Whole wheat blueberry rolls

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Long time no blogging. I know. Seriously a long time. And I can´t really blame life of getting in the way or something like that, as I´m ending my 2-months long summer holiday with no job, no – or very little studying and not really any good summer-weather either, “forcing” me outside… So there should have been plenty of opportunities to bake, cook and blog, but too much time makes me lazy… What can I say? The less I do, the less I….do. But now I´m back! Because I´ve really actually cooked and baked and eaten a lot of good food this summer, so I guess I ought to share some of it, and not keep it all to myself!

The last weeks, when there was several days in a row without rain (yeah, I know) I packed my blueberry-picker and went hunting. (Appearantly the picker is a somewhat Norwegian, or maybe scandinavian? thing, because it really attracts tourists!) I´ve had heard that the blueberry season was started, and some friends had already been having good luck finding berries, so I was pretty optimistic. But I have to say I was a little disappointed. There weren´t as many as previous years, and besides, they were small, but I thought to myself that a cold summer with a slow ripening process would produce even better berries, as the case is for strawberries. It wasn´t until some old ladies came along and spotted me and my picker in the woods, who also noticed the small size of the berries and claimed that they weren´t sweet, that I actually took a berry-tasting-test. I thought they might have said it to scare me off and have the berries to themselves, but they were right. The blueberries weren´t really sweet. Bummer. But I finished the surrounding blueberry bushes and started to walk home. On my way I came to talk with another guy curious about the berry situation, who asked about ripeness, size and flavour. When I said that they were pretty small and also a little sour, he said “Well, then it´s almost a complete waste of time!” And I wondered, was it? Did I spend so many hours for nothing? I would prove him wrong! These blueberries maybe aren´t the best for snacking, but put into baked goods in companionship with sugar and butter, that would probably make up for it! I made some jam right away, which was lovely, but now, it´s time to do some baking, I figured! Today I invited a friend over for coffee and something home-baked, so I figured it was a nice opportunity to use some of the berries. I finally made a decision on what to bake (my first intention was a blueberry bundt cake, eventually a pie – but as there was just the two of us, I figured it would be better with something in a serving size that also could be frozen) and landed on these blueberry rolls.

I was a little short of time, so I tweaked my single-rising yeast recipe, and adapted it to a more suitable number of rolls. I substituted most of the wheat with whole wheat, and used fresh blueberries, butter, sugar and marcipan for the filling. They turned out delicious! A little burned, but still good!

Whole wheat blueberry rolls

  • Prep time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (or more if you have the time)
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients – makes 12 rolls

  • 2 dl milk
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g powered sugar (which I replaced with regular sugar)
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 500 g flour (I used about 3/4 whole wheat, and 1/4 regular wheat)
  • 2 dl blueberries
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g marcipan

Instructions:

Bring milk, sugar and butter to a boil in a large pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it reaches a lukewarm temperature. You can speed up the cooling-down process by putting the pan in the zink filled with cold water. Add the yeast into the mixture, and stir in cardamom and the flour. (If the pan isn´t big enough, simply pour the milk-mixture into another bowl, and then add the flour) Knead the dough into an elastic large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. (If you have them time, put the dough in a covered bowl, and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size – but the original recipe actually skips this point!)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Roll the risen/or unrisen dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 30×40 cm long and 1/2 cm thick. (The thinner you get it, the more area you have for filling, so that might have to be adjusted up or down accordingly if you roll it thicker or thinner)
To make filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl, mashing the berries slightly.
Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the dough.

(Whereever you go from here, is entirely up to you, whether you want to roll them like a cinnamon roll, or make them something like mine. I won´t say how I my rolls got their look, cause I did it wrong (again) and it turned out quite messy… If you´re like me, and cannot figure out the twisting, here´s an instruction video: How to twist a cinnamon-roll, or else, here´s how it goes)

Now fold a third of the dough towards the middle, and fold the other third over the first one, so you have 3 layers of dough. Cut the dough into 12-15 strips about 2 cm wide. Twist each strip until the dough stretches 20 cm long. Twist it around to shape it into a snail shell (roll) tugging the end of the dough under the roll Place the buns on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, with the twists facing upwards. Cover and let them rise to reach the double size for approximately 1 hour. Sprinkle the buns with sugar and chopped almonds. Bake them on 200 C for about 12-14 minutes or till they turn golden. Cool on a rack, or enjoy immediately, when they´re still warm and the filling is gooey…

Perfect to break apart and eat it bit by bit, making room for a zip of black coffee in between the bites! I love to eat them like that, getting a feeling of all the different textures and flavors. And the berries were perfect in these rolls! The buns turned out sweet and buttery, hearthy and filling because of the whole wheat, and the marcipan gave a lovely almondy flavour! I knew the berry picking wasn´t a waste!

