Posted by: Anja | September 21, 2010

Yeast experiments

Until this week-end, the only thing that I had made with yeast was pizza dough. I think that will change now rapidly. Creating things with yeast is, though time-consuming, actually a lot of fun. Probably because I like kneading dough, which is pretty essential to baking with yeast, but also because it’s just fun to see the dough rise. It gives some instant satisfaction because it means that you’ve done it right.

On Friday, friends of mine tried my blueberry muffin recipe while I was making the cinnamon blueberry rolls, which you can see in the top picture. I just observed their progress without commenting on techniques or structure, but they actually did a pretty good job. They just mixed up salted butter with unsalted butter and forgot the cinnamon for the cinnamon streusel, but hey, for the first time baking that’s okay. ;)
So here’s a general advice: When I write “butter” in this blog, I mean unsalted butter (that’s why pinches of salt are added to most recipes). ;)

Cinnamon Blueberry Rolls
idea adapted from Annie’s Eats

420g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of active rise yeast
5 1/2 tablespoons of butter
6 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 large egg
220ml buttermilk
canola/vegetable oil

3 tablespoon of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
150g fresh blueberries

powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of finely grounded lemon zest

First step: Combine the lemon zest, sugar, flour and salt for the dough part. Add the butter and use your hands to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. The result should feel like coarse flour and no butter flocks should be distinguishable. Add the yeast and stir to combine.

Second step: Add the egg and stir again until it is completely incorporated. Add the buttermilk and use a spoon to combine everything. Flour your hands and start kneading the dough for about five minutes. Use oil to grease a bowl slightly. Put the dough into the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic foil. Let stand in a warm spot for two hours.

Third step: When the two hours are up, combine the ingredients for the filling using a spoon. Take care to keep the blueberries whole. Roll out the dough into a square of approximately 40*40cm. Sprinkle the filling on top and roll the dough from one side so that it actually gets the typical cinnamon bun form.

Fourth step: Prepare an oven tray with baking parchment. Cut the dough into equally sized small rolls (ca. 10-12, depending on the way you rolled out the dough) and put the pieces onto the tray. Cover with plastic foil and let rise another 1 1/2 hours. Put the tray into the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Fifth step: Preheat the oven to 160°C and once heated, retrieve the tray from the refrigerator and put it into the oven for 20-30 minutes (it took me 25 minutes). Let the rolls cool down for 20 minutes, then mix together the liquid ingredients for the glaze and add the lemon zest. You need as much powdered sugar as it takes to thicken the liquid so that it looks like a glaze. It should be rather viscous. Brush the tops of the rolls with the glaze and let cool down some more. Enjoy when still slightly warm or completely cooled down.

It is a pretty extensive recipe, which takes up some time and coordination, but I got really good feedback from my friends (and from myself), so I think that it’s pretty worth the effort. Especially with the blueberries here. ;)

Concerning the yeast I am using here: I use active rise yeast, which means that it’s not a little cube, but it has a similar structure to sugar. There are transformation charts from active rise yeast to the standard German yeast available on the internet, so if you’re using the German (or European) yeast version, don’t forget to change the amount of yeast accordingly.


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