Lingonberry Morning Buns
Happy new year!!! I can’t believe that my break is over in a couple of days. It hasn’t hit me yet that I soon have to return to the reality of managerial accounting classes and sorority recruitment instead of spending day after day in the kitchen baking countless Christmas cookies (with a side of lingonberry buns). But one of my New Years resolutions is to get out of my baking comfort zone a bit. And every baker knows that the baking comfort zone is a no-yeast zone. So let’s declare 2018 now as The Year of Breads, Buns, Bagels and Donuts™.
To start the year off with a bang, I’m about to introduce you to one of my very favorite flavors: lingonberry. I know what you’re thinking, “C.C., what the heck is a lingonberry”. Well, if you’re asking yourself that question then you clearly do not frequent IKEA as often as my family does. Ever since my sister, Amy studied in Stockholm and brought with her a new family tradition of eating Swedish meatballs every Christmas eve (which are to be accompanied solely by mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam) I get my hands on lingonberry products whenever I can. My personal favorite is the lingonberry juice. I can single-handedly drink an entire gallon of that stuff. The best way I can describe the flavor of lingonberries is that they are a less bitter cranberry. But other than that, guess you’ll just have to try it yourself!
After deciding that I wanted to turn our left-over lingonberry jam into a morning bun, I turned to my idol, Sally’s Baking Addiction for the base of the buns. I simply replaced the filling and the icing to complement my idea and voila! we had delicious morning buns.
Start by heating the milk to about 95 degrees. This doesn’t have to be exact. The best way I find to see if the milk is the perfect temperature is by sticking my finger into the milk. It should be “blood temperature” in which you shouldn’t really be able to differentiate between the temperature of your finger and the milk. The milk should not be too hot as it will kill the yeast. Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk in sugar and yeast. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is foamy and bubbling.
Use a dough hook to beat in butter until it is slightly broken up, as pictured below. Next, add the eggs and salt. The dough may still be pretty broken up and inconsistent.
On a low speed, slowly add the flour until fully incorporated. Once all added, increase the speed to medium and beat until a dough forms. Finally, increase to medium-high and beat for about 6 minutes. Continue kneading by hand for an additional minute.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, do not be afraid. You can still make this in your dorm kitchen, you will just have to knead everything by hand until you achieve the right consistency.
Next, let the dough rise in either a very warm place or a preheated oven that has been shut off. You want the dough to have doubled in size before proceeding. Once risen, punch down the dough to release some of the air bubbles and roll into a 12×18 rectangle. Spread out the jam evenly. You can find the jam at IKEA or on Amazon. Feel free to use whatever jam you like (if obscure Swedish berries aren’t your thing)! Raspberry morning buns are now sounding very good to me…
Instead of rolling up the whole rectangle and then slicing, slice the rectangle into 1” strips starting from the longer side. Roll each strip tightly and place into a greased 9×13 pan. Cover them with foil and place in the fridge for 8-12 hours or overnight. If you’re planning on baking them right away, just put them back in a warm place and let rise for 2 hours.
Once ready to bake, let rise in a warm place again (like the oven) for another 1-2 hours.
Finally, bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Halfway through the bake, cover with foil to prevent them from getting too dark. Let cool for about 10 minutes and make the icing simply by mixing the softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time until you have your desired consistency. Drizzle over the buns and enjoy with a nice cup of tea!