Wednesday, April 9, 2014

raspberry jam swirled buns - a surprising experimental success!


Imagine splicing one of these in half and spreading warm butter on its toasty side. Actually, that's a good idea, and it's breakfast, hold on one second...



okay I'm back. If there are any typos it's because I have a roll in my left hand. I love sweet rolls, in fact before this blog I used to make all types of bread, baguettes, brioche, pita (I'll try to put out more yeast based recipes in the future). But I think my favorite in terms of the all important simplicity to reward ratio has to be the humble roll. Not only are these easy to make, but everyone craves over these. Unlike the store bought rolls which are dense and cakey, my buns are perfect - pun intended. These are fluffy, airy, full of flavor, and most of all you'll look like you spent hours to make these. Well actually you did but it's not a lot of work just waiting, I'll get to that below. 




In a large bowl combine all your dry ingredients. These include your flour, salt, yeast, and sugar. In the same bowl we'll toss in eggs, lemon zest, oil, vanilla, and milk. It's vital that your milk be lukewarm. I microwaved mine in a pyrex measuring cup for 1:30 on high. If it's too hot for you to put your finger in, let it sit on the countertop until it's bath water temperature. In making bread, whatever liquid you are using has to be warm enough to activate the yeast, but not too hot or else it'll kill it. Yeast is alive, think of it like your baby. A baby you'll devour later. Wow this post got really dark quick.

This is way too wet, plus I should've used a spoon. Just keep kneading.

Anyways, mix it all up with a wooden spoon until it becomes a ball and the dough tries to pull away from the sides. I was lazy and didn't want to wash a spoon, you can be lazy if you're advanced. Not really, the lazy way turned out to be the messier, more tiring method. Add more flour if you find everything sticking. 



Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Just look at the picture. 



Sprinkle the dough with flour and put it in a clean bowl to rise. It'll take about an hour to double in size. I just put it outside because I live in San Diego where it's pretty much 80 year round. However, if somehow you don't live in San Diego and it's cold in your house, set your oven to the lowest setting and put your dough in there. Don't forget to turn it off because you just want it warm not to cook it. 



This is the waiting part of the game. Do something productive, like read, or watch trashy reality shows on Bravo. Whatever floats your Kim Kanye. Anyways, when your dough has doubled, punch the air out and put it on a very lightly dusted countertop. You want to roll it out enough to divide the dough into 30 pieces. Then the filling and swirling begins. 



Take a piece of dough and roll it out so it's 1/4 cm thick. Then put a teaspoon of jam in the center like so. 



Then you want to fold the dough in half encompassing the jam in the center. Pinch the edges. The dough should be fairly sticky and remain fastened together.




Finally take the two ends and fold them together. This will create that signature swirled interior. Any seams that are exposed you want to pinch together. Place the seam side down and the smooth top facing up. 



You want to do this for all of the buns...obviously. Brush the bottom of the pan with butter, and if you want the sides as well. I could only fit 24 in my 9 by 13 inch pan. If you can find a way to fit all 30, whether that be using a larger pan or stuffing them in more aggressively, that would be even better. Let them rest on the counter for 20 minutes. This will let the dough relax and rise a teeny bit more. You should preheat the oven to 350 while you're waiting. Brush the tops with a little egg wash, just an egg with a tablespoon of water. This will give the buns that shiny glistening top that will send these rolls into visual ecstasy. Bake for 25 minutes until they're golden and you can feel yourself begin the metamorphosis into your puerile 5 year old self. 



Unlike most of the baked goods that we make on this blog, these rolls can be, and are best eaten hot right out of the oven. If you somehow resist your primal urges to just shove all 30 buns into your mouth in a dark corner of the house, you can halve, toast, and spread these with butter. My point is, buns are meant to be eaten hot, straight from the oven while they're fluffy and steamy. 




You get that hint of lemony yeasty goodness from the dough, and that now thick sweet raspberry jam, all swirled and packaged together in a tiny fluffy bun, it's amazing. Hopefully as the blog amasses I'll have many more of these sweet roll recipes, apple pie, chocolate chip, and maybe pumpkin pie. I hope ya'll try this one soon. And as always, 

Chow!



Recipe
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, you will need extra flour for kneading and such

2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp white sugar
2 cups milk, lukewarm
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
lemon zest from one lemon
1 cup raspberry jam, 1 teaspoon per each bun


about 1/4 cup butter (for brushing between buns and baking pan)

1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
powdered sugar (optional)


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