this long holiday weekend planning to make another batch of lemon pull apart bread
I'd been looking forward to it all week and the big bag of lemons sitting in my fruit basket teased and tantalized me with the promise of delicious baked goods. So what changed that plan?
I discovered another photography challenge I'm tempted to try. You may have noticed I flaked out and gave up on the photography challenge I began at the beginning of the year. I have a million excuses from life getting in the way to my camera crapping out on me but the bottom line is I lost my mojo and haven't felt like picking up my camera for a while. I guess I go through phases like that in my life. A friend sent me the link to a photography challenge hosted by Lululemon, a workout clothing company that I've become more than a little obsessed with. I figure if I spend so much of my life working out I might as well invest a little in looking and feeling cute while I do it. Anyway, the challenge features 30 days of prompts
that look to combine my love of being healthy with my love of photography. Let's ignore the fact that today's picture focuses more on butter and sugar than healthy living. It was such a simple switcheroo to find a lemon roll recipe that incorporated the same elements as that lemon pull apart bread, thus perfectly meeting the qualifications for today's photography theme: Centre. We all know the center is the best part of the roll.
The recipe I found was so similar to the pull apart bread that I knew it would be just as delicious. The recipe upped the yummy quotient by adding ginger and nutmeg, two of my favorite things. As I expected, the lemon flavor is strong in this one. Just the way I like it. Eating a few of these in place of lunch was a great way to kick off the holiday weekend.
Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
For the dough:
1 envelope (0.25 ounces, or 2 1/2 teaspoons) active yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 100°F (warm but not hot on your wrist)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft, plus 3 tablespoons more for roll assembly
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you may not use it all)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
Zest of one lemon
For the sticky lemon filling:
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Zest of two lemons
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons orange zest
For the lemon cream cheese glaze:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup powdered sugar
Make the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the
yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes or until
foamy. With the mixer paddle, stir the softened butter, sugar, vanilla,
and one cup of the flour into this milk and yeast mixture. Stir in the
salt, nutmeg, and the lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and
enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.
Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable.
(If you do not have a stand mixer, stir together the ingredients by
hand, then turn the soft dough out onto a lightly floured countertop.
Knead the dough by hand for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, pliable, and stretchy.)
Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the
dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a
towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled — about one hour.
Make the filling:
In a small bowl, mix 1 cup sugar with the
nutmeg and ginger, then work in the lemon zest (1/3)
with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles soft sand.
Slowly pour in the lemon juice, stirring. Stop when
the sugar and lemon juice form a thick, clumpy mixture like wet sand.
(You may not use all of the lemon juice depending on how
much juice you got from your lemon.)
Assemble the rolls:
Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish
or two 9" cake pans with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into
a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 inches.
Spread the dough evenly with 3 tablespoons of very soft unsalted
butter, then spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top. Roll the dough up
tightly, starting from the top long end. Stretch and pull the dough taut
as you roll, to keep the lemon sugar firm inside. Cut the long dough
roll into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll closed to help
keep the lemon sugar inside, and place each one, open and cut side up,
in the prepared baking dish.
Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until
puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this
point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or a towel, and place it
in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the
rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour
before proceeding with baking.)
Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake
for 30-35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into a center roll reads
190°F. Check the rolls after 20 minutes and if they're getting dark on top cover loosely with foil for the remainder of the baking time.
Make the glaze:
While the rolls are baking, prepare the
glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk),
whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the
lemon juice and blend until well combined. Add the milk and the powdered sugar and
blend until smooth and creamy.
Finish the rolls:
When the rolls are done, smear them with
the cream cheese glaze. Let cool for about 10 minutes before
serving, but do serve while still warm.