In WITF's Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Recipe: Breakfast Rolls with Citrus Scented Sweet Ricotta Filling

Written by Donna Marie Desfor, Culinary Consultant and Chef | Nov 21, 2011 1:22 PM

This is the recipe for the fabulous breakfast rolls that we talked about on Radio Smart Talk last Friday.  The original recipe appears on the blog, which I host for The Spice and Tea Exchange, and so naturally it features their amazing products and blends.  However, the recipe is easily adaptable to your kitchen and pantry by trading out the flavored sugar for regular, vanilla extract or paste for the powder, and then your favorite combination of cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, ginger, etc., for the Baker’s Secret blend.  The box mix gives you some great ideas too.

The hardest part of these rolls is rolling and shaping the dough.  With the filling here, it’s a bit of a slop, and you’ll definitely get your hands all messy.  But you can lick your fingers clean when you are done, so why not just dive in and enjoy?  Of course, if you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to deal with the mess, skip the ricotta filling altogether.  Mix, roll, slice, and bake.  It’s couldn’t be simpler or more delicious.

Recipe:  Bakers’ Secret Breakfast Rolls with Citrus Scented Sweet Ricotta Filling
Makes about 18 Rolls 

For the citrus sugar mix
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons TSTE Ginger Sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
Zest of half orange

For the sweet ricotta filling
½ cup milk (whole)
2 strips (about 1” x 3”) orange peel removed with a vegetable peeler (remove any bitter white pith)
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons prepared citrus sugar mix
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon TSTE vanilla powder
1 cup whole milk ricotta (wrap in paper towels to absorb excess moisture)

For the rolls
1 16-ounce package Hot Roll Mix (such as Pillsbury brand)
1 ½ teaspoons TSTE Baker’s Secret (or Baker’s Blend), ground fine in a spice mill
½ teaspoon TSTE Vanilla Powder
2/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
All-purpose flour, as needed

Prepare the citrus sugar mix.  In a small mixing bowl combine the sugars and zests.  The mixture will become moist and sandy.  Set aside.

Prepare the sweet ricotta filling.  Place the milk and the orange zest strips into a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to gentle boil and remove from heat.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, 3 tablespoons of the citrus sugar mix, cornstarch and a pinch of salt until well combined and pale yellow.  Remove the zest strips from the milk, and temper the egg yolk mixture with a little bit of the warm milk.  Whisking constantly pour the tempered egg yolk mixture into the remaining milk in the saucepan and return to the heat.  Bring to a boil and whisk until thick and cooked through, about 1 minute (remove from the heat as needed to prevent scorching).  Whisk in the vanilla powder and turn out into a small bowl.  Cover with a sheet of cling film (place directly onto the top of the custard) and then chill for about 1 hour in the refrigerator.

When cool, combine the ricotta and the custard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Add in the remaining citrus sugar mix and process until well combined.  Set aside.

Prepare the dough for the rolls.  Spray muffin tins with a non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the hot roll mix, yeast package from the mix, the Baker’s Secret, and Vanilla Powder.  Mix on low until well combined. 

Combine the apple cider and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat until hot (do not exceed 120° F).  Alternatively, place the apple cider and water into a small saucepan and heat until bubbles begin to form on the side of the pan.  Do not exceed 120° F. 

With the mixer on low, add in the apple cider mixture, the butter and the egg.  Increase the speed to medium and mix until fully combined and the dough is tacky, but will release from the paddle when scraped with a spatula, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl.  Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to form a cohesive dough that moves free from the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Scrape the dough off the hook and let rest about 5 minutes. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a rectangle about 12” by 6”.  Spread half on the ricotta mixture over the dough leaving about 1” border.  Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough over the custard and toward the edge farthest from you.  When about 1” from the edge, lift the far edge and pull it toward you over the roll, then pinch the edge into the dough to seal the roll. (yes, it’s a bit messy).  Using a sharp knife cut the roll at about 1 ½”-inch intervals and place cut side up in the prepared muffin cups.  (don’t worry if the ricotta filling squishes out or its messy in the muffin cup.  When the dough rises and it bakes it will all come together).

Set aside in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 375° F.

Bake the rolls in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes.  If you have your rolls on two different racks, switch half way through the cooking time to allow for even browning. 

Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack.  Serve warm. 

Make ahead.  Cool the rolls completely and store in an airtight resealable bag at room temperature for 1 day.  For longer storage, move to refrigerator or freezer.  Let come to room temperature before serving. To warm rolls, place cold rolls on a rimmed sheet pan, cover with foil and place into a 400° F oven for 5 to 7 minutes. 

Photo and Recipe Copyright © 2011 by Donna Marie Desfor and There’s a Chef in My Kitchen for The Spice and Tea Exchange.  All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2011 WITF, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Published in Donna Marie Desfor

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