Friday, July 11, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze

Do you ever have those times where you're trying to make a recipe and you feel like the world is against you?  You know, either the flavors aren't there, things just won't come together as they should, the batter overflows out of the pan all over the floor of the oven, or in this case the dough just wouldn't rise.  I mean it was denser than dense and flatter than flat.  I attempted to make this dough 3 times, yes 3, before it finally cooperated.  I don't know if I held my mouth just right the final time, if the 3rd time really is the charm or if the world decided to leave me alone and allow things to come together.
You see, I don't do well when recipes don't work.  If a cake sinks, I typically don't serve it.  If the frosting doesn't hold on cupcakes, they usually don't leave my house.  If a meal ends up not coming together, I quickly make something else for Spencer and Tucker before I retreat to the couch to take a break.  You see where I'm going with this.  But, I don't let the failure win.  Once I get over my frustration, I return to the kitchen to defeat whatever recipe just tried to get one over on me.  This time it was the dough.

Like I said I attempted this dough, which I've made over and over again with no problems, 3 times.  The first two attempts I probably could have broken a window or two with the floury ball of dough.  The 3rd time though, I got my bearings in order and really paid attention to each and every element.  Bread and yeast, well, it's a tricky thing.  When it works it produces a wonderfully delicious and fluffy bread.  But, when it doesn't work.  Well, you're left with items that could be used as weapons.
What did I do this time that was different than every other time?  I overheated the milk and water mixture which in turn killed the yeast each time I added it to the mixture to proof.  So the last time I slowly heated the milk and water, checking my thermometer frequently until it crept up on about 105 degrees, I removed it from the heat and allowed it to sit for about 2 minutes before adding the yeast and sugar.  I instantly noticed the difference, the yeast began to foam rather than sinking to the bottom and about 5 minutes later the yeast had formed an almost bubble-like top on the milk and I knew this time it would work.  So, when you make these, or any other bread, be sure not to overheat the liquid before adding the yeast.
Obviously I was determined to make sweet rolls to conclude blueberry week and I wasn't taking no for an answer.  All I can say is I'm sooooo glad I stuck to my guns. I made (and conquered) the dough and then these rolls. 
I love cinnamon rolls, there's no better way to start a Saturday morning than with a sweet and fluffy cinnamon roll.  But as much as I love them, my two boys adore them and are quite possibly obsessed with them.  But I have yet to make a sweet roll, so it was due time.  Are there any better flavors to put in a sweet roll this time of year than juicy, plump blueberries and tart lemons?  I think not.
These rolls turned out better than I could have imagined.  I used my go to dough from Food Network Magazine, it's a basic sweet dough and it's perfect for cinnamon or sweet rolls, sticky buns, danishes or any other goody that requires a sweet dough.  I then filled it with the flavors of summer.  Some sweet and tart lemon sugar, tangy lemon curd, and sweet juicy blue berries.  Then they were all topped off in a sweet and slightly tart glaze that enveloped every single roll and all their crevices.  In my humble opinion, there's truly no better way to start the day! 

Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze

For the sweet dough-
1/2 Cup whole milk
1 1/4 Oz packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 Tsp)
1/4 Cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more for brushing)
1 Large egg yolk
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 Cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

For the filling-
1 Stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup sugar
Zest of a large lemon
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon curd, homemade or store bought
1 1/2 Cups frozen blueberries
1 1/2 Tsp sea salt

For the glaze-
1 2/3 Cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter, room temperature
Zest of half a lemon
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2-4 Tbsp milk


For the dough-
Combine a 1/2 cup warm water and milk in a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Place a thermometer in the saucepan and heat the liquids until the thermometer registers at 100-110 degree F (be sure not to overheat the milk, as the yeast will not activate and the dough won't rise).  Remove the mixture from the heat and sprinkle yeast over the top, followed by a pinch of sugar and set aside for about 5 minutes.

Once the mixture has had time to set and the top looks slightly foamy, add the melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla and whisk to combine. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt and nutmeg (if using) and whisk to combine.  Make a well in the center of the mixed ingredients then add the yeast mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until a thick and slightly sticky dough forms.  Turn the dough out on a clean, floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl that has been brushed with butter, turn the dough around the bowl to coat with butter. 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly to release any excess air.  Return to the bowl, brush a piece of plastic wrap with butter and wrap bowl tightly.  Place dough in the refrigerator and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the rolls-
Brush a 9x13 pan with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

Place sugar and lemon zest in a bowl or shallow dish and rub between your fingers.  This will release the oils from the zest to combine a lemon sugar.  Set aside.

Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into a 12x18 rectangle. 

Spread the softened butter over the dough, being sure to spread to the edges.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the butter, leaving about a half inch border around the edges.  Drizzle the lemon curd over the butter and sugar and gently spread into an even layer.

Sprinkle the blueberries over the sugar mixture, leaving a half inch border around the edges.  Sprinkle the sea salt over the blueberries. 

Starting with the long end, roll the dough to form a log, pinching the seams to seal.  Cut the log into 1 1/4 inch pieces and place in the prepared pan, this should yield about 12 rolls.  Cover the rolls and allow to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Close to the end of the rising process preheat the oven to 350.  Once the rolls are finished rising remove cover and place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the rolls and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.  Combine powdered sugar, butter, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of milk in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add more milk until desired consistency is achieved.  Drizzle the glaze over the sweet rolls and serve.

Recipe source: Sweet Roll Dough-Food Network Magazine, May 2013
                         Filling and glaze- A Lynsey Original

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