Bob’s Red Mill: Crake! a Fusion Dessert made of a Cinnamon Roll and caKE all-in-one

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With all the fusion of desserts going on today, I thought I would enter into that playground and have a go at it.  I present to you what I call a Crake!  It’s actually pastry dough that I made using a blend of flours and a cake that engulfs each roll.  Being that Valentine’s Day is around the corner, we all need a hug and this moist buttermilk-based cake does just that to each roll.  So let’s get started creating and let me add, this has a sticky bun topping so I made sure to splurge!

We start by getting our starter going:

Starter-
3 ounces of Warm Water (105 to 110 degrees)
1 teaspoon of White Sugar
1/2 tablespoon of Yeast
1 ounce of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour

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I have a proofing option with my oven that I set at 110 degrees.  No need to have one, so you can also place the starter to bloom in a dark warm corner in your kitchen.  I gently mix everything in a small bowl, but one with enough room for the rise. Then cover with plastic and give it about 15 minutes.

While that starter get’s….well started, I begin with the Sweet Dough Mix for the Rolls:

Dough-
3 ounces of Yogurt (or you can use 3 ounces of cream cheese, plus 1 tablespoon of milk)
2 ounces of Unsalted Butter (softened)
1 egg at room temperature
1 3/4 ounces of White Sugar
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
6 1/2 ounces of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
4 Ounces Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour

Between a 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of All Purpose Flour (separate from above measurements) will be needed while the dough kneads.

I cream the sugar and butter together with a mixer (stand or hand will do, use your whisk attachment).  I then add the Yogurt but in this case I went with the 3 ounces of cream cheese (with 1 tablespoon of milk).  Add the egg and vanilla.  I then add the starter and incorporate everything, being careful not to over mix.   In another bowl, I mix the salt and both flours with a whisk.  I add the mix to the wet ingredients, still with the whisk attachment on.  Things will look a little shaggy at this point; that’s okay. I then change over to the dough hook.  I find using a little butter on my dough hook makes it easier in preventing the dough from sticking to it.  I begin to knead and add All Purpose Flour as needed.  Sometimes I need a 1/4 cup and other times I need up to a 1/2 a cup, it all depends on the elasticity it builds.  I knead for about 10 minutes using the mixer.

After the dough is a nice texture, I place it in a buttered bowl and cover it with plastic. In it goes to the proofer for a hour to an hour and 20 minutes. You want the dough to grow almost double in size.

I then begin on the “sticky bun” topping that I call “The Glaze”:

Glaze-
4 tablespoons of Butter (salted)
3 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
1/2 a cup of Brown Sugar

I melt the above items down and I find my little “gravy” pan works great as it has a notch for pouring.  Stir frequently and don’t hurry it up by turning up the heat.  Use low heat until things melt and just begin to bubble.  You want no sugar crystals (grains), just a smooth glaze.

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While the glaze melts, I get 1/2 a cup of pecans and throw them on some parchment paper to toast.  This intensifies the flavor profile and also adds a nice texture to the glaze.  The glaze will actually almost create a butter nut toffee texture over the pecans, so it is really delicious and beautiful looking at the same time.  I use my toaster oven because my dough is proofing in my oven.  Just place them at 350 degrees and then watch them so they do not burn.  It may take 5 minutes or 10 to be done, so the time is never exact but keep an eye on them until the color changes (darkens slightly).

Nuts-
1/2 cup of toasted Pecans (or any nut of your choice)

I then get a glass pan that I will use to bake this entire concoction in.  I use a “lasagna” pan that is the size of 9 x 13 inches (3 quart).  This allows enough room for the rolls to rise and for the cake batter to fit.  I use cooking spray on the glass and then place parchment.  The spray allows my parchment paper to stick and stay put better so I don’t have to fuss with it.  I also find that it’s easier to first cut and shape the paper to your liking BEFORE spraying so you don’t then end up with baking spray on your hands too.  Yes, it has happened where I forget and then end up with slippery hands!

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Pour the glaze onto the paper and make sure to help it spread evenly.  Once it spreads out, add the Pecans.

