Eggnog Sweet Rolls

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      Eggnog Sweet Rolls (makes 12)
      Marliss Desens adapted this recipe from the Red Star Yeast website. It kneads well in a Zo bread machine (just at the limit), but it can also be made with a stand mixer, or by hand, which was the method of the original recipe.

      ¼ cup water (about 105 F)
      Bit of the sugar 1
      2 ¼ tsp. special gold yeast

      3 ½ cups (470 g) White Whole Wheat flour
      2 cups (266 g) King Arthur AP flour
      1/3 cup sugar (68 g)--minus what is used to proof the yeast
      ¼ cup (27 g) special dry milk
      ¼ cup (34 g) flax meal
      1 ½ tsp. salt
      ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

      1 ¾ cups low-fat eggnog (I use Organic Valley low-fat eggnog)
      1 egg
      3 Tbs. avocado oil

      1 cup sugar
      1 tbs. cinnamon
      1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
      avocado oil for brushing

      ONE GLAZE:
      ¾ cup powdered sugar
      2 Tbs. eggnog

      3/4 cup powdered sugar
      1-2 Tbs. milk
      1/8 tsp. eggnog flavoring
      1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

      Proof the yeast in small bowl with water and a pinch of sugar. Allow it to proof for 5 minutes. Mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the eggnog into the bread machine pan (Zo) and add egg. Break the yolk. Add proofed yeast. Distribute combined dry ingredients evenly over top. Start machine. After the flour is mostly mixed into the wet ingredients in the beginning of the cycle, drizzle in 3 Tbs. avocado oil. Let the machine finish the kneading cycle.

      Remove dough from bread machine. Place dough in lightly oiled 4-quart dough bucket, snap on lid, and allow to rise for an hour to 90 minutes. It will not double but be about 1 1/2 its former size. Combine the sugar and spices for the filling in a small bowl. Grease a glass 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

      Turn dough out onto a Silpat mat. Roll to an approximately 19-inch by 12-inch rectangle. I use a rolling pin that will roll dough ¼ inch thick. Brush the surface with avocado oil. Leaving a 1/2-inch bare along one LONG side, sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture evenly over the surface, covering it all. Use the back of a spoon to lightly press the mixture into the dough.

      Starting with the covered LONG side, roll the dough up, sealing at the seam with a bit of water. Cut the roll in half. (I use dental floss, which I put under the center, then cross the two ends over the top and pull through. Cut one of the halves in half, then cut it into three pieces. Place in prepared dish, scooping up with a spoon and sprinkling on top any cinnamon sugar that spills out. Repeat with remaining dough.

      At this point, the rolls can rise for an hour and be baked, OR they can be covered with saran and allowed to rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, set them out for about 30 minutes, while pre-heating the oven to 350 F. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove to a rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes. (Note: baking instructions are the same for rolls that are baked immediately after the second rise.)

      Combine glaze ingredients. I rarely have enough leftover eggnog to use in the glaze, so I have created an alternate one. Drizzle glaze over rolls. A small spoonula works perfectly. Rolls can then be served. Store completely cooled leftovers tightly covered.

      What I changed: I found a recipe at Fleischmann's yeast and one at Red Star Yeast. I mostly followed the Red Star recipe for the rolls, but I made these changes: I replaced ¼ cup eggnog with water for proofing the yeast. (I also only had 1 ¾ cups left over from other baking.) I reduced the sugar from 6 Tbs. to 1/3 cup for simplicity. I reduced the salt by ½ tsp. I replaced ¼ cup (4 Tbs.) butter with 3 Tbs. avocado oil. I used the special Gold yeast that is designed for high sugar doughs. I reduced the flour by ½ cup, and I substituted 3 ½ cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour for that much AP and used King Arthur AP for the rest. I used white whole wheat flour rather than regular because I did not want the whole wheat taste to overwhelm the eggnog flavor, I added the special dry milk and the flax meal to increase nutritional value.

      For the filling, I replaced ¼ cup melted butter with brushed-on avocado oil. I increased the 2 tsp cinnamon from the Red Star recipe to 1 Tbs., which is what Fleischmanns used. I liked that the Red Star recipe used a cup of granulated sugar rather than the 2/3 cup brown sugar that Red Star employed, as that keeps the eggnog flavor foremost by not introducing a competing flavor. I thought of reducing the sugar to ¾ cup, but I am glad that I did not. I liked that Fleischmann's, unlike Red Star included nutmeg, but I reduced it from 1 ½ tsp. to ½ tsp. freshly grated.

      I rejected the Fleischmann's frosting, with its half cup butter, 3 oz. cream cheese, and 3 cups powdered sugar, but I liked that it included eggnog and vanilla. I also rejected the Red Star icing, which included 6 oz. cream cheese, 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar, and 1 Tbs. bourbon, but I liked that it too included eggnog. An excellent sweet roll does not need an excessive amount of icing or frosting, I used my standard glaze recipe of ¾ cup powdered sugar, 1-2 Tbs. milk, and a bit of eggnog extract and vanilla. (Eggnog extract needs to be balanced with vanilla.)

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