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Blueberry scones

It´s easter!
That means I´m home back in Bergen, I have some time to kill while everyone´s at work, and later I have some more time because of the holidays which is perfect for some staying in-activities, such as baking. And, I have people to feed, plus room in the freezer for whatever leftovers there might be! Oh, the opportunities! And not to mention, I have a lot of stuff, like berries, in the freezer, so I don´t have to get out buying overpriced supermarket-berries. Or getting wet. And like I said, it´s easter, which means some easter-treats has to be made. Only in case the easter bunny doesn´t show up, of course.

Today is a perfect day for baking. The rain is pouring down, the shops are closed, and although my boyfriend was supposed to start his holidays today, he had to arrange a quick meeting in a café. How rude! Taking clients to cafés instead of me – on our holiday! Well, there´s only one thing to do. If I can´t come to the café, the café must come to me. Which is actually a better option in this weather. Now I only had to choose a café-like snack. Like always I´ve done some baking-research before I got home. The list of recipes to try, I´ve realised is a never-ending project, as people like myself keep adding tempting recipes, and I keep both buying and borrowing cookbooks. I don´t make it easy for myself. So many recipes, so little time! And the fact that I´m on a daily search for recipes – without any other reason than just for the sake of it – well, I better get baking!

Starting with this scone recipe. These scones immediately made it to the top of my baking list, pushing down brownies, pound cake and other things that have been lined up for quite some time – poor things. But sometimes, you see a picture of something so appealing, you can´t get your mind around anything else, and there´s only one thing to do. Bake it. Get it out of the system. See if they taste as good as they looked at the picture. And of course, compare yours to the original. Uglier, prettier? It´s usually the first. But these turned out quite decent, if I may say so.

Taste wise – well, I don´t have anything to compare with, but I thought they were pretty darn good! The recipe calls for partly whole wheat flour, which I substituted for rye flour. (That´s what I had) That made them more filling and hearty, without feeling overly “healthified”. They´re still sweet and moist, but just perfectly balanced. You could easily have these for breakfast – or any other time of the day!
I enjoyed mine fresh from the oven with a cup of tea for a late lunch. I couldn´t resist adding some butter (can I ever?) – butter melting into warm baked goods – seriously, how can anyone resist?
Even so, they are flavourful enough on their own, so they don´t necessarily need anything. But I imagine a dollop of whipped cream wouldn´t hurt either. So you can dress it up or down, and serve it as breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert! Or all of the above. Go crazy!



Berry Almond Scones
(slightly adapted from thevintagemixer)

1 stick (8 tbsp)butter, cold, plus 1 Tb melted
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
½ cup milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 cup whole wheat/rye pastry flour
½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Instructions

Yields 8 generous blues-killing scones
Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 220 C/ 425˚ F.
Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater.
Whisk together the milk and Greek yogurt in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. In another bowl, combine the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

Add the milk-yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined. Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times. Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll the dough into a 12-inch square.

Sprinkle the berries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface. Fold up the edges of the dough up so that all of the berries are concealed inside the dough. The dough should resemble a ball. Flatten the dough and gently form into a circle (about 7 inches by 7 inches). Using a sharp, floured knife, or a sharp dough scraper/chopper cut the circle into 8 equal triangles (like pie wedges). Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar or more sliced almonds. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at 10 minutes before serving. If you can wait that long!

What to do with blueberries take 1: Blueberry scones

Blueberry season is upon us folks! And that can only mean one thing. I have berry issues! It’s the same problem every year. And what a problem it is. Ohh, man…. where do I begin! Well, here! You see, here’s the deal.

I love berries. I love to pick berries. And once I start, I can’t finish until, well I’ve finished. Not a single berry will be left behind this maniac! If so, it’s because I’m planning to get back to it the next day. Or else, I’ll have trouble sleeping. I know, I’m weird.

