Once when I was 3 I walked into a coffee table. Instead of crying and running for a cuddle I hit the table. I think that says a lot about the kind of person I am. So when I found something really hard at work recently, instead of gently and calmly trying to work things out I got really angry with myself and, given the problem was with me, psychologically beat myself up. I draw the line at hitting myself physically.
These little lemon and almond rolls and what I baked after a very bad day. The smell cheered me up instantly. They taste fresh and sweet and a little bit wholesome all in one.
Makes two circles of rolls and a couple of extra singletons.
For the dough:
– 500g strong white flour
– 7g active dried yeast sachet
– 2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp caster sugar
– 30g very soft butter
– 100mls cold milk (full or semi)
– 100mls cold water
– 100mls boiling water
– zest of one lemon
For the filling:
– zest of 1 lemon
– 4 tbsp demerara sugar
– 2 tbsp ground almonds
– 1 tbsp melted butter
For the topping:
– 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
– juice of 1 lemon
– icing sugar (about 150g)
– a handful of flaked almonds
Make the dough by mixing the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and very soft butter together. Then take the milk, cold water and boiling water, mix in one jug and then pour into the dry ingredients. Knead until smooth and elastic then cover with clingfilm and allow to proof for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size and when you push a finger 3cm into the dough, the indent remains.
Whilst the proofing is going on, make the egg wash for the topping by beating an egg with a pinch of salt. Set this aside. Then make the filling by mixing the lemon zest, demerara sugar and the ground almonds. Set this aside too. Melt the butter, use a brush to grease 2 x cake tins and set aside the rest of the butter.
Once the dough has proofed, add the zest of one lemon to the dough and knead again until combined. Then take the dough and fashion into a sausage on a very lightly floured work surface. Then roll out into an oblong measuring about 20cm x 30cm. You may need to pull and squash and tease the dough to do this. Then brush the melted butter over the whole of the slab of dough, then evenly cover it with the filling. Now you need to work quickly as you don’t want the dough to start puffing up and proofing whilst you’re rolling. So roll the dough tightly lengthways so that you have a roll of dough that’s 30cm long. Then use a sharp serrated knife to cut 1cm slices of the roll.
Lay each slice into your cake tin, almost touching each other, with one in the middle. I got 7 in one cake tin, 8 in another and then three little stray ones on a separate tray. See what works with your tray – just make sure they almost touch. Cover with clingfilm and leave to proof for about 40 – 50 minutes until the rolls have doubled in size and are all puffed up and snuggled next to each other. Preheat the oven to 200C after about half an hour of proofing.
Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash and then bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown and lemony smelling. This took about 20 minutes in my oven. I took them out of their cake tins towards the end and gave them a quick 5 minute blast baking directly onto the rack. Just to make the underneath really crisp and well-baked.
Once baked remove from the oven, remove from the tins if you haven’t already and cool on a wire rack. Make the icing by mixing icing sugar with the juice of once lemon. Totally up to you how stiff you like the lemon glace icing. I like mine quite thick so spooned it on whilst the rolls were still warm and scattered with some flaked almonds.
These were supposed to be for breakfast but I admit we did eat one each straight from the oven. There’s something really wholesome about lemony baked goods!
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