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!

No knead bread – in a pot!

Making bread has never been easier! Or better! (Because when is easy not better, really?) Bread is not what it used to be. It´s still delicious, warm from the oven with butter melting into it, and a nice crust that holds it together. That hasn´t changed. What has changed, is the making of the bread. If I only knew what I know now… That all that kneading – is not really necessary! I was taught that when making bread, the most important thing is to knead the dough, for a loooong time. And several times. If you didn´t do that, the bread wouldn´t rise, it´d turn into a compact brick-like-bread-wannebe, and without the light fluffy texture you want from a good bread. So, that was the rule! Knead like crazy!

Still, I must admit, I didn´t always have the patience (or muscle strength for that matter…) to do that. I kneaded for some time, but never as long as the recipe demanded. Maybe I could have if I had, like, a pink or turquoise Kitchen Aid…? (Ahem….someone´s birthday is coming up soon…) And do I need that now that I don´t knead anymore! I do… It has other qualities! Besides, it´s pretty! Anyways, back to the bread. I know the no-knead-thing is kind of yesterday´s news around blogland, or any land, I guess. Even this particular kind is to be found on various blogs and sites around the internet, but to me, it was new! This is my first attempt at baking bread in anything else but a bread-pan. You see. The thing is. You bake the bread in a pot! Yup – that´s right! And doing that you get a crackly crust and a moist and fluffy inside – aka – yummy bread!

The simple method involves mixing all of the ingredients, letting the dough rise for a rather flexible stretch of time (8-20 hours-ish), and baking it at a really high heat after some minimal shaping and some extra rising time in a preheated dutch oven. The steam trapped by the pot’s lid contributes to a crispy, chewy crust, while an extremely hot pot assures a high and fast rising.

And the result: A perfectly symmetric round, beautiful tasty bread!
Looks good, and tastes good. And it´s dead easy! (And no kneading involved!)


No knead bread (1 bread)

250 g wheat flour
175 g spelt flour
3,5 dl water
0,5 ts dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt

1: Mix everything together in a big bowl, using a wooden spoon. There´s no need to get your stand mixer out, but if you want to, go ahead using the paddle attachment. When everything´s throughly mixed, and there are no lumps, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours in room temperature.

2: Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Transfer to a bowl, and let it nap for 2 hours. When you’ve got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 200C/ 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. (Mine didn´t though…but it did increase!) Remove pot from oven. Carefully transfer the dough into the hot pot, making sure not to puncture it too much. It doesn’t matter which way it lands, though. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover – aka remove the lid – and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden. Remove and let cool on wired rack.

4: Enjoy! (Like most breads, it´s best eaten within a couple of days.)


Nutella rolls


So – finally my family pack of nutella was put to use! Or some of it, at least. That thing is huge! Like I may have mentioned earlier, I have a thing for big food, or food that come in large sizes or packages. I´m drawn to anything supersize when it comes to food. I´m just fascinated by food that goes beyond the usual or ordinary sizes, whether it´s nutella, apples, cinnamon rolls or pepper grinders. Don´t judge me!

This time, it´s about nutella. Once I saw that jar of 1-kg nutella, I knew it was coming home with me. And by US standards, 1 kg probably isn´t all that, but here it is. I´d never seen anything like it! So to me, 1 kg is a-lot, especially considered that I normally don´t buy or eat nutella. So I really didn´t know why I bought it or what to do with it, but I had to have it. Some girls shop for shoes, I shop spreadings. So I got it home and put it away. I googled for recipes, and decided that nutella rolls would be a good way to start. But somehow, I never got around to it. After some time I had to move it from my kitchen into my little pantry of things I seldom use. Probably a bad idea, cause you know, out of sight, out of mind. I would have kept it in my kitchen as a reminder to use that freakin thing, but due to extremely limited storage possibilites in the kitchen, priorities had to be made. But now, finally, the time has come to nutella rolls. We´re going on a foodexpo with my class tomorrow, and I´m bringing these for the 3-hour busdrive. To spread some nutella-joy! Maybe not the most transportable baked goods there is, though. So the verdict: What can I say? They were worth waiting for! Oh my… Sticky, gooey sweet hazelnut bliss!
And if you top it off with some roasted hazelnuts, and some extra nutella (just to glue the hazelnuts, of course) – well, that´s as good as nutella gets! Try it!

