Photo by Tam West
These sweet rolls are made from a sticky no-knead dough so you need to work with it on a well-floured surface. Like scones, handle it as little as possible and if it springs back when you try to roll it out, stop, wait and let it relax before proceeding.
For this recipe, the dough is layered by rolling and folding it with lemon zest, roasted almonds, butter and sugar and made into spiral rolls. The first time I saw this it was done by one of the chefs at the Metropole and he based the recipe on a traditional Breton yeast cake, Kouign-amann. Later I saw great baker, Julie le Clerc, refine it into rolls.
These rolls require half of the dough recipe below. The other half can be pressed into a 20 x 30cm shallow tray, very well oiled with extra virgin olive oil, its top brushed with more oil and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. Bake in a 200C oven for about 40 minutes until well cooked like foccacia.
You can also refrigerate the rest of the dough for another time. It will keep for a few days. Be sure to bring it up to room temperature before using. If you want more ideas, try the other half in my Turkish-style lamb pies or Stuffed bread pie with butternut and feta.
For the dough
For the sugar rolls
To make the dough
- Put the water, yeast and sugar into a large bowl. Wait until the yeast melts, then stir and place in a draught free warm place (a sunny deck works well) until the mixture is very frothy.
- Whisk in 2 cups of flour so you have a lump-free slurry. Set aside, covered, in a draught-free, warm place until doubled in bulk.
- Add the remaining flour and salt and mix well. Cover, put back in the warm place and allow to double in bulk.
To make the rolls
- Heat the oven to 200C. Brush a muffin tin with the 1 Tbsp of melted butter. My tin has 12 cavities which are 7cm in diameter by 4cm deep.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle about 50cm by 20cm.
- Using your hands, spread the 175g butter evenly over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the sugar, zest and almonds evenly over the butter.
- Starting at one of the short ends, fold a third of the dough into the centre and fold the other third over the top so that you have a rectangle of dough a third as big as it was before.
- With the open end towards you, roll the dough out so that it is back to being a 50cm by 20cm rectangle.
- Repeat three more times, stopping and waiting for the dough to relax, if necessary. You will see that you will have formed a dough with many fine layers of the filling.
- Starting at one of the long sides, roll the dough up into a sausage shape.
- Cut the dough into 12 equal slices so that you have formed spirals.
- Place the spirals of dough, cut side up, in the cavities of the muffin tin. Sprinkle the top of each very generously with more sugar.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until well cooked.