I also love to buy berries when they look totally irresistable and are sold for next to nothing at the supermarket, cause they’re in season. So every year, history repeats itself. Suddenly my fridge is filled with all kinds of berries, and I have to find a clever way to either use/freeze/eat them. And of course I haven’t learned anything from the previous years and got myself a bigger freezer, so now I’m having berries with every meal. No, that’s not true. But every day, yes! And sometimes several times a day! It’s a luxury…that is good for me too! But enough of that already. I wanted to incorporate some of this deliciousness into baked goods. All I made so far was jam. Strawberry and something I call queen-jam. That’s a mix of raspberries and blueberries. It’s jam good! But berries and baking? Together? In perfect harmony? Well, there I said it. Perfect harmony.

Let me introduce you berries to sugar. And fat. Aka carbs and calories. You’re gonna get along and make a great team, for sure. I’ve seen it happen before! And I’m not to change a winning team. Now I just had to decide what to bake first. I have my eyes on a blueberry pie, but that I’m planning to make for the weekend when we’re having my family for dinner. Now I wanted something quick and easy, and I had narrowed it down to scones or muffins. And it suddenly became very easy. I’m not that much of a muffin-enthusiast, probably because I haven’t found a proper recipe. Scones however… It’s a love story.

I found a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, claiming to be the world’s best scones. I’m very easily lead on by those titles, I fell for it, and made them. Were they the world’s best scones? I don’t know. I haven’t really been that much around the scones block. I mainly eat the ones I get from my job. (That I’ve quit, so I better find a substitute recipe asap! I cannot function without scones) Were they good? Hell, yeah. But the thing is, I made them a little too thin. I managed to make 16, and the recipe yielded 8. So I guess mine came out a little crunchier and crispier than they should be. I’d like them to be a little more chewy, a little more dense. Just a little more. So, don’t do that mistake! Make the exact number according to the recipe, and let me know how it turns out!

I was planning on whipping up some cream to go with them, but I was lazy. But I discovered crème fraiche did the trick. And some day, I’ll do that clotted cream thing, just like the Brits. I’m daydreaming about having a tea-party complete with scones, clotted cream, lemon curd and all that goes along. But for now, serve them with a generous dollop of crème fraiche and some homemade jam on top.

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

My first day of my vacation! Ah, sweet sweet freedom. And I got a letter yesterday, telling me I’m starting my studies of nutrition in Copenhagen in a month! Yaay! Now, if this doesn’t call for a celebration, I don’t know what does. And I knew exactly how to mark this very special day. And no, not with a cake, for once. Today I wanted something else, something that says summer holiday: An extravaganza breakfast. I haven’t made a decent breakfast the last couple of weeks since I’ve been working. And when you work at a bakery, well…you don’t take time eating breakfast or bringing any sort of lunch. I eat there. And as much as I love a good breakfast, sitting down enjoying my meal, reading the paper or just looking out the window contemplating about the day to come, I haven’t done that in a while. I’ve been waking up early, and eating a quick slice of bread once at work. But that routine, my friends, ended today.

Today I took my time, making a breakfast that took 40-50 minutes, and it was so worth it. I thought I had nothing better to do on my first day off, and I had been wanting to make this since I first spotted the recipe, but I never got around to it. I found it at beckybakes.net. One look, and I fell in love.
Besides, 1-hour-breakfasts are for special occasions. I like a nice breakfast, but I also like to sleep, so I wouldn’t get up an hour earlier just to make this. But today, I had nothing on my agenda, so I got up 8.30 to make this, and an hour later me and the boyfriend could enjoy a serious breakfast. Coffee and everything! Lovely!

It was sweeter and heavier than I imagined, quite cake-like. Or crumble-like. Well, quite frankly, and between us, it was a crumble. But that means it was good! Just a little over the top for breakfast, but this is such a day, so it was ok. This was my first encounter with baked oatmeal. It was really good and I loved the crunchy buttery crust. And the addition of blueberries were divine. Perfect combo. I guess there are healthier versions, but hey, that wasn’t really on my mind this morning. Not exactly. I paired it with a good dollop of sour cream, and that was perfect. Since it was quite heavy, I even have some leftovers that will make a nice treat to Grey’s Anatomy tonight!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

1 1/4 cups blueberries
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cups butter, divided
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
4 tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 200C/350° F.
Melt butter. Pour 1/4 cup into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish.
Sprinkle blueberries and 2 tbsp of brown sugar on top of the butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the soy milk, honey, eggs, remaining butter and vanilla.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour over the fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. of brown sugar.
Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve with milk or cream. Or like I did, sour cream. Delicious!