Lightly spiced yeasted sweet rolls are stuffed with dried cranberries and blueberries and finished with a drip of vanilla glaze. Perfect for that late morning cup of coffee.
Yesterday morning I was up at 4:30 and couldn’t manage to fall back asleep so I went downstairs through the sleeping and silent house to the kitchen. I have probably mentioned that my kitchen is my second favorite, maybe my favorite, room in our mostly light-filled and slightly crumbling house? It is cozy and large and unsurprisingly I spend many hours there. As the sky infinitesimally lightened outside and the wind rattled both windows and palm trees I put together the dough for a batch of not-very-traditional
hot cross buns glazed sweet rolls.
Reminiscent of ‘hot cross buns‘, these sweet rolls are covered in a sweet glaze and are packed with dried fruit. I popped in dried cranberries and dried blueberries for a pretty and colorful contrast and incorporated a bit of whole wheat pastry flour (of course!) and some ground ginger and cardamom instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg found commonly in hot cross bun recipes (there’s still cinnamon here, but a little less of it).
These are lovely, yeasty morsels with a drip of sugary glaze across their tops which is ever so slightly reminiscent of a cinnamony morning bun. You’ll need to plan for a double rise, as with most yeasted baked goods, but once you get into the rhythm of it you’ll easily be able to incorporate that into your morning routine.
We slightly bundled up and took our coffees and our treats outside and admired our California blooms — the poppies were going like gangbusters, even better than the more native nasturtiums — and the neighborhood was lovely and quiet. We sat for a while outside, long enough that I made another half-pot and Sierra joined in to listen to the wind rustling the foliage. It was just what a Sunday morning should be in my world — a little exercise, a little (or a lot) coffee, a little treat, a little sun, and drifting clouds.
Sweet Yeast Rolls
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ½ cup dried blueberries
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 ¼ cups milk at room temperature
- 3 large eggs 1 separated
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- ¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 large egg white reserved from above
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Milk as needed
- Lightly grease a 10″ square pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.
- Place the dried fruit in a small boil and cover with the boiling water. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, mix together the milk, butter, 2 eggs and one egg yolk, yeast, brown sugar, ground spices, salt, baking powder, and the flours. Work it together using a wooden spoon until the dough is soft and elastic. When the fruit is cool, mix it in along with any liquid that did not absorb.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for one hour (it should become puffy but may not double).
- Divide the dough into baseball-sized pieces or into however large rolls you would like. Lightly oil your hands and roll each into a ball. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan, and let the rolls rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another (note: mine did not do this. It didn’t matter.). While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the rolls.
- Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and slightly cracked. Remove pan from oven and transfer rolls to a rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the icing ingredients. When rolls are completely cool, brush the glaze thickly atop each one. [/print_this]