Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baking with the pro

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my sisters and I, along with a few cousins, got together at my Grandma Hackman's to learn the art of Culvert baking.   Grandma has been baking these for as long as I can remember and they are one of the most delicious pastry's out there.  If you google culvert, all your going to find is a picture of a ditch culvert.  Not at all the same thing.  Culverts are probably similar to a cream horn, but even then, there are a lot of differences between the two. 
Grandma followed the recipe to a T, however, there are a lot of tricks that she hasn't written down, such as beating the egg yolks briskly before mixing, having the eggs at room temperature, using 2% milk, etc.  Interesting enough, she also uses this dough for kolache's and cinnamon rolls. 

After mixing the dough and letting it rise for a couple hours, you punch it down and let it rise again.  Then you wrap pieces of the dough around these wooden dolls.  That takes some practice...

I decided I was better off manning the oven and letting my Grandma and cousins roll the dough.  They quickly developed a groove and were on a roll.  (Pun intended).

Then they rise again as they wait to head into the oven. 
After they came out of the oven, they immediately get brushed with butter.  Before filling, they must cool completely. 
And some of the finished product.  We made 4 batches and I can't even tell you how many hundreds that is.  Because our family is so large it takes a lot of Culverts for Christmas time.  We all took a bunch home, but most went into the freezer for Christmas. 
It was so much fun learning from Grandma how to make these.  It was also fun to hang out with my sisters and baby Jett, as well as a couple of my cousins.  I don't know that any of us are ready to tackle these on our own, and I have a whole new appreciation for how much work this is for Grandma (and Grandpa). 

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