Peachy! Jam Fan Tans (BBB January 2013)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Jam Fan Tans; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; dictionary definition of ‘fan-tan’; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) January 2013

There are a few changes in BBBabeland. Susan’s, Sara’s and Mary’s busy lives are making them hang up their Babe-aprons. We will miss them! But we’re so pleased to welcome Jamie, the newest BBBabe!

Fantans I was thrilled about the choice for this month’s BBB task. I love trying new ways of shaping! When I saw Dewi’s buttery coconut fan shaped rolls, I immediately vowed to try them soon. And then this month’s lovely kitchen host, Pat, cleverly chose fantans for January’s task. Sure, Dewi’s rolls are slightly different from the BBB’s rolls but both end up being fan shaped.

Although the fantans would involve lots of jam and even more butter… as if we didn’t get enough buttery rich food over Christmas.

Fiddle dee dee! No problem for me!! I have to make up for being disallowed butter for almost 4 months last year. :whee:

As always with the BBBs, there’s just an extra twist to make things a little more complex. The recipe calls for a sourdough starter. Eeeeeeeeek!!!

Luckily, Pat, offered an alternative – to substitute a yeasted starter. Quel relief. I really don’t have the heart to try capturing wild yeast again, especially in the middle of winter!

Here’s how my adventure with fantans went (I fear I am as verbose as ever):

BBB Jam Fan Tan diary:

6 January 2013, 09:11

The fantans call for “1 cup whole wheat sourdough starter OR 1 package of RapidRise yeast mixed with ¼ cup warm water”.

Well, that doesn’t make sense to me… it seems like the fantans would be WAY better the first way. It’s almost (not quite) enough of an incentive to head into the lab and build a wild yeast starter.

Tanna added to the dilemma. She was reading a book on sourdough and pointed to the following statement: “Feeding your sour with 100 percent whole wheat is not recommended, as this tends to create too much acidity in the sour.”

Well, son of a gun! Is that why my last try at wild bread was such a sour failure? This almost (almost, I said) makes me want to try yet again to build a wildyeast starter. But. Do we want another pet? And such a demanding one?

More to the point, do we want sour fantans?

No no. I won’t be so rash. I will just search for a way to make a fake starter. I’m NOT going to capture yeast in the winter. Good flour is way too expensive and hard to get. We’ve only had snow for about a week but it’s already getting me down. WWwaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!! I have to walk instead of bicycle!!

Hahaha! I just noticed that the instructions say to put the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl unless you’re me, in which case, it should go in a clean bowl.

Knead 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and silky. […] Place in oiled (or clean if you are Elizabeth) bowl, turn dough to lightly coat with oil.
-BBB January recipe

Oh my. Good one, Pat. I can’t stop laughing. (But but but… I feel compelled to protest: EVERYONE should put their kneaded dough in a clean bowl! :stomp:)

I’ll be making fantans next weekend. I’m planning to try out Glezer’s method for replacing a natural starter with a yeasted one:
To convert a recipe from sourdough to commercial yeast, you will just use a small amount of yeast in the levain and omit the sourdough starter. […] Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and use 2 tablespoons of the yeasted water per cup (150 grams, 5.3 ounces) flour. […] Be sure to reduce the water measure in the levain by the same amount as the added yeasted water.
Let the levain, which is now technically a pre-ferment, ferment for 2 to 3 hours, or until it has risen to about half again its original volume, then refrigerate it overnight until ready to use. Let it come to room temperature before adding it to the final dough. Continue with the recipe as directed – there is no need to add more yeast.
-Maggie Glezer, Artisan Baking Across America

Or maybe I’ll simply make a cup’s worth of poolish, using whole wheat flour, roughly following what I did when I made olive not-wild-yeast bread.

Fantans I’m having a little trouble visualizing how to put the shaped rolls into the muffin tins. So I googled (using “fan-tans”, “fantan”, “fan rolls”, “fantail rolls”. I found some helpful photos and videos. Then I thought I’d be really radical and look in my bread books. Remarkably, not one of them features anything remotely like fantans. The closest are the fans in Carol Field’s “The Italian Baker”.