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I get started in making the filling for the Rolls:
Roll Filling-
You can use the standard cinnamon roll filling of 1/2 tablespoons of melted Butter, 1 cup of Brown Sugar, 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon of ground Cinnamon, with a dash of Nutmeg.
Roll Filling Variations-
With Strawberries being in season and I am going for a Valentine’s Day dessert, I picked Strawberries.  You can go with any berry you wish like Blackberries or even a mix.  I used 6 ounces of fresh Strawberries that I sliced up and because they were already sweet, I used less than a teaspoon of White Sugar and just tossed them.  Take note the glaze is sweet and you don’t want an overly sweet filing too but do sugar the fruit by taste.
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By now the dough has “poofed” to my liking and close enough to being double the size so I get it out of the proofer and just flip it on to a floured surface.  Have a 1/2 cup of flour ready if needed when it comes to rolling the dough out.  I roll the dough out to about 14 inches (length wise).  I then spread the filling and in this case the fruit, and then I begin to roll like I would any cinnamon roll.
You want 8 rolls in total and this is my method:
Cut the ends off and then cut the roll in half.
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You now have 2 small rolls and you will cut each on in half again.
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You now have 4 pieces and you then simply cut each piece in half and you end up with 8 (close enough) equally sized rolls.
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Place the rolls in the pan that has the glaze and in it goes back in the oven to proof for about 30 to 45 minutes.  You want expansion but not so much that you won’t have room for cake batter.
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While the rolls proof, off we go to make the cake batter.  Start making the batter when you are about 10 minutes away from the rolls finish proofing:
Buttermilk Cake Batter-
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup of White Sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/3 cup of Unsalted Butter
1 Egg (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon of Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cup of Buttermilk
Cream the sugar and butter together.  While that incorporates nicely, get the 3/4 cup of buttermilk and add the egg, vanilla, maple syrup to it until well blended.  Then in a separate bowl blend the dry ingredients, the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Once the butter and sugar are nice and creamy, add 1/2 of the “wet” buttermilk mixture and 1/2 of the “dry” flour mixture to the mixing bowl.  Make sure to not over mix as this results in a tough textured cake.  Scrape the sides and bottom, then add the rest of the wet and dry ingredients.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
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Take the rolls out of the proofer and then add the cake batter to the areas around each roll.  Make sure to not get cake batter on the top of the rolls since you do not want a soggy roll.  A couple of drips is okay but do not spread the cake batter on top of the rolls.  I used all my cake batter because the point here is for the cake to rise to the height of the rolls.  You do not want when you flip these over to collapse.
By now my bossy oven has beeped at me that it is ready for the Crake to go in.  I then bake it between 30 to 40 minutes.  If you see it start to over brown, just place foil on top and make sure to not over bake.  Take it out when the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Mine was ready at 37 minutes.
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I allow the pan to cool for 8 to 10 minutes and carefully place a dish that accommodates the size of the pan you used over the Crake.  I use a glass cutting board so that I just dirty one thing and I can just slice when needed.  Use oven mitts to keep a nice grip and also in case it’s too hot.  Flip and this is where you will thank the parchment paper….just carefully peel and I use a small spatula in case a pecan here or there tries to escape.
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Viola, you made a Crake!
I then heated up dinner and allowed the Crake to cool.  It won’t get soggy on the bottom as the glaze stays on top.  After dinner I cut into it and served it with a whipped topping made of Heavy Cream, Mascarpone Cheese, and Powdered Sugar.  You just whip until you get nice stiff peaks but don’t over-whip as you will make butter.  To let my guest know the pastry had a Strawberry filling, I added a cut Fresh Strawberry on top and also a whole one to a dollop of whipped cream I placed on the plate.  This allows anyone to get more topping in case I went light on it.  Enjoy!
You can do this any way you desire.  What I mean is this is a dessert that is really two-in-one.  Want to just make the glaze and the cake, you can.  Stop at the glaze and the rolls….go for it.  I write my recipes as I go on a note pad and the above was created on my first try, so if I can do it, so can you…..so make it any way you want 🙂
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I received some of the above products free of charge from Bob’s Red Mill, an employee-owned company.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.
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Triple Berry Sweet Rolls with a Cream Cheese Crumble top, plus Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

You read right, this recipe yields two different types of sweet rolls to enjoy!

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As the days get warmer, the berries have been hitting the sale’s block. I am finding great deals so it has been a very berry-full Summer so far. Today’s recipe uses fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries and blackberries. You can go all frozen or all fresh and change the fruit to your liking too.

We start with the Yeast Dough:
2/3 cup of Sugar
1 cup of Milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast
1 stick of Unsalted Butter (softened)
2 Large Eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
4 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of Dry/Powdered Milk

I use a microwave or you may also use the stove-top to warm the milk to 105 degrees. You then pour the warmed milk into a mixer’s bowl, along with the 2/3 cup of sugar and the yeast. You whisk the ingredients enough to combine and then set aside to allow the yeast to bloom (get foamy). This may take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on weather and temperatures.

Once the yeast is foamy, you add the softened butter, eggs and salt. I mix just enough until everything is incorporated and then add the powdered milk.

