Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fresh Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze

We look froward to blueberry picking every year. Blueberry season normally spans approximately two months during which time different varieties of blueberries mature and ripen. The blueberries picked earlier in the season tend to be a bit more tart than those picked towards the end, meaning that each batch of berries tastes different!

Emma hated blueberry picking. She might have just been upset that I was making her walk around the blueberry patch and not carrying her in my arms. However, once she realized the large, blue berries hanging off the bushes in front of her were edible, she ceased her whining, plopped herself down under one of the nearby bushes, and proceeded to snack and munch for the remainder of our outing. Matthew was so excited to be out picking blueberries that I think he forgot to pick some. He ended up with about 20 berries in his bucket by the end. That's actually an improvement from the 10 he picked last year.

We brought home some beautiful berries that were a bit on the tart side. This, of course, did not stop us all from eating about two pounds of berries over a three day period. I managed to set aside a heaping cupful to use to make these blueberry sweet rolls.

Someone couldn't keep her hands off the freshly baked rolls!

Basically, these are made in the spirit of a cinnamon roll without the copious amounts of butter and sugar. Instead, the freshness of the fruit and brightness of the lemon are the true highlights of this breakfast treat. The dough is more like a sweet challah than a traditional cinnamon roll dough - but it's firmer texture is essential for holding in the juices from the berries! The original recipe calls for using frozen berries, but I found the cold berries actually inhibit the dough from baking all the way through in the middle while the outside of the rolls browned quickly. The best part about the rolls? The lemon glaze on the outside. I could eat that with a spoon!

The children enjoyed this breakfast treat, although they employed an unusual method to eat them. They picked out all the whole berries from the insides of the rolls, ate those first, and then proceeded to eat the rest of the bread. To each his own!

Fresh Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze
adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

For the Rolls:
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup whole milk
2.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, at room temperature

For the Blueberry Filling:
1 and 1/3 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Lemon Glaze:
Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
1 cup powdered sugar (or more as needed)
1-2 Tablespoons milk

First, make the filling by tossing the blueberries with the 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch. Set aside as you prepare the dough.

In a measuring cup, heat the water, milk, and butter in the microwave until it reaches about 115 degrees. If the temperature is higher than that when you remove it from the microwave, give it time to cool so you don't kill the yeast!

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 1/4 cups of the flour, salt, and the yeast. Mix briefly to combine. Mix in the milk mixture and then add the egg.  Mix well. Using a dough hook, knead the mixture while slowly adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time until a soft dough comes together. I only needed an additional 1/4 cup. Continue to knead the dough in the mixer until it is soft, smooth, and elastic. This might take about 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, you can remove the dough from the mixer and finish kneading it by hand on the countertop.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

After the dough has rested, roll it out into a 8 x 11" rectangle. Spread the blueberry filling evenly over the top and then roll up from the long side of the rectangle into a tight log. Cut the log into 10 pieces and place in a lightly greased pie pan. Cover and let rise for 2-3 hours in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

After the rolls have finished rising, slide them into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are lightly browned, covering with a sheet of foil during the last 10 minutes or so of baking to avoid over-browning. Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the glaze.

To make the glaze, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, powdered sugar, and milk until a glaze consistency is reached. You can adjust the liquid or sugar to make the glaze as thick or thin as you like. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls while they are still warm.



  1. These look delicious!! We are currently out of fresh blueberries and lemons otherwise I'd be making today!

  2. Monica, you bake the most amazing stuff! These blueberry rolls are driving me nuts!