But fantans are in “The Joy of Cooking” – with a nice little drawing of the shaped rolls in muffin tins. How handy is that? s(There’s also another kind of nifty looking fan on the same page. Remind me to look more closely at that!)

Sunday, 13 January 2013 10:38am Isn’t life wonderful!! A major thaw over the past couple of days has removed all the snow and we were able to bicycle again. Yesterday, we rode all over the city. We actually had to shed layers because we were too warm!

We’d ride again today but it’s pouring. So. I have just finished mixing the starter for the fantans. As I was getting the flour out, I suddenly decided that we have been having far too many sweet things over the past couple of weeks. I’ve decided to make half the recipe… which means I have to reduce the amount of for the starter.

Or do I? Never mind. I don’t need to decide until tomorrow.

The full recipe calls for an egg. Will I be lazy and just use an egg? Or will I beat the egg and use only 2 Tbsp? Hmmmmm… we’ll see tomorrow.

After mixing the starter, I looked more closely at the rest of the recipe and saw that it calls for:

¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
-BBB January recipe

Oh oh. Maple syrup and vanilla together? That seems like a waste.

We only have the President’s Choice fake maple syrup with a little pure maple syrup added. I’m NOT going to use that. I’ll use honey instead. And I’m planning on forgetting to add the vanilla because we only like vanilla in desserts.

Luckily, I won’t get in too much trouble for this; Pat has already given us permission to omit the maple syrup, etc. :-)

Monday, 14 January 2013 7:13am I woke up ridiculously early this morning, wondering how my starter was doing. So I staggered down to the kitchen and saw that it had doubled but wasn’t really very active.

I wondered if it would be strong enough to raise the dough. I made an executive decision to not test it and added some more yeast to the actual dough mixture.

And then, as I was grating nutmeg and staring at the starter, looking back at me all dense, brown and grainy, I suddenly decided that that was enough whole wheat flour for our rolls.

With a flourish of the pen, I crossed out “whole wheat flour” and changed the amount for the all-purpose flour. Ha! Call me unhealthy. See if I care.

I whisked flour, yeast and nutmeg, heated milk, butter and honey (what possessed us to keep the honey on the top shelf out of reach so I have to drag the step-stool over? At 6am! :stomp:), beat the cooled milk mixture into the flour, cracked an egg into a small bowl and whisked it, got the Tablespoon out to measure half into the bowl, stared at the lump of brown and grainy starter, and… ah!! who cares!! …tossed the whole egg in.

I actually measured the starter – not by weight. That would have been too clever. I plopped it into our pyrex measuring cup. It appeared to be close to a half a cup. But it had deflated a bit as I moved it. It was probably closer to a cup. I think. I decided to throw it all in anyway.

After stirring the starter in, things started to feel much less healthy and wholesome. Yay. I threw in a bit more white flour and salt to finish the dough.

I washed and dried the mixing bowl. (How is it that I’m able to follow that instruction so well, when I cannot seem to read and retain very much else in a recipe? Is it because Julia Child told me to do it?)

Kneading was a breeze. In a much better mood, I plopped the smooth lump of lovely white (with a nice light sprinkling of whole grains) dough into the clean bowl, covered it and put it into the oven with only the light turned on.

I WAS going to surprise everyone and oil the bowl. I really was. But I forgot. :lalala:

10:34am Good thing I added more yeast! It’s very very slowly rising – not doubled yet….

11:12am I was sure we had more coronation grape jam left! There’s not nearly enough for the fantans. So I went into our stash in the basement to see what was there. There are a couple of jars of T’s stunning Seville orange marmalade, a couple of jars of my brilliant (if I do say so myself) apricot jam (both too precious to use in baking) and… bingo!! a jar of “Farmer’s Market Disappointing Peaches Jammed”. Perfect. What a great rescue.

14:20 Well. THAT was fun!

