anyone who knows how i cook knows that i’m not so good at following directions. i have this tendency to think that any recipe i find can be made better. such was the case when i found one of Martha Stewart’s recipes for some onion rolls. they were totally awesome, but i felt like the bread would be better suited to a lemony breakfast roll. and it was.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 4 tablespoons melted
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and pin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
zest of 2 lemons, about 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger
start with the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and the water in a small bowl. wait about 5 to 10 minutes, until it’s foamy then mix it up a little and stir it up with the buttermilk and egg. make sure your yeast foams. if it just sits there looking dead, it is. dead yeast=no rise.
dump the flour and salt into your electric mixer bowl (or get all hardcore and do this by hand). pour in your wet stuff and mix. once you have it mostly combined, toss in the butter. mix with your dough hook on medium for about 10 minutes. flour your counter and turn the dough out. knead for about 5 minutes, or until it starts looking smooth. shape it into a ball and put it in a large, buttered bowl. cover with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place for about an hour. if your kitchen is kinda cold or drafty, i recommend setting your oven to the lowest temp for 10 minutes then turning it off and leaving the dough to rise in there.
once your dough is roughly doubled in size, punch it down, dump it back onto your floured work area and roll out into a vague 17x10 inch rectangle. it will probably fight you a little but but just keep rolling until it looks somewhat rectangular.
brush the entire surface with the melted butter, sprinkle with sugar, zest and ginger. roll it all up starting on the long side. pinch the seam to seal. cut into 12 rounds and put them in a buttered 9 inch cake pan like you would for cinnamon rolls. butter tops. i use a springform pan because it makes unmolding them easier, but a standard cake pan will do. cover with plastic wrap and set them to rise for another hour.
preheat oven to 375 degrees. bake rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. invert the pan onto a plate immediately and glaze if desired.
…if you do want that glaze, just whisk about a cup of confectioner’s sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice until you have a slightly runny consistency. you might have to play around with the liquid amounts a little. drizzle over warm rolls.