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A wine, a recipe and an album

By Kate
26th June, 2024

A wine, a recipe and an album

This series is all about wine, music and food. Three things that are essential to my happiness. What makes this different from what you may be thinking, is that the wine is not meant to actually pair with the food. It pairs with the making of the food. I want others to enjoy cooking and baking as much as I do. If you make it more fun by adding a good album and a great wine it takes the experience to a whole new level.

A wine, a recipe and an album

The wine

For this edition, since the recipe is just too dang good, I knew I had to open a special wine from Portugal. Vinhão is a grape that I absolutely adore. So, I looked at my wines and saw I had one I had yet to try, Explosivo from Brisa Suave. It’s a refreshingly light red wine with a little effervescence and packed with flavor. And it pairs perfectly with my recipe and album.

Vinhão is a grape with many names throughout Portugal. But when you see it as Vinhão, it usually means it was grown in the Vinho Verde region in the north of Portugal and it usually has a slight effervescence to it. It is a dark, red grape and it has colored pulp. This combination gives the wine a beautiful, inky, deep, dark purple color. In fact, because of this color, it is often blended into port for color (and also acidity). You often find it in "tascas", or loval taverns, in Porto or the Minho region of Portugal. I have written about Vinhão in more detail here if you would like to learn more.

Traditionally, the Portuguese would drink this out of a small white porcelain or ceramic bowl so that you could see the dark inky color of the wine. Drinking it this way also helps give off more intense aromas rather than being served in a wine glass, where a lot of those intense aromas could be lost.

Explosivo is just that, it hits your palate and explodes. The acidity, the flavors and the effervescence make it a really fun and lively wine to enjoy while singing along to the album and preparing the recipe below. You’ll have to let me know what you think, but for me, it was a killer combination. I can’t not smile when I drink this wine, when I bake and when I listen to a great album.

The wine

The recipe

Orange cinnamon morning buns

The recipe

Orange Cinnamon Morning Buns

Dough

3 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

3 ½ Tbs sugar

⅓ cup salted butter, melted

4 cups bread flour

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg

1 beaten egg, for brushing

Filling

⅔ cup salted butter, softened completely, not melted or heated

⅔ cup sugar

4 Tbs ground cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 orange

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

2 Tbs flour

For the glaze

1 cup sugar

⅔ cup water

Pearl sugar (not a must, but adds a nice crunch)

 

Directions

  1. Mix yeast and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook until combined.
  2. Add the sugar and melted butter and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the salt and cardamom to the flour and mix.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer while continuing to mix on low. The dough shouldn't be too wet or dry, so add the flour slowly, you may not use it all, I never do.
  5. Add the egg and continue to mix until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl. It starts to form around the dough hook, that is when you know it is done.
  6. Place the dough into a bowl greased with butter. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  7. While the dough is rising, place all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use. The filling should have a spreadable consistency.
  8. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a long rectangle, about a 1/4” thick.
  9. Spread an even layer of the filling all the way to the edges. I start with a spoon and use my fingers in order to not break the dough. Please wash your hands before. Do I need to add this part, probably not, but I am.
  10. Fold the dough into thirds. Grab the top edge and fold it towards the center, and then grab the bottom edge and fold it over to cover.
  11. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3/4” strips going up the smaller width of the folded dough.
  12. Stretch and twist each strip into longer pieces. Don’t get hung up on this, you cannot mess it up.
  13. Take the stretched and twisted pieces and coil them into a bun, these can be messy, don’t worry. Place in the baking dish lined with parchment, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350°F while the buns are resting.
  15. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 5-7 minutes, until golden. My oven bakes slow, sometimes it takes mine 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye out for golden brown.
  16. While they bake, prepare your glaze. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, set aside but make sure it stays warm.
  17. Brush the buns with the hot syrup as soon as they come out of the oven and sprinkle with the pearl sugar. Cool on a rack and then enjoy!

 

 

The recipe

Keep in a container and eat within two days. Or, you can freeze these after baked. Wrap in aluminum foil individually and then warm at 300°F for 5 minutes when you want to eat- or microwave, that works too.

It is important (or it was to me) that while you prepare these morning buns, you take small sips of the wine to thoroughly enjoy the experience. The wine mixed with the hands on recipe should help you relax and if those two things don’t get you to unravel the tension in your body, play the album below on repeat until you feel it leave.

The album

I’m throwing it back with this album to my college years. Music was a giant part of my life in those years as I worked at recording studios at nights and on weekends, I sang and went to as many concerts as I could. Seeing Jamie Cullum live was one of the most memorable performances from that time period.

I paired this album with these morning buns because to me, there is something seductive and special about a morning bun. The process is not quick, but it is so rewarding. I think the album is like the morning buns in that way. Some songs are sultry, some insanely fun making it impossible not to sway your hips while listening and some are just ethereal. And because the wine will probably be a shock on the palate for most people at first, I needed an album that was full of life, like the wine. As far as pairing with the wine, well in my mind it truly is a perfect pairing.

I hope you will try the combo, or at least one of these recommendations. If you do, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Listen here. 

 

* Traditionally Vinhão wines are served in white porcelain mugs or small bowls so you are able to see the dark inky color of the wine as well as to keep the wine cold and help give off more intense aromas rather than being served in a wine glass where some are lost. You will often find Vinhão served from a pitcher into the mugs or small bowls (see photo below).

The album

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