Fantans Of course, the risen dough came out of the bowl beautifully. (See? You don’t have to oil the bowl. You really don’t.)

Then rolling, slathering and stacking was a breeze.

17:48 I just pulled six beautiful peachy fantans out of the oven. They’re gorgeous!!

Fantan Going against my rules to WAIT until they’ve completely cooled, we tried one about 10 minutes out of the oven – even though it was almost time for dinner.

Mmmmmm!! Pretty darn good. But I can tell it’s not quite finished baking inside. Now I can’t wait for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Yesterday morning, we reheated fantans in the toaster oven and served them with cream cheese, more peach jam and cappucino. How brilliant! I particularly like the nutmeg. I particularly like the buttery softness inside. I particularly like the chewy crispness on the outer edges.

Here is the BBB January 2013 Sweet Orange Marmalade Fantan Rolls recipe. And here is what I did to it:

Jam Fan Tans
based on the BBB January 2013 recipe for Sweet Orange Marmalade Fantan Rolls

makes 6 rolls

yeasted water

  • ⅛ tsp instant yeast ¹
  • 4 Tbsp lukewarm water ²


  • 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
  • 3 Tbsp yeasted water, from above
  • ¾ c whole wheat flour

fantan dough

  • ¾ 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp no more whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
  • ⅛ tsp instant yeast
  • ½ c evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter ³
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 egg, beaten (use only 2 Tbsp)
  • all the starter, from above
  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt 4
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 c jam, warmed 5
  1. Yeasted Water On the day before you will make the fantans: in a small bowl, whisk yeast into water. Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F; yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.
  2. Starter Put water, yeasted water and flour into a medium sized bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave on the counter overnight.
  3. Fantan dough On the day you will be making the fantans: whisk the flours, salt, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Pour evaporated milk into a small pot. Add butter and honey and heat over medium heat until butter is almost melted. Remove from the stove and stir to cool. Allow the mixture to continue cooling until it reaches approximately 110F (you can also do the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist).
  5. When the milk mixture has cooled, whisk in egg.
  6. Add milk mixture and starter to the flour in the large bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
  7. Gradually add the rest of the flour (you don’t have to use it all) to create a soft, somewhat sticky dough.
  8. Kneading Scatter a tiny amount of flour onto the board and turn the dough out.
  9. Wash and dry the mixing bowl. (Please do not be tempted to skip this step.)
  10. Hand knead until the dough is soft and smooth (about 5 minutes). Try not to add more flour. Let your dough scraper be your friend to keep the board clean.
  11. Proofing Form the dough into a ball and put it in the clean bowl; cover it with a plate (there is no need to oil the bowl!) Let the dough rise in a no-draft place at room temperature (or in the oven with only the light turned on if you want) until it has doubled in size. (1 to 2 hours)
  12. Shaping Butter the insides of 6 small pyrex bowls and put them onto a cookie sheet. Set aside. 6
  13. Lightly dust flour on the board. Turn the dough out and using a rolling pin, roll it out into a foot square. Brush the rolled out dough with melted butter.
  14. Fantans Mark off 6 equally sized strips on the square. Cut one strip away and set it apart from the rest of the buttered piece. Slather warmed jam over all but that set-aside piece (to ensure that the jam will not be against the sides of the containers) Cut the jam-slathered piece into 5 equal strips. Stack the strips on top of each other with the plain strip on top. Cut through this layered piece to create 6 equal pieces.
  15. Fantans Put each piece sideways into the buttered containers, so the layers are visible. Fan the layers open. Each container should have six dough pieces with jam in between each layer.
  16. Proofing Cover with a clean tea towel followed by a plastic grocery bag and allow to rise in a draft-free warm area (oven with only the light turned on) until they double (1 to 2 hours).
  17. Baking Place the rack on the top shelf (to prevent burning on the bottoms) and preheat the oven to 375F. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden brown. Turn the tray around about half way through to allow for uneven oven heat. Watch for burning! (These rolls have a high sugar content.) You might want to turn the temperature down to 350F or even 325F half way through….
  18. Remove from oven and put the dishes on a footed rack to cool for ten minutes. Remove from dishes and put the rolls on the rack to cool for another 20 minutes or so before serving.

