Red White Blue Sweet Jam Rolls

Happy Independence Day! Today is all about the red, white, and blue. I wanted to have a nice food photo of something with those iconic colors that hopefully will make the rounds on Pinterest today (thanks for stopping by, Pinners!). I need a blue food. Of course blueberries came to mind. What could be more American? Blueberries are native to our land. They were growing here back on the fateful day in 1776. Although they do turn more purple when cooked, it’s close enough. For something red, why not strawberries, especially considering I have a batch of strawberry jam made from fresh Michigan berries. And what’s my favorite baked treat – the cinnamon roll. Only today to celebrate this great day in American history, I am going to replace the cinnamon sugar filling with some homemade jam.

This recipe is enough for 18 rolls. I put 12 of them in my largest glass baking dish, alternating between strawberry and blueberry filled. The other 6 I used in a round cake pan. For those I filled with some pluot jam I made but you can use more strawberry or blueberry. Raspberry or cherry jam would also fit into the Fourth of July color scheme.

Red, White, & Blue Sweet Jam Rolls
 

Ingredients
For the dough
  • 2 cups very warm water (not too warm to burn your hand though)
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • ⅔ cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
For the filing
  • 2 cups combined of strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry jam
For the icing
  • juice of 1 half lemon
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • water for thinning

Instructions
  1. Start by combining the warm water and the yeast. Give the yeast about 5 minutes to proof. You should easily be able to smell the yeast.
  2. Add the dry milk, sugar, and salt.
  3. Then add the butter and egg. Fully incorporated.
  4. Then add the flour about a cup at a time until you have a soft dough that isn’t too sticky.
  5. Knead the dough either by hand or with a stand mixer.
  6. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. Finding the warmest spot in your kitchen to place your dough will give you the quickest results.
  7. Now cut the dough into three equal pieces. I like to do this with a bench or pastry scrapper.
  8. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle.
  9. Spread the 1 type of jam out, leaving some room around the edges. You don’t need to go super thick.
  10. Then roll the dough up tightly forming a log. Cut the log into 6 equal pieces. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough, using a different jam in each dough or the same one twice. I estimate about 2 cups of jam will be needed. I didn’t actually measure it out when I made them.
  11. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the rolls into a baking dish that you have sprayed with a bit of oil.
  12. Allow the rolls about 20-30 minutes to rise before baking them. Bake time is about 15-20 minutes. The edges should turn brown and sound hollow if you tap on them.
To make the icing
  1. Mix the lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Slowly add water until you get the desired consistency.

 

Share

I love food traditions. It’s fun to get excited about making a certain dish or treat during a special time of year. I love learning the history – knowing why a certain food that become associated with a date on the calendar. Good Friday is one of those special days with a special treat to go along with it. I am talking about Hot Cross Buns:

What is a Hot Cross Buns

A hot cross bun is a sweetened yeast roll. It typically contains spices and dried fruit. It has a cross made of icing that is put on at the end. Some recipes call for you to cut a cross directly in the rolls before baking. They are often made using the sponge method. This is when you combine flour and liquid together with yeast and allow it to rise. It differs from the standard bread making procedure in that you don’t add in all the ingredients until after the 1st rise. The dough tends to be more sticky. We have used this method before when making Challah.

The History of Hot Cross Buns

The origin of these buns is believed to be St. Alab’s Abbey starting in 1361. A monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe is believed to have started the tradition. They were sold to poor people who came for the Good Friday service. Vendors actually cried out the song that has become a popular nursery rhyme.

During the reign of Elizabeth I of England (1592), hot cross buns were among a list of spiced breads that were not to be sold unless the occasion was Good Friday or Christmas, or a burial. Not quite sure what the reason for this was but it could be in part to Catholicism being banned in England at that time.

The Tradition Continues Today

Those once seen as a Good Friday only treat, the Hot Cross Bun is typically available from Good Friday through Resurrection Sunday. In my household I am beginning the tradition of making them on Good Friday (they are currently on their 2nd rise as I write this). Each year I will be looking of ways to tweet and improve the buns. I am starting off using a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. For the dried fruit I am used a Dried Cherry Berry Blend (Montmorency Cherries, Cranberries & Blueberries).

Share

Pumpkin Yeast Bread Rolls

Not much can beat the taste of fresh out of the oven yeast rolls. Unless you up to ante and add some pumpkin. Which is exactly what I did early this week. I found a recipe from one of the top flour makers in the country, King Arthur Flour. What I really liked about this recipe was that it made enough dough so that you can make 12 rolls as well as a loaf of bread, perfect for your next sandwich.

Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

I did make a couple changes to the recipe. First I used bread flour instead of all-purpose. The extra protein in bread flour will help assure us good gluten formation, thus a good looking loaf. Also I don’t think there is enough salt in the dough as the flavor fell a little flat unless you sprinkled on a bit of salt or served with salted butter. The original recipe called for 2 teaspoons to make 1 loaf and 12 rolls (or 2 loaves or 24 rolls). Another roll recipe I have tried before, Alton Brown’s  Butter Flake Rolls calls for 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt to make 12 rolls. So I would go for 4 teaspoons of kosher salt next time.

Another issue I ran into was I thought the loaf was already done when the rolls were as it was nicely browned on top and sounded good when I tapped on it. But when I tried to remove the loaf from the pan the top part fell off much to my dismay. I noticed the inside was still too dough so I had to put the top back on and finish it in the oven. But now I could no longer use it for sandwiches. Next time I am going to tent the loaf with some foil, so I can cook it longer without being concerned that the top will overcook. I will also make sure that the pan was sprayed more as when I got it out it parts of it still stuck to the bottom, even in a non-stick loaf pan.

Pumpkin Yeast Bread and Rolls
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
  • ⅔ cup warm milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups fresh puréed pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6½ cups Bread Flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Instructions
  1. Add your yeast and the warm water to the bowl of your mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Then add the milk, eggs, pumpkins, oil, 4 cups of the flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger, and cardamon. Mix for about 2 minutes to combine.
  3. Slowly add the remaining flour while the mixer is running.
  4. You can either continue to use your mixer until you have a smooth and elastic dough or you can knead some by hand. The dough should feel like it has a matte finish.
  5. Oil up a bowl, place the dough inside, cover, and allow to double in size. Should take around a hour.
  6. Divide the dough in half. Shape one half into a loaf and place in a loaf pan that is liberally sprayed with oil. Take the other have and divide into 12 round rolls. Try to get them as evenly sized as possible. Oil a circle or square baking pan and space them evenly apart. They will eventually be touching when they rise. Allow both the loaf and the rolls time to double, this time about 45 minutes. Spray a little bit of oil on top to keep them from drying out. (I don’t recommend covering them this time as your covering might stick to the dough when you pull it off and this could effect how the bread comes out)
  7. Bake in a 375 degree oven. Pull the rolls at about 20 minutes. Bake the loaf an additional 10 minutes. Cover the loaf loosely with foil when you pull the rolls so the top doesn’t over brown.
  8. Remove the rolls and loaf from the pans as soon as you can, and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Brush on some melted butter if you like.

 

MorePumpkinRecipes

Share

One of my favorite sweet treats is the cinnamon roll. I love the buttery layers of dough, especially the soft interior. I haven’t even mentioned the cinnamon yet! But I thought I could take that same concept and change up the flavor a bit. I never really thought about it until I came across a recipe for Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls. I tried the recipe and it was a major hit. I also saw one for making strawberry rolls, so I have been waiting for Michigan strawberry season to arrive to try the idea out. Last Saturday night, I got home from work and got to work on preparing these beauties for a potluck the next day.

As for the icing itself, instead of going with a cream cheese one, I decided to make an icing out of powdered sugar, freeze dried strawberries, and water. That produced an amazing vivid red color, that looks so appetizing. I think I am going to try to change up the filling to a blueberry one staying with the strawberry icing for Red, White, and Blue Rolls for the 4th of July. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s dive into the strawberry deliciousness. I used that Meyer Lemon Sweet Roll recipe, but changed up the filling and icing)

More Strawberry RecipesFor more great strawberry recipes check out how I used 14 1/2 pounds of strawberries that I picked myself.

Strawberry Sweet Rolls (Buns)
 

Ingredients
For the dough
  • 2 cups very warm water (not too warm to burn your hand though)
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • ⅔ cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
For the filing
  • 1½ to 2 cups strawberry jam (jam that you made from picking your own strawberries: can’t be beat!)
For the icing