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I replace the mixer with a dough hook and start adding the flour by the 1/2 cup fulls. Once all the flour is in, I use a spatula to scrape down the sides and allow the dough to mix for 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. I then change the speed to medium-high and allow the dough to knead for 10 to 12 minutes. You want a soft and supple dough so sometimes it takes 9 minutes and other times it takes 12. You don’t want to “toughen” the product so if unsure, just make sure you get 10 minutes in and you should be fine 🙂

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I flour the surface and plop my dough and begin to knead to form a nice ball that I can divide easily. Once that is done (takes maybe 30 seconds), I cut the dough in half and you may use a kitchen scale or “eyeball” it like I do. You take each half and form each into a nice ball. You then add each half to bowls that have been lightly buttered. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and let the dough rise. The dough should double in size and this takes 1 to 2 hours at most.

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While the dough rises, you can begin with making the two different fillings.

Berry Filling:
5 1/2 ounces of fresh Strawberries
4 ounces of Blackberries (frozen)
3 ounces of Blue Berries

You may use what ever combination of fruit you desire and just keep in mind you want between 12 to 13 ounces.

1/4 cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon of All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of Corn Starch

Cut the large fruit you use, like in my place it would be the strawberries into wedges or bite size.

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I like to leave my other berries whole so they can be found within the rolls and change the taste with every bite.

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Take a bowl and just mix everything together. Once everything is mixed, you may place the berry filling in the fridge covered.

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That easy!

Cinnamon Roll Filling:
1/2 cup of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
5 to 7 “grates” of Fresh Nutmeg (or to taste and can also omit if not wanted)
1/4 cup of Unsalted Butter (softened)

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Take the dry ingredients and mix them in a bowl. You then add the butter to create a “paste-like” filling and you are done. I cover and keep it on the counter so the butter remains soft and easy to spread when needed.

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Get two 9 x 13 baking pans and lightly spray with cooking spray. I use Pam with flour.

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Once the dough has risen and doubled, you take one of them and scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

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I then roll it out in to about a 10 x 14 rec-triangle.

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I add one of the above fillings above, in this case I started with the berry filling and then roll it.

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You should be left with a log that is about 24 inches long.

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I trim the edges and then cut the log in half and each half into 4.

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You should have about 8 rolls.

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Cover pan with plastic and allow the dough to rise.

Rinse and repeat 🙂 with the Cinnamon filling. I decided I wanted smaller (mini) Cinnamon rolls so I cut them thinner. You can play with the sizes too!

Cinnamon filling spread onto dough-

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Cinnamon rolls cut smaller than berry-

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Cinnamon rolls placed in glass pan and covered with plastic-

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Dough Rise Note: This usually takes an hour for the cinnamon but the fruit take longer if you are using frozen or cold from the fridge. My berry ones took an hour and a half but it can take up to 2.

While the rolls rise, you can make the crumble topping for the berry rolls and the icing for the cinnamon rolls.

Berry Crumble top:
1/2 cup of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Sugar
1/8 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
1 1/2 ounces of Cream Cheese Cold

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You just mix the dry ingredients and then incorporate the butter and cream cheese to make “crumbles”. If you over mix and create a dough, don’t worry as you can just drop chunks on top the rolls to resemble a crumble. Store your crumble in the fridge until needed

Cream Cheese Icing for mini Cinnamon Rolls:
8 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
Powder Sugar to sweetness you desire

I usually start with adding a 1/4 cup of powder sugar to the cream cheese in a mixer or just whisk by hand in a bowl. I taste and then determine if I want sweeter or not so you can control the sweetness!

Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cinnamon Rolls rise-

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Berry Rolls rise-

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Add the crumble to your berry version!

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Once the oven reaches temperature, you can bake each pan alone or side by side, you decide. It takes between 17 to 25 minutes to bake and if you notice over browning, just cover with foil until done. Best way to check for “done-ness” is seeing if the center of the rolls bounce back when slightly touched.

Berry Rolls baked-

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Cinnamon Rolls baked-

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When the rolls have baked, you allow them to cool a bit in the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can then add the cream cheese icing to all and serve.

Note- I never add icing to all at first because I want them to be dry on top when stored in the fridge. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap once they have cooled. To serve later, unwrap and place roll on a plate and warm in microwave (10 to 20 seconds), then add the icing. The warmth will aid in helping the icing spread since you store it in the fridge until needed again. I do this to preserve the texture of the dough. When they are wrapped in plastic, if they had icing, everything sticks to the plastic and creates a mess anyways so this way it does not 🙂

Enjoy!

