A week ago I was on the phone with my sister who lives in Dubai and told her I wasn’t planning to have any Christmas tree or decoration this year because I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate. A few days later, I received a box of Xmas-themed gifts, all selected by my little nieces Bea & Irene, with the message “We all need a little Christmas”.
So here I was this morning making a Christmas tree and baking these tiny “pandolci” or sweet bread buns, filled with chunks of my homemade quince jelly, crushed hazelnuts and pistachios, and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
200g spelt flour
60g oat flour
150g lukewarm water
5g fresh yeast
40g butter (approx 2 tbsp), softened
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
For the filling:
8 tbsp of your favourite jam (I used my homemade quince jam, check my previous post for the recipe)
8 tsp crushed nuts (I used hazelnuts and pistachios)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp icing sugar
Dissolve yeast and 1 tbsp of honey in the water and wait for 5 minutes.
Sieve the 2 flours and salt together, then add butter, sugar and rest of the honey. Start adding the water little by little then knead to a smooth dough.
Cover and let the dough rise for 5-6 hours or until doubled in volume.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a large rectangle about 3mm thickness. Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut 8 rounds, each about 5-6cm in diameter. Roll the remaining dough again into a rectangle and cut into strips. You need 6x strips for each pandolce, each strip approx 6 cm long.
Place 1 tbsp jam + 1 tbsp nuts at the centre of each disc of dough, then seal with 6 strips of dough, crossing them to form a net and pressing around the edges to seal.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan) or 210C (static) and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool, then dust with cinnamon and sugar.