Instructions
  1. Start by combining the warm water and the yeast. Give the yeast about 5 minutes to proof. You should easily be able to smell the yeast.
  2. Add the dry milk, sugar, and salt.
  3. Then add the butter and egg. Fully incorporated.
  4. Then add the flour about a cup at a time until you have a soft dough that isn’t too sticky.
  5. Knead the dough either by hand or with a stand mixer.
  6. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. Finding the warmest spot in your kitchen to place your dough will give you the quickest results.
  7. Now cut the dough into three equal pieces. I like to do this with a bench or pastry scrapper.
  8. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle.
  9. Spread the strawberry jam out, leaving some room around the edges. You don’t need to go super thick.
  10. Then roll the dough up tightly forming a log. Cut the log into 6 equal pieces. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough. I estimate about 1½ to 2 cups of strawberry jam will be needed. I didn’t actually measure it out when I made them.
  11. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the rolls into a baking dish that you have sprayed with a bit of oil.
  12. Allow the rolls about 20-30 minutes to rise before baking them. Bake time is about 15-20 minutes. The edges should turn brown and sound hollow if you tap on them.
To make the icing
  1. In a food processor combine 1½ cups of powdered sugar with about 1 oz of freeze dried strawberries. Process to combine.
  2. Then taste it and if you think you need more strawberries add some more. Freeze dried strawberries pack a lot of flavor so you don’t need a lot.
  3. Then slowly add a bit of water add a time until you get a spreadable icing. Then immediately spread them onto the rolls.

 

Share

Alton Brown's Parkerhouse Rolls 1 You can never go wrong when serving some homemade yeasty rolls. I have made Parker House rolls before, but for Easter I decided to give Alton Brown’s recipe a try. The technique for Parker House rolls was invented at a hotel in Boston, MA. It’s basically a roll that is folded over with a pat of butter in the middle of the fold. Below you will find my notes from preparing this recipe. For the full recipe, visit Food Network’s website.

1. Since I have made this dough before, when making Alton’s Butterflake Rolls, I didn’t have any trouble putting the dough together. I did have to mix longer than Alton did to have a dough with good gluten formation.

2. Since I buy bread flour in bulk from Sam’s Club, I used bread flour instead of all-purpose. The extra protein in the bread flour can help in gluten formation, but isn’t necessarily with these rolls. Alton Brown's Parkerhouse Rolls 2

3. My rising time of an hour was the same as Alton’s. You are just looking for the dough to double in size.

4. Forming the rolls in their Parker House form isn’t too difficult to do. After the forming, the rolls need to double in size. I was out of plastic wrap to cover the dough, so I had to use some wax paper instead. Since there is butter on top of the rolls, the wax paper didn’t stick to the top of the rolls. It’s important that whatever you place to cover the rolls doesn’t stick or your rolls won’t rise properly when baked.

The rolls came out wonderfully. I enjoyed them with several different varietal honeys spread on top.

Recipe Grade: A

Share

Alton Brown Butter Flake Rolls

For a while I had been wondering when Alton Brown was going to do a show on dinner rolls. It finally came in one of the final episodes of the Good Eats series – “Roll Call“. I decided to give his butter flake roll recipe first. These rolls are made by rolling out your dough into a square and buttering the square. Then you cut the square into 12 long stripes. You stack 6 strips on top of each other and then turn them on their side and slice them into 6 rolls. This creates layers of buttery goodness! Below you will find my experience from doing this recipe myself. For the full recipe, visit Food Network’s website.

Alton Brown Butter Flake Rolls

1. The weather was very humid both times I made these rolls, so I ended up having to add some additional flour.

2. I made a silly mistake each time I made the dough. The first time I put all the butter into the dough instead of saving some for later to spread onto the dough. The second time I added melting butter when making the dough instead of room temperature. Maybe one of these times I will get it right. But in the end both times the rolls tasted good and that is what matters.

2. My dough took longer to come together than 8 minutes, but eventually I got it to the point where I could take a piece out and pull on it until it was almost see through (the window test).

3. My dough also took longer to double in size. A lot longer. I went an extra half hour.

4. When rolling your dough try to get it as close to a square as possible, I never seem to be able to do as well as Alton does with this. You want your strips to be able to line up. Also because no to pull on the strips when stacking them, it’s very to stretch them out.

5. Alton says to bake them for 8-10 minutes. I ended up closer to 10 minutes, almost 11.

Alton Brown Butter Flake Rolls

Despite my error, these rolls still turned out delicious, I doubt we will have any left tomorrow. They probably would have risen more if I hadn’t made that mistake. But I think with rolls even if you don’t do them perfectly, they will always be delicious. I think there is a lot more room for error in roll making than bread making, especially with sandwich loaves. As a suggestion, try spreading some honey on your rolls. I used some orange blossom honey on one half of my rolls, which just made them even better! I will be doing these again for sure to work on my technique and because they are so good!

Recipe Grade: A

Share
cropped-ThePeaProject-Small

Featured On:

my foodgawker gallery