Triple Berry Rolls Pics-

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Cinnamon Rolls Pics-

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Herbs de Provence & Chives Rolls…. Cheddar Cheese, Poppy Seed, and Sesame Seed Versions

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I wanted to make a new recipe this last Easter when it came to rolls and I had planned to test several recipes out but then the day came, and I needed something fast because I had no back-up plan.  It is difficult to always know what guests like or dislike because some just go with it to be polite.  I wanted a recipe that pleased all and on Easter morning this is what I made.  Who said you can’t think on the fly on a holiday?  I was also influenced by a bushy Chive plant I have in a pot, which was getting taller and fuller.  I see it from my kitchen so it was sort of waving at me for attention 🙂

Rolls:
1 cup of Whole Milk
2 1/2 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
2 tablespoons of White Sugar
1 tablespoon of Honey (I used a Orange Blossom variety)
1 Egg at room temperature (whisked)
6 1/2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter (melted), you will use about 1 stick in the end.
3 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence Herbs (dry)
Filling:
1/4 cup or to taste of fresh Chives
Basting:
1/2 teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Unsalted Butter (soften)
Toppers:
1/2 cup of Cheddar Cheese*
Sesame Seeds
Poppy Seeds
*Don’t have seeds or don’t like them, just up the cheese amount to 3/4 cup.  You can even mix cheeses if Cheddar is not all you want.
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You begin by heating up the 1 cup of milk until warm.  I tend to need to give my cup a quick 30 seconds in the microwave but I know some take more or less.  I always shoot to aim between 105 to 110 degrees.  I then add the yeast, sugar, and the honey.  I mix the ingredients together with a spoon.  My oven has a “proofing” mode so within 5 minutes at 105 degrees, the yeast is activated and foaming.  You want it to expand and build a good amount of foam, so it may take about 10 minutes if it is cool and on the counter.
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I then empty the cup into my mixer’s bowl that has the dough hook attached.  I add the egg and 6 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted melted butter.
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On low, I mix everything until it’s incorporated, stopping a few times to scrape the bottom and edges.
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I add the salt and Herbs de Provence to the flour.
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In small increments, I add the flour mix, again stopping to scrape down with a spatula any ingredients that are trying to rebel :).  After I added all the flour, I mix on low for about 2 to 3 minutes.
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I then increase the speed to medium and knead until a soft and smooth dough forms.  This takes about 10 to 12 minutes.
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I transfer the dough to a floured surface and work it flat, to about a 10 to 12 inched square.
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You fold one third of the dough into the center and then the other third (from the top) over.
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It’s sort of like folding a letter in how you fold the flaps.  Turn the dough and fold again until you are left with a square (small one).  I take some of the butter and butter a large bowl.  I place the dough square in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and then proof for 1 hour.  You pretty much want it to double at least in size.
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I take more of the left-over butter and butter a lasagna dish (any baking pan) that is 9 x 13 inches in size.
Once the dough has proofed, I take it out of the bowl and dump it onto a floured surface.
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I roll out the dough to a 15 inch square and sprinkle on the fresh chives.
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Begin to roll tightly from the bottom up to make a log.  Just like you would cinnamon rolls.
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You then take a floured knife or a dough scraper and start slicing.  I was able to yield 16 buns on my first take, but you will get between 14 to 15 if you measure right.  I always make small ones that I call “taste testers” 🙂 and these are usually the two corners of the log.
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I placed the buns in the buttered lasagna dish and then covered it with plastic wrap, which I lightly rubbed with olive oil in case the wrap wants to stick to my buns when they are proofing.  You can use butter too if you desire.
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Allow the dough to proof for about an hour.  You are aiming for them to like like airy pillows.
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
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Remove the buns from the oven and mix the basting ingredients of the olive oil and softened butter.  Baste the buns and then come the toppers.
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I opted for part cheddar cheese, a row of sesame and a row of poppy seeds.  The basting mix allows the seeds to stick but also adds a great flavor to the buns.
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Put the buns back in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  If you notice over browning, just cover with foil to prevent any burning.
Take the buns out and I noticed I had left-over baste, so I basted the cheesy ones so they would shine pretty.  Allow to cool a bit in pan and then you start serving.  They pull away from each other whole, so no worries there but you may also use a knife if you wish.  Sometimes the cheese can make them unite but not enough that they can’t pull away.
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To store, I waited until they cooled completely and then wrapped them with plastic wrap and stored them in the fridge.  They last great and you just take them out when you want one and allow them to come down to room temperature or give them a warm up in the oven.  They go great with a simple salad to what we had for Easter, lamb with a Pomegranate glaze.
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Next week comes the sweet version I made of these with some tweaks.  I had left over Pomegranate glaze from the lamb that needed to be used plus I was craving pecans with maple, so I made two different sweet versions!
Enjoy!

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