You could be forgiven for thinking that our obsession with coffee is a relatively recent thing. But our love of coffee dates back far further. Would you believe that the first coffee house in Edinburgh was opened in 1673? I was located just opposite what is now the Signet Library in Parliament Square by John Row!
However, in Italy their love affair began even earlier with the first coffee house opening in Venice in 1640. (Although strictly speaking it wasn’t part of Italy at the time). Fast forward to 1895, a man called Luigi Lavazza set up a grocery business which was to become a global enterprise – one that is celebrating 120 successful years.
To celebrate this amazing feat, a special blend of coffee and coffee tins have been created reflecting different decades in Lavazza‘s company history. I set out to try the 120 blend coffee which proves to be rich and full of flavour.
It’s an odd thing, but when you start looking for yeasted recipes with coffee, many that have coffee in their name (for example in the wonderful A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets cookbook) have no coffee in them at all. They are simply created to eat with coffee. Why? There are so many chocolate recipes, why not coffee?
I set about adapting a sweet viennoise dough to incorporate coffee. This recipe isn’t really for beginners and you definitely need a stand mixer, so if you’re looking for a quick and simple coffee recipe, why not try coffee jelly? This is one the favourite desserts in Japan and well worth a try.
Yeasted coffee buns
- 500 gr strong white flour
- 2 large eggs made up to 260 grams with water
- 20 gr milk powder
- 100 gr sugar
- 100 gr butter
- 7 gr of fresh yeast or 10 gr dried yeast
- 10 gr salt
- 2 tablespoons of Lavazza coffee made with 100 ml boiling water.
- A beaten egg for brushing the rolls.
- 125 gr butter
- 90 gr sugar
- 1 tbs coffee made up to 50 ml with hot water
- Make the coffee. Pour on the water and let it stand and cool.
- Weigh the flour, sugar, milk powder and salt and place in a bowl.
- Weigh the eggs and add cooled coffee and water to weigh no more than 360 grams.
- Weigh the butter and cut into cubes and set aside.
- Place the liquid into the bowl and mix on low speed (1-2). Increase the speed to 4-5 and mix for a further minute.
- Turn the speed back down to low and add the butter. Mix for 3 minutes.
- Increase the speed and mix for a further 2 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Put into a covered container and place in the fridge for a minimum of one hour. The longer it is in the fridge, the more the flavour will develop.
- Make the filling by mixing together the butter, sugar and coffee. The mixture should be smooth and spreadable. Add extra water if necessary.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out to approx ½ cm thick.
- Spread the butter filling over the dough to the edges. Roll up the dough and cut into slices each weighing 60 grams. Unroll the end of each roll and tuck underneath to avoid it opening up.
- Equally space out on baking parchment on a baking tray. Brush the buns with egg.
- Leave them to prove for about 2-3 hours. I set them on a chair and cover with a large piece of plastic to keep them warm and moist.
- Heat your oven to 180°C about 30 minutes before you intend to bake.
- Brush the buns a second time with the egg wash
- Bake for 15 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
This is extremely easy to make and is a firm favourite in Japan. I used vegetarian gelling powder, Dr Oetker Vege-Gel. It sets at room temperature and is softer than standard gelatin. It’s widely available at supermarkets. Go for a flavoursome coffee. It definitely needs to be sweetened.
- 1 pack of vegetarian gelling powder (Vege-gel)
- 200 ml cold water
- 370 ml coffee
- 100 gr sugar (or more to taste)
- Put the kettle on to boil. You have to work quickly if you are using vegetarian gelling powder
- Dissolve the gelatin by sprinkling the granules onto 200 ml cold water.
- Stir until completely dissolved.
- Make your coffee in a cafetiere (French press) by adding two heaped tablespoons of coffee and topping up with 370 ml boiling water.
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Check for taste. It does need to be sweet.
- Add dissolved gelling powder.
- Allow to cool slightly before putting in either your serving dish (cup, glass etc) or in a tray - ideally the jelly should be 1 cm thick if you wish to cut it later.
- The gell will set at room temperature. It is easy to cut into square for serving.
Find out more
Read the fascinating history of Lavazza