Churros are a great disappointment in my life. They are the culinary equivalent of a false promise, never living up to the hype of the smell. Churro-scented air is amazing. The actual article, not so much. According to people who know churros, the solution is 2,000 miles and a border crossing away. Pass. I’ll just do it myself.
Adapted from: Joy The Baker
Yields: one 9x5x3-inch loaf | Prep Time: 2 hours | Bake Time: 35 minutes
For the Dough:
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 oz unsalted butter, melted until browned
In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together eggs and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together. Keep stirring. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. That’s just right.
Dough mixed, ready for a slow rise in the fridge overnight. The slow fermentation overnight creates more flavor in the dough.
Place the dough is a large, greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Note: The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
After a slow rise in the fridge, ready to be rolled out.
While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.
Use a pastry or basting brush to coat the dough with melted butter.
Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. It might seem like a lot of sugar. But just go for it.
It is an obscene amount of sugar. Do it anyway.
Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares.
It won’t look perfect but that’s fine. When it rises it will even out a bit.
Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a clean towel to keep the dough warm while it rises. If the pan is on a tile counter, place a towel under your loaf pan also.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board.
Cooling in the pan. Coffee brewing.
Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up. Serve warm with coffee or tea.
Out of the pan, beginning to pull it apart.
This bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also be wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Like it’s going to last for two days…we ate 3/4 of the loaf in one sitting.
It’s not a churro, but I was not disappointed. And my house smelled like churros for an entire day. I can settle for that.