This is a family recipe from the Greek wife of my mother-in-laws cousin. She made the butterhorns for members of the fishing fleet. I’ve baked these for the 26 years I’ve been in farmers markets, but as in a lot of things, I’ve finally gotten much better at them in the last few years. When I first started farmers market I never dreamed what the demand for pastry would be. Consequently, as I worked by myself, I just threw things together and did the best I could. I’ve baked through many fads and when fat became an issue, butterhorn sales declined. I actually quit making them for about 10 years. Then a year ago, I started making them again.
Experience teaches you a lot, patience and to take the time to do it right! This time, I made the butterhorns as to the recipe, but took the time to let the dough warm and rise after forming the butterhorns, before I baked them – paid off big time! Large, lovely butterhorns! Unfortunately, when I baked them yesterday, I didn’t have the camera in the bakery, so I promise to bake them again next week and take pictures.
In the meantime, here is the recipe. So try your hand at it and see if they compare to mine when I get the pictures up!!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk, scalded (not boiling, take it off when it’s steaming really good)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 egg yolks
Scald the milk and cool slightly. Add the water and egg yolks to the milk and mix well. In the meantime, put all the dry ingredients and the yeast in the bowl of your mixer. If you are using yeast that is not instant – you will need to put the sugar in the milk and egg mixture, add your yeast and let it sit long enough so that it begins to work – this is called proofing the yeast. Turn your mixer on and mix the dry ingredients together and then pour in the liquid. Mix well. Dough should be soft and sticky. Put in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or at least three hours. Dough will be stiff!
Now, this is the part I learned through patience and experience. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Lightly flour a counter. Remove the dough from the bowl and flatten with your hand into a round. Dough will be stiff. Turn it over to lightly coat both sides with flour. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Spread butter over the dough with your hand (the heat of your hand helps it melt into the dough as the dough is cold), sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (you can mix to the two together for more even spreading). Loosely roll up the dough as in cinnamon rolls. You want to roll it loosely so it will have room to fill out when rising.
Cut into 12 pieces and place cut side down on parchment paper lined baking sheet (it will take two 11×15) – if you don’t have parchment, lightly grease the sheet with butter. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the butterhorn. And I mean flatten – shouldn’t be more than 1/2 inch high, roughly. Let is rise!! This is most important. Let it rise for about an hour. Then bake in a 350 degree oven (325 degrees convection) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. The butterhorns will rise up in the oven, but they won’t spread out much. This is what you want! When you remove them from the oven, glaze and sprinkle with ground walnuts. Or leave the nuts off if you don’t like them!!
Glaze: Mix 4 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 cup butter and enough milk to get it to spreading consistency. Be sure the butter is soft!! Or you will have butter lumps in your glaze!
So, good luck!! Let me know how they turn out and I’ll get my pictures posted by the end of next week!!