Turkish Coffee Rolls

Black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love? Well, not quite, but that's what I was going for. A while ago I got some Turkish ground (very fine grind) coffee to use in baking, most specifically to try to make coffee chocolate chip muffins that were better than the ones I had a recipe for. It worked perfectly. Using coffee beans ground to a powder in baking gives a stronger, richer coffee flavor than using brewed coffee or instant coffee granules, the two methods of adding coffee flavor I see most frequently. It's easy enough to buy an eighth or a quarter pound of beans ground like this for use in cooking (The Foppish Baker likes espresso or French roasts) - the only problem is that most recipes will only take a tablespoon or so of the coffee, and the rest might go stale. Clearly having a grinder at home is the way to go.

In hopes of using up the coffee before it went stale, I made the muffins twice and also tried making a 'pain au lait au café', as I called it. I used a recipe for pain au lait, but added a teaspoon of Turkish ground coffee to a cup of milk, warmed it a bit to absorb the coffee more, and added that to the dough. It was nice, but I thought it could have been stronger. (Though honestly, I think my family prefer the more subtle flavor, but they're not coffee drinkers.) So this got me thinking about Turkish coffee and how good it is with cardamom, and why, oh why isn't the restaurant that makes it really well closer to my home?

So, I decided to try the coffee pain au lait again, this time with caradmom and a lot more coffee. The first bite tasted too salty, but I liked it more the more I ate. (This is a bit dangerous...) It doesn't exactly taste too strong, but it goes well with something creamy to balance it out, like butter, or Devon cream maybe.

Turkish Coffee Rolls

4 cups flour
1 package instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
10 pods cardamom, shelled and crushed
2 tablespoons Turkish ground coffee
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

Add the milk slowly to the coffee and cardamom in a small saucepan, stirring well, and heat to about 115* F.

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a bowl, then add the milk and stir with your hand for five minutes. Add the egg and stir for another 5 minutes, then stir in the butter and let rest at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for one hour, or until doubled.

Degas the dough, cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours or more.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit out for an hour to return to room temperature, then shape into rolls.

(It looks like the traditional shape is a sort of mini-bâtard, without scores in it, but some Japanese sites I looked at for recipes had used a pair of scissors to make a row of little spikes in the dough. Mine didn't turn out nearly as cute as some of the pictures I saw, but I do like the look.)

Brush with egg wash (or don't, I completely forgot about it myself), let rise one hour, then bake 15~20 minutes at 400*F.