Working in the Southern Living Test Kitchen, I was extremely fortunate to work with some very talented people. Of the 35,000+ recipes we tested in those 6 years, a number pop to mind as being outstanding and one of these is a milk and butter rich breakfast roll. A few weekends ago I was seriously craving these rolls and wanted to see if I could come up with something just as good without any of the milk or butter.
In the Test Kitchen, whenever one of us was making bread or yeast doughs, Pam Lolley was our go-to person. Pam makes amazing breads but the one recipe we always had her make for any celebration was her Orange Rolls. They are so good they were featured on the cover of the magazine and received rave reviews from devoted readers.
Using her recipe as a guide, I tried to eliminate all the milk and butter without sacrificing any of the flavor and texture of her light and flaky rolls. Since I couldn't rely on the milk to help tenderize the dough, I decided to use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, hoping the lower protein levels would help keep it tender. Dairy-free margarine replaced the butter but I've also made them with vegetable shortening to equally good results. All-in-all, I think they turned out really well and everyone who's tried them has given them an enthusiastic thumbs up. One of these days I may send this recipe to Pam and see what she thinks.
Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls
1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water (100º to 110º)
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup luke-warn water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Lemon Poppy Seed Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Combine first 3 ingredients in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Beat margarine at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment until creamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and salt, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, water, and lemon juice, beating until blended. Stir in yeast mixture.
Replace paddle with dough hook and gradually add 4 1/2 cups flour to margarine mixture, beating at low speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Increase speed to medium and knead for 3 to 4 minutes, adding additional flour as needed. Place dough in a lightly greased large bowl, turning to grease top of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Divide 1 dough half into 12 equal pieces; shape each piece, rolling between hands, into a 7- to 8-inch-long rope. Wrap each rope into a coil, firmly pinching end to seal. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan. Repeat procedure with remaining dough half. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned. Cool rolls 2 minutes in pans.
Stir together powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, adding more lemon juice as needed to make a smooth glaze about the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in poppy seeds and spoon half of Lemon Poppy Seed Glaze evenly over each pan of warm rolls, and serve immediately.
Note: Pam Lolley's Orange Roll recipe from Southern Living.