoghurt)
- 90 g softened butter
- 90 g caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 90 g chopped walnuts
Sugar Glaze Ingredients:
- 8 tablespoons caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons hot water
How to make your swirls
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C / Gas Mark 6
- Grease and line 28 cm x 32 cm (11″ x 12.5″) roasting tin
Top Tip: Bicarbonate of soda reacts with the buttermilk and yoghurt to make a lovely light and soft dough. I did once forget to include the bicarb and the difference was really noticeable.
- Warm up the buttermilk (or milk and yoghurt mixture) for 1 minute in a microwave on full power. The liquid temperature needs to be tepid to warm so as to encourage the yeast to start working but too much heat will kill the yeast. Gently warm the liquid in a saucepan if you don’t have a microwave.
- Combine all the dough ingredients, in either the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook fitted or in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix on slow speed number 1 for approximately 1 to 2 min then on speed number 2 for 8 to 10 minutes.
- If mixing by hand stir the ingredients together until they form a ball and then need for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Check your dough is sufficiently smooth and elastic to pass the windowpane test.
Top Tip: The windowpane test is a consistently reliable way to check your dough is ready. Pinch off a small piece of dough and gently stretch it apart, pulling and rotating the dough into a thin membrane, or windowpane, which is translucent when you hold it up to the light.
- Place your dough in a large greased mixing bowl and cover.
- Leave to rest in a warm place for at least one and a half hours or until doubled in size.
- Make the paprika flavoured sugar cream by creaming the butter and sugar together in a small bowl.
- Add the paprika and mix in well.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and divide into 2.
- Roll out each piece into a rectangle about 40 x 15 cm (16″ x 6″).
- Spread the paprika flavoured sugar cream over both rectangles of dough.
- Sprinkle the chopped walnuts evenly over both rectangles.
- Starting from a longside, lightly roll up the dough rectangles like a swiss roll or jelly roll.
- With a sharp knife cut each into 8 even slices.
- Lay slices flat in the greased roasting tin – leave an even space between the slices as they will expand horizontally as they rise.
- Leave to rise from approximately 30 to 45 minutes until well risen.
- Bake in the oven 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
- While your swirls are cooking make the sugar glaze.
- Add the sugar and water to a small heavy-based saucepan, over a low to medium heat, stirring only until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble. Let the syrup bubble away from a couple of minutes without disturbing until you have a sticky glaze.
TOP TIP: Do not stir your sugar syrup whilst it’s boiling or you will end up with a crystallised mess.
- Carefully turn out the swirls in one whole piece if you can and brush them with your glaze before leaving them to cool.
- When cooled, gently pull the individual swirls apart and enjoy.
Thanks to Vanesther at Bangers & Mash.