A few months ago I was thinking about various foods and recipes I wanted to try, and I was struck by a sudden blast of inspiration – blueberry cinnamon rolls. I’d never had them before or even heard of them before, but as soon as I imagined them, I knew they would be amazing. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty proud of my idea until a few days later when I saw blueberry cinnamon rolls appear on another blog. Of course I realize now plenty of people have surely made these before me, but I’m still excited about them anyway.
Since I already have a basic cinnamon roll recipe that I love, I decided to tweak it only slightly to get my desired end result. The only real changes I made were to cut the amount of cinnamon-sugar filling, add the blueberries (duh) and make the glaze thinner and more lemony.
I’m happy to report that these were even better than I was hoping for. Blueberries really seem to take on new magical properties after being cooked or baked and I can’t resist them! The beautiful purple color and the juices are so delectable that I didn’t get too upset when, upon biting into one, berry juice squirted on both my cute top and shorts forcing me to change outfits about 10 minutes after getting dressed the first time.
Work them into your weekend plans. You will be so glad you did!
PS – Andrew loved them.
Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 8-12 large cinnamon rolls or 12-16 smaller rolls
For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
For the filling:
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh blueberries
For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-7 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated. Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.) Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Mist a work surface with spray oil. Roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls). Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the berries over the top evenly of the dough. Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll. Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls. Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size. At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and then swirl over the top of the cinnamon rolls. Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
Source: adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart