An intense strawberry filling, made from roasting the berries and mixing them with white chocolate, is surrounded by a super soft roll. The rolls are covered in a cream cheese strawberry icing. These strawberry rolls are the perfect summer brunch dish!
Every summer, I roast berries by the bucket. I always tell the story of how I began roasting blueberries for my first daughter with a bit of cinnamon for one of her first solids experiences, and from then, I never stopped. There was this blueberry ice cream and this strawberry bread. There’s a cheesecake too! But first let’s dig into these perfect summer sweet strawberry rolls.
This might sound a bit fancy but it’s just berries spread out in a pan and roasted for about half an hour, until they are squishy and some of the water has evaporated. According to KAF, roasting the berries, “concentrates the sugars, and therefore the flavor. Excess moisture is released in the oven leaving you with a highly flavorful bite of fruity goodness.” I feel like I don’t need to add anymore emphasis for why we need to be doing this!
I talk more about why I use the japanese milk bread style to make the challah in this chocolate babka post. Suffice it to say, cooking the flour with some water and milk before it’s added to the dough lends the most tender, soft and wonderful bread that keeps its tenderness longer than the average homemade dough.
I love the tang that the cream cheese adds to the topping. This glaze is made with a bit of roasted puree (a little goes a long way in terms of flavor and color, since we’ve gotten rid of a lot of the water during the roasting process), some whipped cream cheese and powdered sugar. It’s all just mixed in a bowl and really rounds out the rolls to give you a super strawberry punch with every bite.
Strawberries: fresh or frozen is fine. If they are in season, fresh is better. Especially if you have a few cartons in your fridge which are going a bit soft. That’s the point when you want to roast them instead of having them fresh. The darker the inside of the berries, the more intense your filling and glaze will be. I say roast 3 cups to ensure you get a bit over 1 cup puree, but if your berries are juicey you may get more than you need!
White chocolate: I use lindt white chocolate and would also recommend Green & Black’s (both cheaper if you buy them in bulk). Whenever you buy white chocolate take a look at the ingredients; if it doesn’t have cocoa butter in it it then it’s made with mostly sugar and oil 🙁
Bread Flour: KAF Bread Flour is my favorite. It’s a higher protein content than AP and gives you a chewier bread. But AP is a fine substitute if that’s all you have.
Milk: whole or 2%. You could just use all water for the dough but it would definitely lack tenderness (and possibly need fat compensation in the form of more oil).
Eggs: room temperature and large. If you’ve just pulled them from the fridge set them in a bowl of warm water to come to room.
Oil: Canola, grapeseed, vegetable, anything that won’t have a prominent taste in the final dough.
Yeast: instant packets weigh 7g here in the US. If you need to use active dry, add 25% more (so about 1/2 teaspoon more) and add it with the flour, skipping the proving step.
Whipped cream cheese: I like using whipped here because it saves me an arm workout (and I can use it directly from the fridge). If you don’t have it/don’t want to buy it, use a block of cream cheese but let it come to room temperature and whip it before you add it to the puree.
Powdered sugar: organic, organic! Organic that is made with tapioca starch is so much better for things that won’t be heated. This is because non-organic (and some organics) is made with cornstarch which melts at a higher temperature. Tapioca melts on the tongue; the result is a much less saccharine taste.
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