Truth be told, I have never really been a breakfast person. I know, I know, it's the most important meal of the day etc. etc. etc. Those arguments never quite persuaded me, I guess. I was mostly just trying to wake up with my 2 (yea, 2) cups of strong coffee in the morning to think about food. And truthfully, even though I have started having something, it's still not my best time. I actually only eat one big meal a day, usually at night along with a few smaller snack-like meals during the day. And that's what makes these rolls so perfect for me.
First they are really not all that big (about 2 oz. or 60 g.) each. Maybe a little more with the raisins. So I can have one and not feel too guilty. Second, I can load it up with peanut butter (one of my favorite vices), have an apple or other fruit with it and, of course, another cup of coffee. Entirely too much coffee but I'll have to work on that. Starting tomorrow, I promise!
This recipe is a variation of several I have tried over the years. It is on the whole a breakfast roll that is enriched with milk (I use soy milk so it's dairy free). The inclusion of the raisins (you can use cranberries or other dried fruit if you like) makes it similar in style to a kind of roll eaten in Eastern Europe just before Lent, a rich breakfast roll before the fast, as it were. But that's not where I'm going with this! It is simply a soft, sorta sweet, rich roll with dried fruit in the center. Oh, and delicious, of course.
Here's What You'll Need:
1 1/4 cups (310ml) milk at room temperature (I used soy milk)
1 large egg
1 tsp. salt
2 oz. (60g) butter or margarine at room temperature
3 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 Tbs vanilla sugar
about 4 1/3 cups AP flour
1 Tbs. dry yeast
3 1/2 oz. (about 100g) re-hydrated raisins*
egg + milk for glazing
* To re-hydrate raisins: Place the raisins in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water for about 20 minutes or so. Drain the water and dry them with a paper towel, and the raisins will be re-hydrate. You can do this during the first rise of the dough.
Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. In a large bowl, mix in the dry ingredients, i.e., the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Mix to disperse uniformly, then add the yeast and stir it in.
2. Add the egg and mix it in. Then add the milk, the butter or margarine and mix to form a rough dough. Knead this dough vigorously for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and shiny.
3. Remove the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and place in a warm draft-free location until it about doubled in size. This could take as much as 2 hours.
4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces (16 if you want smaller rolls). Flatten each into a rough rectangle and place several re-hydrated raisins int he center. Close the dough around the raisins, then roll into a ball. Place the rolls on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, then cover to rise a second time. This time they should only rise about 45 minutes.
5. About 15 minutes before the end of the second rise pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Just before baking, brush an egg and milk wash over the tops of the rolls. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a beautiful rich brown color.
6. If you're like me, you will end up eating one (just to try) while still warm and on the cooling rack. These rolls will keep well for a few days. I had to say, but honestly, they won't last for a few days, so why bother! Enjoy.