August 24, 2021

Meyer Lemon Curd Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Is there anything better than warm bread from the oven - I think not. Especially
these delicious Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls, filled with lemon curd and a creamed lemon
sugar mixture, and topped with delicately flavored lemon cream cheese frosting.

At its most basic bread is a mixture of flour, salt, water, and yeast. When you stop and think about it, it really is amazing how something so simple can produce the most delicious results. Of course like most baking there is a science behind baking the perfect loaf. It involves a chemical reaction where once the yeast is activated it begins to feed on the sugars residing in the flour and releasing carbon dioxide that makes the bread rise. 

I was recently contacted by ThermoWorks to see if I would be interested in receiving a Thermapen ONE instant-read thermometer to review, and I jumped at the chance.  As you can see from the photo above my first test was to check the temperature of my milk - you don't want to kill the yeast before it has a chance to do its thing.  This thermometer is marketed as "measuring at virtually the speed of thought" and I would have to agree. It has a one second accurate read time - and this is why it is called the ONE. It definitely helped me keep my liquid in the safe zone for bread baking. Another feature I loved was the motion-sensing Sleep/Wake Mode. Simply pick up the thermometer and it is instantly ready to go - no more finding the small button on the side to switch it on like some other brands.  I also used it to check the temperature of my bread when I removed it from the oven to ensure it was fully baked (see photo below).

I think that the favorite bread in my family is Cinnamon or Sweet Rolls, and I have baked quite a few different versions such as Balsamic Strawberry, Chai Spiced, and Apple Gingerbread. I have a love of anything lemon, so I wanted to try Meyer Lemon as a filling this time. Lucky for me a neighbor has a couple of Meyer Lemon trees and leaves a bucket on her fence for us all to share.

These rolls are a labor of love, but oh so worth it.  The dough is soft and fluffy and sweet, the Meyer Lemon is a wonderful sweet-tart contrast, and the lemon cream cheese frosting builds the bridge between the two. In all honesty, bread-baking can sometimes seem a little daunting, especially when you first look at a recipe but don't let this stop you. I have always found that reading through the entire recipe so you get a good feel for what needs to happen and when, and making sure that you have everything measured and ready to go - aka mise en place - is the key to success.  Once you start making sweet rolls, whether they be lemon, cinnamon, or any other flavor you could imagine you will not be able to stop.  

Meyer Lemon Curd Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Dough ~
  • 7g (2½) teaspoons active yeast
  • 185ml milk (¾ cup) heated to approximately 38℃ (100°F)
  • 115g (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 50g (¼ cup) white sugar
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 565g (4½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Lemon Filling ~
  • 150g (¾ cup) white sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 60g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 113g (½ cup) Meyer lemon curd
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting ~
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 225g (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 240g (2 cups) powdered sugar

Dough ~
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk.
  2. Set aside for about five minutes so that it has time to bloom - you will start to see the top start to bubble and foam.
  3. On low speed with the beater blade attached, add the softened butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and 125g (1 cup) of the flour into the milk/yeast mixture, mixing only until just combined.
  4. Quickly add in the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.
  5. Switch to the dough hook and knead at low speed for about 5 minutes, the dough should be smooth but pliable.
  6. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in, rolling the dough so that it is covered with some of the oil.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Whilst the dough is rising make the lemon filling.
  9. Butter  two 33 x 23Cm (13x9-inch) baking dishes.
  10. Using a Silpat baking mat or a floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 25x38cm (10 x 15 inch) rectangle.
  11. Using an offset spatula, spread half the Meyers lemon curd on the rectangle leaving a 2.5cm (1-inch) border around the outside, and then spread half of the lemon filling on top of the curd.
  12. Roll the dough up tightly from the long end, pulling tightly as you go.
  13. Using a thread (such as non-flavored floss), wrap the thread around the dough in 1-inch to 1½-inch increments, and then pull tight to cut.
  14. Place each roll in the prepared baking dish, and then repeat the process with the second half of the dough.
  15. Cover the rolls with a piece of  cling wrap and let them rise for about one hour or until doubled in size.
  16. When the rolls are towards the end of their rise heat the oven to 180℃ (350°F).
  17. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.
Lemon Filling ~
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and lemon and mix for about 20 seconds to release the lemon zest oils.
  2. Add the butter whip until thick and creamy.
  3. Very slowly add the lemon juice to avoid it curdling, and whip until fully combined.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting ~
  1. While the rolls are baking, add the lemon juice, lemon zest and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until until light and fluffy.
  2. Reduce speed to low, and add the powdered sugar; blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Let the rolls rest for about 15 minutes to cool slightly, then drizzle the glaze over the rolls.

Disclaimer: I received a free Thermapen ONE from ThermoWorks to review, but this is my honest opinion of the thermometer and I was not compensated monetarily for my review or influenced in any way. 


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