Serve the rolls warm – with more jam and butter if you are decadent. And coffee. Plenty of coffee.

To serve warm rolls after they have cooled completely, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the rolls in the hot oven directly on a rack for about ten minutes. If the rolls happen to be is a little stale, put them into a paper bag first. Spray the bag liberally with water and place it in the hot oven until the bag is dry (about 10 minutes).


1.) Yeast: Normally, I’d use active dry yeast but someone, who wasn’t paying attention, bought the wrong kind of yeast. (No actual finger pointing – suffice it to say that it’s someone whose name begins with E and rhymes with Delizadufus).

2.) Water: Please do not use water from the hot water tap. Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave (to create lukewarm water, add cold water until it is the correct temperature – use the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist. Or… you can use a thermometer.) Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

3.) Butter: I wonder about whether to use salted or unsalted butter. I went through a phase of using only unsalted butter in baking. But unsalted butter costs twice as much as salted. And I’m adding salt anyway. Call me a penny pincher but these days, I’m using salted butter.

4.) Salt: You might want to add a little more salt – unless the unsaltiness in our fantans is due to me using Kosher salt instead of regular salt. I really should have weighed it. Kosher salt is so much fluffier than regular salt.

5.) Jam: The BBB recipe calls for marmalade. I love the idea of marmalade. And we do have marmalade on hand. Beautiful Seville orange marmalade that T made last year. However, we also have a few jars of slightly less successful peach jam from two years ago. We decided to use that instead.

6.) Baking Dishes: The BBB recipe suggests using muffin tins. I was pretty sure that with all the butter and jam, there would be overflow. So I used small pyrex bowls placed on a cookie sheet instead. And I was really glad I did! There was indeed molten butter and jam on the cookie sheet when the rolls were done.

Fantan Does this happen to you? It ALWAYS happens to me. After putting the Christmas decorations away, I surveyed the living room several times to look for that one last decoration I’d missed. And after climbing onto a chair to snag a small angel, I was certain I’d managed to put all of Christmas away.

And then I noticed this honking big tree ornament hanging by the living room window!

I quickly grabbed it and put it away. Then the fantans were ready and I completely forgot about Christmas decorations and tidying. Who wouldn’t? We had peachy fantans and coffee.

Thank you, Pat!

Bread Baking Babes
Peachy! Jam Fan Tans (BBB January 2013)

Pat, aka Elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms) is the host of January 2013’s Bread Baking Babes’ task. She wrote:

We have been doing some serious bread shaping these last months Babes so I thought I’d keep it going with a somewhat silly shaping method for rolls. It’s called making fantans and they are baked in muffin tins and look a bit like fans. Dough is rolled out, cut in strips and stacked, then the stacks are cut to make the contents of each tin, with the cut ends up above the muffin tin, fanned out a bit. Once they rise and bake they look less like fans but when you take them from the muffin tin they look more fan-like.

You can certainly make savoury fantans and I will be just fine with any changes you want to make, including using something other than marmalade for the filling. Butter and cinnamon sugar would be easy, Nutella would be lovely, jam of any flavor would be delicious. If you eliminate the nutmeg, maple syrup, and vanilla from the dough then doing butter and herb, a tomato paste, or any other savoury filling that suits you would work fine. The shape is the thing.

We know that you too will WANT to bake these fan shaped rolls!! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: bake Fan Tans in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 January 2013. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ Fantans:

Yeastspotting - every Friday ( image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

Bake Your Own Bread (BYOB)
BYOB is a monthly event begun by Sandy (At the Baker’s Bench), passed on to Cathy (Bread Experience) and hosted by Heather (girlichef) last year. Heather wrote:

[BYOB] encourages you to start (or continue) getting comfortable baking bread in your own kitchen. Anything from simple quick breads to conquering that fear of yeast to making and nurturing your own sourdough starter. All levels of bakers are welcome to participate.

