Lemon Blueberry Rolls

Apr 12th

These strawberry and cream rolls  were a culinary highlight several summers ago and I planned to make them last night as my Bible study group was in charge of snacks. Alas – we’d just eaten our last frozen strawberry! We did, however, have a bag of frozen blueberries so with a few swaps to the original recipe, I was a girl with a plan. 

Just in case you thought I was all health-food, all the time, these rolls will assure you how incorrect your thinking was. They’re wonderfully unhealthy. My take on the “real deal” is that if I’m going to splurge, not only do I want it to be worth it but I want it contain real ingredients (ixnay on the Cool Whip). These lemon blueberry rolls are like cinnamon rolls in the dough consistency and process, though cinnamon is not part of the deal. They’re perfect for spring and summer months when showers (bride or baby) seem to be an every weekend occurrence. Bring these rolls, and then if the shower is really long or boring you’ve brought your own highlight.

Also – yeast rolls take a bit of time, it’s true, but if you familiarize yourself with the cool-rise process it all becomes quite manageable. See the thing is, you can put your yeast dough in the fridge at any point once it’s kneaded, and leave it there up to three days! It will continue to rise, albeit very slowly in the cold air. Every time I need rolls in the morning or for brunch, I make them the night (or day) before and let the rise, covered, overnight in the fridge. Let them sit at room temp while the oven preheats and voila – hot and ready in 25 minutes.

Lemon Blueberry Rolls

Makes 16

1 c. 2% milk

2/3 c. sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. dry yeast

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp. salt

4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Filling

2 c. frozen blueberries

1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. cornstarch

Glaze

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. butter, melted

Juice of 1 lemon

1. Measure milk in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 45 seconds (or until warm to the touch, but not hot).

2. Combine milk, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk to combine.

3. Add eggs, zest and salt and whisk again.

4. Place dough hook on mixer and add about four cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add remaining flour and beat on medium-low speed, about 4 minutes.

5. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead gently by hand to bring into a smooth ball. Grease a bowl with nonstick spray or butter and add dough to bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, 1-2 hours.

6. Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients and stir to coat.

7. Dump dough onto lightly floured counter top and press into a 10×16 inch rectangle (with a long edge closest to you).

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8. Scoop filling ingredients from bowl with a slotted spoon and spread across surface of the dough (leaving a 1 inch rim around the edges free).

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9. Roll up the dough, starting with the long side closest to you. Pull the dough taut as you go so the filling is securely encased. Pinch the seam at the edges and along the top.

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10. Cut dough log into sixteen slices. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment and place slices, cut side up, in dish. I cut mine using string – just slide underneath, pull up the edges and criss cross them – slicing cleanly through the dough!

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11. Cover and chill overnight or let rise again in a warm place, about 1 hour.

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12. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Uncover and bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.

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13. Let cool for several minutes and then invert onto a wire rack. Peel off paper and place serving dish on top – flip rolls onto serving dish.

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14. To make glaze, whisk all ingredients together. Spread over rolls, and serve within 1-2 hours (best served immediately but can travel).

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