Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pistachio Twist and Pinwheels (23rd Bread Braid)

The assignment for this, our 23rd bread braid, was to make pumpkin pie brioche and use it to create a pistachio twist and pinwheels.  I decided to only make half the recipe and make a smaller pistachio twist and only 6 pinwheels since it's just my husband and I and we just can't eat, nor do we need to eat, all that bread.  I wanted to try to improve the texture of the pumpkin brioche, so I tried leaving out the vital wheat gluten all together, but that didn't seem to help at all.  Instead of buying rose or orange blossom water for the filling,  I used 3-4 drops of fiori di sicilia, an oil I got from King Arthur Flour, that's good to use when making panettone. 
Here is my dough all ready to roll up:

I couldn't really spread the filling onto the dough so I just used my fingers to place it evenly over the dough and then smoothed it a little with the back of a tablespoon.  I wasn't sure I understood quite how to twist this thing after I rolled it up, but here's my interpretation of a twist tie twist:

 Unfortunately, my twist also erupted in the oven and didn't
look so pretty so I didn't take a picture of it.  I think I should've
now though, cause it would've been funny to look back on it.
The twist tasted OK, but the pumpkin brioche dough is not
my favorite.  It's kind of dry, cake-like and doesn't have much taste
at all unless you at least double the spices, which I didn't do this time,
because I didn't want to overpower the other flavors in the breads.

The pinwheels were fun to make.  I felt like it was a craft project, which I love to do, and so I was carefully trying to make them look pretty.  I could not figure out what preserves went with pumpkin, so I finally just ended up choosing cherry preserves, which I will use in a ham glaze around Christmas time.  Here's my pinwheel process:

I couldn't fit 2 tsp of cream cheese filling and preserves in the center of those pinwheels without ending up with quite a mess, so I used no more than a teaspoon of each in the centers.  The pinwheels tasted OK too, but the lemon flavor didn't go so well with cherry.  I think an almond flavoring would've been better.  My husband didn't really care for these as he is not a cream cheese fan so I had to eat 5 of them.
With the rest of the pumpkin from my 15 oz can, I was able to create a batch of pumpkin spice bagels and half the recipe for harvest pumpkin scones (with cinnamon chips).  Those bagels and scones went really well with some piping hot pumpkin spice coffee from Fresh Market.

I also made a loaf of 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from Reinhart's book "Whole Grain Breads" last week.  I didn't think to take a picture of it, but it was awesome sandwich bread. 


  1. Your pinwheels are perfect! Clearly, making a good square is essential. I'm kind of a curvy-roller, so I end up with some odd shapes. Good work!

  2. I love your pinwheels--they could be Christmas stars. Mom

  3. I am not even a cook, but you make it all sound interesting and your pictures are neat!! Dad

  4. Maybe the twist is supposed to erupt! You should have taken a picture. I thought the same about the filling for the pinwheels, and cut back too. Yours look great.

  5. WOW! Your twist and pinwheels turned out just gorgeous!

    The pinwheels look like so much fun, I think I'm going to make some pinwheels for the day after Thanksgiving.