I just can’t get over how pretty these strawberry sweet rolls are. We’re in the depths of winter here, and that gorgeous light brown with the white vanilla glaze and the fresh pop of red just gets me. It’s like food for my eyes as well as my tummy.
Cause let’s not forget the best part of these rolls, and that’s the flavor. They’re not as sweet as some strawberry rolls I’ve had, and that’s on purpose. I didn’t want to lose the fresh, summery flavor of the strawberries in tons of sugar. In these rolls, the sugar takes the back seat and lets the real star – beautiful, bright strawberries- shine.
I’ve been sitting on this recipe waiting for summer, but couldn’t hang on any longer. You guys were missing out and you didn’t even know it. How could I be so cruel? Besides, red and white are Valentines colors, right? And this would make the perfect Valentines breakfast. They can be made ahead and warmed up, if you’re not willing to wait an hour for breakfast to rise (am I the only one?).
Don’t let the number of steps scare you – these rolls are actually pretty easy and I’ll walk you through it step-by-step with pictures. I always get a little nervous around yeast bread, but there’s no reason for that with this recipe. Seriously, if I can do it, you can too.
Are you ready? Here’s the recipe:
Start with the water and yeast. I like to use a thermometer to check my water temperature. For years, I thought I just had no luck with yeast bread, until the day I realized I was scalding my little yeasts to death with crazy hot water. Now, I just check with a kitchen thermometer and make sure the water is somewhere between 105 and 115 degrees.
If your water isn’t too hot or too cold, your yeast should froth up (called proofing). This lets you know that the yeast is active and reporting for duty. I usually wait about five minutes after adding the yeast to the water and sugar mixture.
The rest is smooth sailing. Add the milk, egg, salt, and butter and mix them together with the yeast mixture. Then you’ll add the flour until you get a dough that cleans the sides of the bowl.
Once that happens, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until it looks like this:
It will feel smooth and elastic. Now you’ll put your dough ball into a greased bowl and leave it for an hour. I used my time wisely and watched an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Super productive.
Your dough should be twice its original size. Punch it down, then roll it out on a floured surface into your best attempt at a rectangle. In order to preserve some dignity, I will not be showing you what my (very lop-sided) rectangle looked like.
Now make the strawberry filling. I like to use frozen strawberries so I can make these year-round. I thaw them part-way in the microwave and leave them half frozen. If you don’t you get crazy juicy-weirdness all over your kitchen. You could thaw them all the way, then drain them, but I don’t like to spend all that time. Obviously, if you’re using fresh, you have none of these problems, you lucky duck.
Spread the strawberry filling over your rectangle.
Now roll your rectangle long-ways. I cut mine into rolls with a piece of floss, but you can use a knife too. Place them close together in a greased 9×13 and leave them to rise again for 30 minutes.
Now bake them at 350° for 15-20 minutes. They’ll get golden brown on top and smell divine!
While they’re baking, I make the glaze, so I can glaze them right when they come out. You could wait until they’re cooled, but where’s the fun in that?
Whew! You made it. Not as hard as it looks – so it’s a perfect recipe for impressing friends and family!