Jam Filled Sweet Rolls

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on January 16, 2011

When I was in culinary school, the one item I always enjoyed making was brioche dough. It’s very versatile and can be used to make both sweet and savory items. I came across this Croatian/Serbian sweet roll called Buhtle on several sites, but it was the one that I found at bears kitchen that I liked the most. It is tender, flaky and aromatic with the addition of just a little lemon zest. It reminds me so much of brioche dough, but a little richer. What I loved most about this is that you can fill them with your favorite jam before you bake them, so when you eat them warm from the oven they are just heaven. I made a few changes to her recipe: I used fresh yeast over dry, used butter instead of margarine and doubled the amount of sugar. The dough comes together quickly once everything has been scaled out.

There are a few tricks to making delicious brioche, and once you learn them you will never have a problem with making any type of yeast dough.

The first thing is that there is a difference between fresh yeast and dry yeast. Fresh yeast is alive and does not need to be ‘fed’ to awaken like dry yeast, so don’t worry about adding any sugar.

Second, make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature. Your milk should be warm to the touch and not hot or it will kill your yeast.

Your environment will always affect the amount of flour you use, so if it is raining, you may need to add a little flour, if it is very dry you may need to add a little more liquid.

I never really got into taking the temperature of my dough like some diehard bakers do, but I like to put the dough to rise in heavy stoneware bowls that retain the heat of the dough as it is developing, instead of putting it in thin metal bowls which dissipates heat very quickly.

I always allow my dough to rise at room temperature and NOT near a heat source. If you proof your dough too quickly, you will run the risk of having your bread smell and taste like yeast or alcohol. This can also happen if you over proof your dough, so make sure that when you are making bread dough, you don’t plan a long shopping trip in between your proofing and baking times!

I always use a little canola oil or other non flavored oil to lightly grease the bowl that will hold the dough during proofing because it helps the dough to rise.

If you are using butter in the recipe, make sure it is at room temperature and make sure to add it in last, because you do not want it to melt in the dough as it is mixing in the initial steps.

When you turn your dough out onto the counter to knead for a few minutes, be very light handed with the flour on the counter…use a little at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.

Metric measurements are more precise, so you will find many bread and dessert recipes scaled out this way. Make sure you have a good digital food scale up to at least 6 pounds in both Kg/g and lb/oz…this is critical for bread baking. I hope you have the chance to try these delicious, tender rolls they are truly wonderful.

Jam Filled Sweet Rolls

500g flour

1 teaspoon salt

50g sugar

20g fresh yeast

200ml warm whole milk

¼ teaspoon lemon zest

3 eggs, room temperature

100g butter, room temp

1½ tablespoons canola oil

Jam of your choice

Powdered sugar

1 egg plus 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)

Put the canola oil into the bowl that will hold the dough, and with your hands or with a paper towel, coat the entire inside of the bowl well with the oil. Crumble the yeast in a small bowl, pour in the warm milk and dissolve with a whisk. Crack eggs and set them aside. Put all of the dry ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer and use either a paddle or a dough hook to begin mixing your ingredients. With your paddle in motion add your milk and yeast mixture all at once then slowly begin to add your eggs until all are incorporated. Next add in your zest and mix again. At this point, take a look at your dough. Does it look too wet? If so, add a small teaspoon of flour and help the dough pull away from the sides into a ball. Does it look too dry? Add a few drops more of milk. Let this beat for a few minutes, and then add the butter a little at a time until it is all mixed in. Turn this out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is no longer sticky. Put this dough into the previously greased bowl and turn the dough around the bowl to make sure it is all coated with a little oil. Cover with plastic and 2 towels and allow it to double in size, about 90 minutes. After the first proof, gently deflate and re-knead the dough to redistribute the yeast. At this point, scale your dough to see check the weight so you can scale out equal portions of dough to form the rolls. This part is important so that they all cook evenly together. I made large rolls, about 100 or so grams each, made a little well in the center and filled each one with about one teaspoon of jam. Make sure to seal them well so that the jam does not burst through the dough. Place them in a greased pan seam side down, and allow some space in between for the next rise. Cover with plastic wrap and tea towels again and allow to proof for 60 minutes or until doubled. Once they have proofed, brush them gently with the egg wash and bake them in a 350°F preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.

Next remove them from the pan onto your serving dish and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm and enjoy.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Linda Witham January 16, 2011 at 10:15 p

Now there is a pretty picture…..only had true Brioche once. Made by a Dad who was from France. It was just one of the most wonderful bread items I have ever consumed. Delightful in every way. These look like they would make me feel the same way. Thanks Cat.

avatar Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 17, 2011 at 3:33 p

They look divine and you know I’ve never worked with fresh yeast. I was given some but then I think it went bad and I had to throw it out :(

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 18, 2011 at 5:31 p

Hi Lorraine! Thanks for stopping by…I actually prefer to use fresh yeast over dry, but you can use dry yeast for this recipe without a problem…

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 18, 2011 at 5:34 p

Linda, they are unbelievably easy to make, and yes, also very delicious…

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