Strawberry and rhubarb jam and butter filled sweet rolls, topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting and freeze dried strawberry crumble.
What are strawberry rhubarb and cream rolls?
Strawberry rhubarb rolls are like cinnamon rolls, but instead of being filled with butter, cinnamon and sugar they are filled with butter and strawberry rhubarb jam. It's essentially the same process as baking cinnamon rolls. The dough is made and left to proof and then gets rolled out and filled with a strawberry rhubarb jam and butter mixture. Next it rolled up and cut into buns. The rolls are left to proof again, and then finally baked. Lastly they are topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting right before enjoying. They are a labor of love, and take about five hours to make start to finish, but they are worth every second of your time!
Baking with dry active yeast:
If you've never baked with yeast before it can be a little intimidating, at least it was for me the first time. I was sure I was going to kill my yeast and that my sticky buns at the time wouldn't rise. Yeast is essential to a pillowy and fluffy roll, so it is important to know how to work with it. For any kind of sweet roll, yeast gets "bloomed" in a lukewarm (105-110 degree) milk and sugar bath. After about ten minutes, the yeast has become foamy and you know it is alive and ready to be baked with. If your yeast doesn't get bubbly, it isn't active and you'll need to start over, otherwise your rolls just won't be good.
Ingredients needed to make strawberry rhubarb and cream rolls:
- Flour-all purpose flour will be used, and I am partial to King Arthur AP flour because of it's higher protein count, and because it is unbleached
- Yeast-dry active yeast will be used in the dough
- Milk-used to bloom the yeast
- Granulated sugar- will be used to bloom the yeast and in the dough
- Powdered sugar- will be used in the frosting
- Salt- just a little goes in the dough
- Butter-softened butter goes in the dough and the filling
- Egg-one egg is used in the dough
- Strawberry rhubarb jam- the star of the rolls (I used Bonnie's Jams)
- Freeze dried strawberries- used in the frosting to give it a strawberry flavor without adding extra moisture
- Heavy cream- used in the frosting and is poured over the rolls before baking
- Cream cheese- softened cream cheese will be used in the frosting
- A 9" ceramic pie pan or other dish
How to make strawberry rhubarb and cream rolls:
For the dough:
Blooming the yeast:
Start the rolls by blooming your yeast. Do this by heating the milk to around 105-110 degrees. Stir in a teaspoon of sugar and the dry active yeast. Set it aside for ten minutes to allow it to get foamy on top.
Preparing the dough:
Next in a stand mixer mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Then mix in the butter and milk/bloomed yeast. Switch to a dough hook and knead the dough for five minutes. The dough is ready when it has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and formed into a ball.
Place the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Put the dough in a warm spot to proof. The microwave, a cold oven with light turned on, or outside as long as it is in the 70s-80s, will work well. Let the dough proof until it has doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour.
While the dough proofs make the filling by mixing the strawberry rhubarb jam with the softened butter. You will probably need to use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine it best. (It will never really combine completely).
When the dough has doubled in size, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll until you have a 16" rectangle.
Then spread your filling evenly across the dough. Next roll up the dough into a long log shape. Cut 6 or 8 buns out of the log.
Place the buns in a 9 inch pie pan and loosely cover them with plastic wrap. Place them somewhere warm to proof again until they have doubled in size, about one more hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fifteen minutes before the rolls have finished proofing. After they have proofed pour the room temperature heavy cream over them. The cream ensures that the rolls stay moist in the center.
Then bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until they have golden tops.
For the strawberry cream cheese frosting:
While they bake make the frosting. Place the freeze dried strawberries in a food processor and pulse them until they are finely ground.
Then mix the softened cream cheese and cream together until there are no lumps. Next mix in the powdered sugar. Lastly add in the freeze dried strawberries.
After the rolls have finished baking remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before frosting them. Enjoy the rolls fresh from the oven for the best taste. Store them in an air tight container for two days.
Strawberry Rhubarb and Cream Rolls
For the Dough
- 2 ¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoon milk
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 egg whisked
- 3 tablespoon softened butter
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream to be poured over rolls when they're done proofing (room temperature)
For the Filling
- ½ cup strawberry rhubarb jam (I used Bonnie's Jams)
- 4 tablespoon softened butter
For the Frosting
- 6 oz softened cream cheese
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoon cream
- 5 tablespoon freeze dried strawberries finely ground
For the Dough
- Microwave cold milk, or heat on the stove, until it is lukewarm, around 105-110 degrees. Bloom your yeast by mixing the active dry yeast, teaspoon of sugar, and lukewarm milk together. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until foamy on top.
- In a stand mixer, mix flour, salt and sugar together. Add whisked egg, butter and vanilla and mix. Add milk and yeast mixture and mix until everything is blended. Switch to a dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes on medium speed. The dough is done when it has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. It will be smooth and a little sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. (Works best with floured hands). Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for about one and a half to two hours, or until the dough doubles in size. A cold oven with the light on works well for this. I put mine outside and that worked too.
- Make the filling while the dough proofs.
- Once the dough has had a chance to rise, remove from bowl, press down on the dough to release the air, and roll out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 16 inches long.
- Next spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough into a long log shape. Cut the buns. You should be able to get 6 large rolls or 8 smaller rolls out of it.
- Place the rolls in a casserole or pie dish. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
- 15 minutes before the rolls are done proofing preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the rolls have proofed, pour the heavy cream over them. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes and then frost.
- The rolls will stay fresh for two days in an air tight container.
For the Filling
- Mix the softened butter and jam together with an electric mixer. (It will never completely mix together).
For the Frosting
- Make the frosting by crushing the freeze dried strawberries either in a food processor or baggie with a rolling pin until they are finely ground.
- Mix the softened cream cheese and the cream. Then mix in the powdered sugar and freeze dried strawberries.