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Favorite Pecan Coffee Ring

 

 

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Favorite Pecan Coffee Ring

1 cup milk
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to
115 degrees F.)
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
About 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter

Pecan Filling:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins

1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 pecan halves
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

1. In a 1-quart saucepan heat the milk just until bubbles form around the
side of the pan. Remove from the heat. Cool to warm (105 to 115
degrees F).
2. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Stir in half the sugar
and set aside until it is foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining
sugar, the warm milk, 1 egg, the salt and nutmeg. Stir in 2 cups flour
and mix until smooth. Stir in 1 cup flour, or just enough to form a
very soft dough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead it gently, adding more flour if necessary, just until it forms a soft ball, about 1 1/2 minutes. It should be just barely manageable and will not be elastic. Use a dough
scraper to help lift it if necessary.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to bring
the oiled side up. Cover it with a clean cloth and let it rise in a warm
place (80 to 85 degrees F), away from drafts, until it is double in size,
1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Meanwhile, cut each stick of butter in 8 pieces and place them on a
sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle the butter with 1/4 cup flour. With
your fingers, quickly work the flour into the butter just until it is
blended but still firm. Shape the butter mixture into a 6-inch square.
Wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate it until it has the consistency
of vegetable shortening, about 15 minutes.
6. On a floured surface, invert the bowl to remove the dough. Do not
punch the dough down or the pastries will be tough. With a floured
rolling pin, roll the dough to a 12-inch square. Unwrap the butter
and place it diagonally in the center of the dough. Bring the corners
of the dough, one at a time, over the butter to the center, over-
lapping by 1 inch. Press the edges of the dough to flatten and seal
in the butter. With the rolling pin, gently roll the dough to an even
18-by-9-inch rectangle. Be sure the edges are even. Do not press
too firmly or the butter will be forced out. (In a warm kitchen, if
the butter softens too much, transfer the dough to a baking sheet
and refrigerate it until it is firm.) Bring one 9-inch end of the dough
rectangle over the center third of the dough. Brush off the excess
flour and bring the other end over the first to form 3 layers of
dough. Roll the dough again to a rectangle; fold, wrap and re-
frigerate. Repeat 2 more times.

7. Prepare the Pecan Filling
: In a small bowl, combine the flour, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.
Stir in the chopped pecans and raisins; set the filling aside. In a cup
or small bowl, beat the remaining egg with the water to make an egg
glaze; set aside.
8. To make 1 large ring, roll the dough out to a 24-by-18-inch rectangle.
For 2 small rings, cut the dough in half; keep one half of the dough
refrigerated until you are ready to shape it. Roll each half to an 18-
by-12-inch rectangle. Brush the rolled dough with some egg glaze;
sprinkle with the pecan filling. (Use half the filling for each small
ring.) Starting from a long side, roll the dough up, jelly-roll-style,
pinching to seal the outside edges.
9. Shape the roll in a circle or an oval on a large baking sheet with a rim. (Use a large jelly-roll pan, a pizza pan, or heavy-duty aluminum foil
on a flat baking sheet with the edges of the foil turned up to catch
any drips.) Pinch the ends together to seal into a ring. With a very
sharp knife, make cuts, 3/4 inch apart, around the outside edge of
ring, cutting to within 1/2 inch of the center.
10. Twist the cut sections almost flat on the baking sheet so that the
filling shows, yet the center is still attached. Overlap the sections
slightly, working around the ring. Cover the ring with a clean cloth
and let it rise at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees F) until it is
light and spongy, about 35 minutes. After the ring rises, refrigerate
it 15 minutes before baking to harden the butter.
11. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Carefully brush the ring with the
egg glaze; arrange the pecan halves. Bake the small rings 20 to 25
minutes or the large ring for 30 to 40 minutes. The ring will sound
hollow when tapped on top. Remove the ring from the baking sheet
and cool it on a wire rack.
12. In a small bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar and enough milk
to make a smooth glaze and drizzle it over the pecan ring.
 

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