By now, you’ve probably caught on that I love finding baking shortcuts. I’ve mentioned before (Doctored Up Box Cakes) how there is a lot of room for error when making something completely from scratch, so that’s why I started looking into baking shortcuts. If my end product is over 50% homemade, I consider that a success.
One of the things that drove me to look into baking shortcuts is dough. I’m a big bread eater, but I really never got into baking bread. So, on the occasion I wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls, making the dough was a huge ordeal for me. The first time I tried, I guess my yeast was expired, so my dough didn’t come together correctly and it stuck to the counter as I rolled it. I cried as it tore apart and subsequently ended up in the trash. On my second attempt, I used instant yeast, and while that’s supposed to be easier, this try only ended slightly better than the first. There were no tears this time and the rolls made it through the baking stage, but they sat in the fridge for a week until they also ended up in the trash. The dough formed, but it was tooooo dense.
I’m not sure why, after both of these failed attempts, but I still have some weird fixation with “mastering” cinnamon rolls. I think about making a third attempt at least weekly, and last week it hit me: there has got to be a way to skip making homemade dough. After doing a quick Google search, I found that pizza dough would yield the best end product as it is one of the only store-bought doughs that is yeasted. This will give you the light and fluffy roll without spending hours letting your dough rise twice. After that epiphany, I had another: what better way to use up the six jars of jam I made than a shortcut blueberry sweet roll! I’d like to say this is the first recipe I’ve developed on my own, but the rolls themselves consist of two ingredients so that’s hardly a feat.
1 can pizza dough/crust (I used the Pillsbury brand)
3/4 C Blueberry Jam (you could used store bought as well)
1 1/2 – 2 C powdered sugar
2-3 tbsps milk
1 tsp lemon extract (use 2 tsp lemon juice if you do not have extract)
Preheat your oven to 400F. Grease a pie dish. Open your pizza dough and roll it out onto a clean surface. There’s no need for the surface to be floured (a perk of this shortcut). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rough 18″ x 10″ rectangle, it does not need to be precise. If your dough becomes too thin, you can fold it together and re-roll it. Once you have rolled out the dough, spread your jam to cover the dough completely. Add more jam if your entire dough is not covered generously. Once covered in jam, start rolling the dough inward on the long side furthest from you. Make the roll tight so it does not open in the baking process. Once you have reached the other edge of the dough, pinch the seam of the dough close. Turn the rolled dough so that the seam is down. Next, cut your roll into 2″ long pieces. I ended up with 12 individual sweet rolls. Place your rolls into the pie dish. I was able to fit all 12 with room in between (pictured below). These rolls should not expand too much in the oven. If it looks like your rolls are too crowded, just use another pie dish or a muffin tin.
Bake the rolls for 10-13 minutes. Make sure the centers of the rolls are done when you pull them out. While the rolls bake, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract in a mixer. Mix until you have a runny, smooth consistency. If you need to, add more milk or powdered sugar to reach this consistency. Pour the glaze onto the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
Disclaimer: these are best right out of the oven! If you don’t eat them all right away (like my husband and I) you should warm them up before you eat them!
Just for reference, the last times I tried to make any kind of sweet rolls, the whole process took hours. These took about 10 minutes to assemble, and I was eating a sweet roll about 30 minutes after I started baking.
It would be fun to try different flavor combinations here! I know I’m going to try a pumpkin spice filling/maple glaze combination for fall soon. If you try any combos you like, let us know.