BYOB Badge Heather has handed the BYOB hosting reins over to Roxana (Roxana’s Homebaking). For more information about BYOB and how to participate, please read the following:

  • BYOB: Bake Your Own Bread


Fan Tans (BBB)

edit 17 January: In the Facebook BBB group, there was a discussion about the meaning of “fan-tan”. Ha!!! And I thought it was just another name for a fan. It hadn’t occurred to me until seeing the definition that the layers in the rolls might be representing cards!


1 a Chinese gambling game in which players try to guess the remainder after the banker has divided a number of hidden objects into four groups.

2 a card game in which players build on sequences of sevens.

late 19th century: from Chinese fān tān, literally ‘repeated divisions’, Definition of fan-tan – game, gambling and card game (British & World English)

Hmmm, I wonder if someone is going to play fan-tan with their fantans now. Just in case, the fantan rules are here.

Fantans edit 21 January 2013: It turns out that garlic and butter works as well as jam in fantans. Please read more here: savoury fantans are good too. :-)

This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, food & drink, posts with recipes on by .

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11 responses to “Peachy! Jam Fan Tans (BBB January 2013)

  1. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Peachy Fan Tans! I’ll go for that.
    Can’t believe you only just thought of this for garlic bread! I have done just that only in a loaf pan. Then it’s pull apart easy and glorious.
    When I get home from the north woods I must check out the joy of cooking illustrations.

  2. Katie

    I am so glad that you continue to do things the easy way…. I was worried that you might get creative during the winter confinement (bad weather, and all)
    They look yummy – love peach anything!

  3. Elle

    Peach is perfect! Especially with lots of coffee. Your posts are always so full of great information and I really should have sent the recipe to you for updating before I put it up to bake from. Thanks VERY much for posting it and where to find the photos Elizabeth. Love the reheating instructions, too.

  4. barbara

    Wow, they look fabulous, and what could sound better than buttery softness and chewy crispiness. Drool.

    And Ha! I’ve switched to only using unsalted butter. I was finding that salted butter was just tasting too salty in sandwiches, and also I heard/read that salted butter has more water than unsalted.

    By the way, only “fear” if you ever _aren’t_ verbose! I’m always sorry when I get to the end of one of your sagas. (I laughed out loud at “begins with E and rhymes with Delizadufus”.)

  5. Heather @girlichef

    Well, first of all, I had to laugh…because that Christmas decoration thing? Yeah, happens to me every single year. This year this kids decided to hang the glittery snowflake ornaments from some evenly spaced nails in the top of one of the entries to our hallway. There they still hang…

    I always love reading your process and your musings. It looks like all turned out well. I do love the thought of the peach filling with some cream cheese…mmmm!

  6. ejm Post author

    It happens to me every year too, Karen and Heather. And I thought I was onto it this year. I stood and carefully examined every room looking for what I absolutely knew would be there. But this giant tree ornament really takes the cake. (I wonder what else I’ve missed that I will suddenly notice in July. Ha. Will they be snowflakes too?)

    Thank you Kate. Peachy IS good. I can’t wait to see how your fantans turned out.

    I don’t know, Ilva. Strawberry jam sounds pretty darn good too.

    Tanna, I can’t believe I only just thought of it for garlic bread either! And you’re right. I made garlic fantans last night and they were indeed “pull apart easy and glorious”.

    Yes, that’s me, Katie. I always like the easy route… :lalala:

    Natashya, if I didn’t know what that cute little kitty was going to get into next, I’d love it more. :stomp:

    Peach is indeed perfect, Lien and Elle. But it turns out that garlic is equally perfect.

    Thank you Barbara! I know exactly what you mean when you say “drool”. And that’s interesting about the water content. Now I wonder how much variation there is from brand to brand.

    That’s very nice of you all to say that you don’t mind my droning. I don’t know why it gives me such pleasure to go on and on and on and on :-)



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