Torta di rose (Rose Cake)

Torta di rose is an Italian pastry similar to a cinnamon roll, but which contains no cinnamon.

A basic torta di rose has no other flavorings other than sugar and butter. You can add a little vanilla or lemon zest to the basic dough if you like, just to augment the sugar and butter. On the other hand, you can try something a little bolder, such as flavoring the filling with jelly.

If you wanted to, you could just add cinnamon, for a pretty much typical cinnamon roll.

Ingredients for dough:
500g flour
90g sugar
2 eggs
60g soft butter (unsalted)
17g bread yeast
60g milk
60g water
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for filling:
125g sugar
125g softened butter
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1tsp vanilla)
pinch of salt
or optionally
add cinnamon for cinnamon roll
or
add 2/3cup fruit jelly (reduce sugar to about 1/4 cup)

Method for dough:
Heat milk and water to about 100 degrees, add yeast and stir. Let sit for a couple minutes to proof.
Add to a mixing bowl with 150 grams of flour, mix to obtain a soft sticky dough. cover and let rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled.

Add remaining ingredients for the dough,kneading energetically until a soft dough is obtained. You can use a mixer with a dough hook or a bread machine if you like.
Cover and let rise until doubled, up to a couple of hours.

Make the filling.

Punch it down, and roll it out to about a 10″x20″ rectangle.

Method for Filling:
Cream sugar and butter and salt together. Then add any spices or flavorings. It should be somewhat light and fluffy.

Assembly:
Spread the filling on the dough evenly, leaving one long edge bare about 1″ in. Roll up the short way, so you have about a 20″ long roll. Cut into pieces about 2″ long.

Place the pieces into a buttered, floured, parchment lined 10″ round cake pan, with just a little room between each piece, cut sides up. Cover and let rise another 40 minutes or until doubled. They should just be touching each other when fully risen.

Bake in a 390F oven for 25 minutes. You may need to tent them with foil for the last 10 minutes or so if they start to brown too much.

Let cool, remove from pan, and serve cool or while still slightly warm. You may also create cinnamon roll icing by using 2tbsp milk to 1 cup powdered sugar, and a tsp of vanilla, if you like, and drizzle it over the torta.

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