Once Upon a Raspberry-Swirl Sweet Roll

I was inspired to cook this recipe when reading through “Food and Wine” magazine.  If you like fruity breakfast fare, these are a great lazy morning breakfast that can be done the evening before and then baked the morning of.  I had to make a few changes to the recipe, and I had to MacGyver my mixer at one point, but I would still recommend them.  This dough was so amazing, it turned the whole experience into a baking fairytale for me, so thank you for bearing with the storytelling.  And, while I recognize that I am not especially sweet or little, especially when I’m baking or post-consumption of the baked goods, poetic license exists for good reason.  That being said, the term “little” IS accurate when referring to my chef status…okay, okay, enough self depracation, on with the food tale…

Once upon a time there was some milk,  sugar, yeast, butter, eggs, salt and flour.  They all came together in an electric mixer, thanks to the not-so-skillful hands of a sweet little chef.  The directions said to beat them together for 10 minutes, and so the little chef did just that.  The mixer did a lot of jostling about. 

A LOT OF JOSTLING ABOUT. 

So much jostling that after it had been turned off the bowl was stuck to the base of the mixer.  Our sweet little chef was faced with a dilemma.  She could not muscle the bowl off the stand.  As hard as she tried with her strong little chef muscles.  So, (after removing the dough) she filled the bowl with ice water.  Still, no movement.  It had jostled itself into stuckedness.  That’s when MacGyver comes onto the scene in this hot-oven-of-a-fairytale.  It turns out that Pam cooking spray is an ideal lubricant for stuck-together kitchen appliances.  A little spray here, a little spray there, the bowl was loosened. 

In the meantime, the ingredients had got themselves together and formed the most lovely dough you ever saw.  I do mean that, this dough was lovely.  See –

So pretty, smooth and pliable.  After rising and kneading, it rolled out like this:

This is some seriously smooth dough.

It made such a pretty little rectangle.

I love this dough.

I can’t say enough about this dough.

It is worthy of a yeasty sonnet.

Enough about the dough.

Once the dough was rolled out (last mention, I promise) then the fruity filling was added.

One frozen package of raspberries, sugar and cornstarch.  Stir it up and then spread it out.

Then roll the entire thing up and slice it like so:

Then lay them in your pan and let them rise some more.  That’s how yeasty rolls are, you beat them down but they will rise again… ( I am so sorry, I could not help myself)

To bake or not to bake.  Ah, the dilemma that faces our sweet little chef.  But, there is nothing better on a Saturday morning than the smell of freshly baked goods, so our heroine/MacGyver girl/boosted-ego-blogger chooses to refrigerate and bake in the morning.  Then glaze.  And this is what she gets:

Yumminess.  Tummies live happily ever after.  The End.

Here’s the recipe, and it includes my changes and tips                                                                  (Food & Wine, January, p.105 – my highschool English teacher would SO not be proud of this bibiliography):

Raspberry-Swirl Sweet Rolls

Active:30 min Total:4 hr. 30 min (or overnight)

Makes 16 rolls

Dough:

1 cup milk

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest*

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Filling:

One 10-oz. package IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) raspberries, NOT thawed**

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Glaze:***

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 Tablespoons heavy cream

* – I skipped the lemon zest ** – I used a run-of-the-mill 12 oz. bag of frozen organic raspberries *** – it can’t ever hurt to double your glaze recipe, the more the merrier!

1.  Make The Dough  In a small saucepan, warm the milk over moderately low heat until it’s 95 degrees F.  Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and stir in the sugar and yeast.  Let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.  Add the softened butter, eggs, grated lemon zest (or not) and sea salt.  Add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms, about 3 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 10 minutes longer.  (Warning:  Jostling may occur at this point.  Stand by with cooking spray, just in case.)

2. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands 2 or 3 times.  Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly buttered bowl.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.  Start writing your Ode To Dough.

3. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13 (inch) baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to extend up the short sides of the pan.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling in, roll it into a 10-by-24 inch rectangle.

4. Make The Filling  In a medium bowl, toss the frozen raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch.  Spread the raspberry filling evenly over the dough.  Tightly roll up the dough to from a 24-inch-long log.  Working quickly, cut the log into quarters.  Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them in the baking pan, cut sides up.  Scrape any berries and juice from the work surface into the baking pan between the rolls.  Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy and have filled the baking pan, about 2 hours.  (be prepared for the berries to release their juice at this point and the bottom of your pan to fill with a beautiful red raspberry sauce which will then get absorbed into the bottom of the rolls.  Don’t be afraid, it still comes out beautiful.)

5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  ***WHOA!  Wait, that is pretty hot – I would back this down to 400 or even 375, you play with the temp if you need to.  I tried the 425 and my rolls were browned only halfway through the cooking time.  Don’t make my mistake, cook a little cooler!***  Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the berries are bubbling.  Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 30 minutes (or 15 if you can’t wait)

6.  Meanwhile, Make The Glaze  In a small bowl, whisk the confectioner’s sugar with the butter and heavy cream until the glaze is thick and spreadable. 

7.  Invert the rolls onto the rack and peel off the parchment paper.  Invert the rolls onto a platter.  Dollop glaze over each roll and spread with an offset spatula.

Make Ahead  The recipe can be prepared through Step 4.  Cover the rolls, refrigerate overnight and then return to room temperature before baking.

This dough was so lovely and yummy, I am going to give it a go with just a buttery/cinnamon sugar filling for some good old fashioned cinammon rolls…I’ll let you know how that turns out when I get to it.

Cookin’ It Up

There is a rut I occasionally stumble into that leaves me rather uninspired to be Chef Mom.  I’ve been there for a little while now.  Tonight was one of those nights when I didn’t really have an excuse not to be prepared for dinner, I just kept procrastinating thinking about it until I was desperately searching through the kitchen trying to find something to feed the hungry Tuckers.  No meat in the fridge, not even enough eggs for an omelet or a frittata.  No frozen pizzas in the freezer.  Then it occurred to me I could raid the pantry and come up with a delicious recipe from whatever I had in there that wouldn’t require meat…or vegetables…or eggs.  And, then I could blog about it!  I love reading cooking blogs like Pioneer Woman and I thought I might like to start a cooking category of my own, share some of our kitchen antics.

So, I actually took a picture of my pantry. (after I straightened it up just a tad)

Yes, not only did I take a picture of my pantry, I also actually posted it.

At least I kept it the thumbnail size.

Based on the contents of the pantry, the foundations of tonight’s masterpiece would consist of Girl Scout Cookies, Goldfish crackers, peanut butter (creamy or crunchy?) and Nutri-Grain Bars.   Which maybe wouldn’t be so bad.  But, for the sake of healthy living, we ended up with buttered pasta sprinkled with shredded parmesan and bacon.  Ahh, bacon.  Yes, I figure if the Italians can do something with prosciutto, then I can replicate it just a little better with bacon.  At any rate, maybe I’ll hold myself a little more accountable to trying new recipes, or just using old ones, if I’m trying to come up with something to document here.  In the meantime, thanks for bearing with me through the buttered noodle nights.