Nutella rolls (25-30 rolls)

1 kg all purpose flour
200 g sugar
200 g butter
6 dl milk
12 g dry yeast (50 g fresh yeast)
1 ts baking powder
1 ts cardamom

Melt the butter.
Add the milk and warm it up until it´s lukewarm.
If you´re using fresh yeast, dissolve it in the warm mixture. Set aside.

Mix together the flour with sugar, cardamom, baking powder and eventually dry yeast. Pour the butter-milk mixture into the the dry ingredients, and incorporate. Add more flour if necessary. Once evenly mixed knead the dough in a floured board. Form into a large ball then place in a bowl covered in cling wrap. Place in a warm place and let it rise for 1 hour or until it doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl, deflate and roll into a floured surface. Thickness about 1/2 cm or so, but that depends on how you like the dough vs filling ratio. I like it 1:1 more or less. There must under no circumstances be short on the filling, that´s for sure! Spread on nutella, as much as you like, and get rolling! Cut them into suitable sizes, using a knife or dental floss. (This is a very loose recipe, I´m starting to see…) Mine were about 4 cm in height and 8 cm diameter. Place them tightly if you don´t want edges, or seperately if you do! Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden and irresistible!

And – voilá! It´s served! I do recommend roasting some hazelnuts to go with it. That extra crunch in combination with the soft melting nutella bun is just divine…

Custard filled cinnamon rolls

Well, first of all, I can’t take credit for this one. Did not make it myself. But I sure helped eating! My boyfriend suddenly decided to make cinnamon rolls late last night, and I was not to stop him. And I figured, I don’t really have time to bake nowadays, reading for my exams pretty much takes all my time. Little baking means few posts, means my poor blog is suffering, so I might as well let him take over the show for a while.

He’s actually not a bad cook at all, but usually he leaves all flour-and-sugar-related activity to me. He cooks, I bake. He makes dinner, I make dessert. At least on weekends. It’s a nice deal. But yesterday he sat his minds to these rolls, which is probably his all time favourite, and mine to that matter, and I let him. (Ain’t I nice?)

And they turned out great. I guess I wouldn’t have rolled out the dough quite as thin, but then again, that means more filling. And I think he agreed, because he managed to get twice as many as he was supposed to! So, quite small, but I’m not complaining! They were absolutely delicious. I had myself a little platter of rolls watching True Blood last night, and today I had some more for breakfast as we conveniently were out of bread. Yummy in my tummy. Higly recommendable! If you haven’t tasted this version of cinnamon rolls before, you should definetely give it a try! What I lova about it is that it contains all the good stuff: cinnamon-filling, custard and lovely icing melting onto the hot rolls. You have to try it, seriously. I have one recipe that I use for all kinds of rolls, including this one. It’s easy to do and easy to succeed with. This should give about 12 larger rolls, or many many smaller ones…

Dough
50 gram fresh yeast (or 25 g dry if you prefer)
500 g flour
100 gram sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
100 gram butter
3 dl milk

Filling
200 g brown sugar, packed
15 g ground cinnamon
75 g butter, softened

Icing

icing sugar
water

Feels like something’s missing? Like the custard? Well – I buy it… So don’t really have a recipe for that, but of course you can make your own! Which is probably even better. But you will need it either way, so provide custard somehow.

Make as any ordinary dough. Mix fresh yeast with melted butter and milk, or dry yeast with flour. Knead until you have an elastic yet firm dough. Set to rise for about an hour, or until it reaches double size. While it’s rising, start making the filling. You can use whatever sugar you like, but I prefer dark brown sugar. At least part brown sugar to give a richer taste. Mix sugar of your choice, butter and cinnamon together. And when the dough had reaches a nice volume, knock it down, roll it out as thins as you like. Remeber thinner dough means smaller buns with more filling, or you can get thicker rolls, but with less filling. Hmm. Hard choice. Or I guess you can have both if you strech it out the right way! Leave to rise for about 20 minutes, then put on a nice scoop of custard on each roll, and bake on 200 C for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size) Bake until lightly golden. And then, while they’re still hot, drizzle with icing and enjoy… Trust me, you will.