As we slide into the end of the summer, I have a few different fruit compotes sitting in my refrigerator that I need to use up. There’s apricot, peach and plum – so delicious served alongside cake, over ice cream or stirred into yogurt or oatmeal.
I decided to use the last of my seasonal stash to create some rolls using my easy basic yeast dough recipe. I filled the rolls with a dollop of my compote preserves and they baked to a jammy deliciousness that will make your weekend brunch just that much brighter. But you can also bake them plain to enjoy simply with butter. Sometimes the basics are all we need to keep company with our favorite morning beverage.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost September but it’s been a great year for fruit, thankfully. I’m still savoring nectarines and figs at the moment, but as children head back to school and fashion turns to sweaters and boots, we’ll be into apples and pears in no time. I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy this year’s extraordinary goodness.
- Yeast feeds on sugar but yeast activity may decrease if it comes into direct contact with sugar or salt, so dissolve the yeast in water first, then add the sugar.
- Don’t add any more than 3 cups of flour to the dough or your pastries will be tough and dry.
- As you’re forming the rolls, don’t coil too tightly so they can expand during the second rise. Here’s an illustration of how to shape the rolls.
- I place each baking sheet of rolls on top of another baking sheet (“double pan”) before they go into the oven to prevent the bottoms from getting too brown.
- You can dust the rolls with powdered sugar or, for a sweeter bite, drizzle with glaze: whisk together 1/3 cup (40 g) powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, a couple drops of vanilla or lemon juice and a few grains salt.
Makes 12 rolls
1 pkg (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup (2 oz) warm water (110 -115 degrees F; warm but not hot on your wrist)
slight pinch sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk
3 oz (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs @ room temperature
2 3/4 (13 3/4 oz) - 3 cups (15 oz) flour
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water + few grains of salt = egg wash
1/2 - 3/4 cup fruit preserves
powdered sugar for dusting
Whisk together 1/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees F), yeast and a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Place the milk, butter, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan. Warm on low heat just until the butter is melted, whisking to combine all the ingredients. Take off the heat, add the vanilla and cool to room temperature.
Combine the proofed yeast with the milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Switch to a fork and stir in 2 3/4 cups of flour. Keep adding 1 tablespoon of flour at a time (no more than 4) until the dough is no longer sticky. Transfer to a very lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, about 5 - 8 minutes.
Wash and dry the mixing bowl and lightly grease with canola oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it over once to lightly coat the entire surface with oil. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and set in a warm draft-free place to rise for 2 hours.
Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
When the dough has completed its first rise, press down on it to release the air. Divide the dough in two equal pieces and transfer one piece to a lightly floured work surface. Dust the dough very lightly with flour. Roll out to a 12" x 16" rectangle. Brush off any excess flour and cut into six 8” x 4” rectangles.
Cut diagonal slashes about every 1/2” in each piece. Loosely roll up each piece into a log and then form each log into a coil, tucking the tail underneath. Place the six rolls on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough. If you’re adding fruit preserves, press your thumb down into the center of each coil and place a tablespoon or so into the indentation. Set the baking sheets in a warm place for 1 hour.
When the rolls are just about finished with the second rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the egg wash and lightly brush each roll. (You won’t use all the egg wash.) Place each baking sheet on top of another baking sheet (double pan) and bake until the rolls are a golden brown, about 20 -25 minutes, rotating them front to back and top to bottom about halfway through. Remove from the oven and place the pans on a wire rack to cool. Dust generously with powdered sugar.