March 04, 2014

Balsamic Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls #TwelveLoaves

March is here but there doesn't seem to be too many signs of Spring as yet.  Hopefully the theme for this months #TwelveLoaves will chase away those winter-time blues, and bring some sunshine into your life.  The theme this month is Strawberries!

"I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon" ~ Ellen DeGeneres
I was excited when I found out that the theme was strawberries - the possibilities are practically endless, and I briefly thought about a beautiful quick bread.  In the end I decided to challenge myself with making a version of Cinnamon Rolls since I have never made them from scratch before.  Now, I know a few of you may be thinking that Cinnamon Rolls aren't all that challenging, but I am a beginner in the yeast department and I really do want to conquer this fear I have.  It is the exact reason why I joined the #TwelveLoaves baking group, well that and the fact that they are really nice people :)

However, this is not the time I conquered my fear I'm sorry to say, and I think that the rolls actually conquered me - Dough 1, Felice 0. After searching for a recipe I quickly settled on one from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It seemed very approachable and I liked that it used buttermilk in the recipe.  This recipe called for a cinnamon filling, but I wanted to substitute that for a balsamic-strawberry filling.  At Tierney Tavern I found a recipe that used jam in the filling, so I added the balsamic glaze and some chopped strawberries to it.  A balsamic glaze is usually of reduction of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, so it is much thicker and sweeter than regular balsamic vinegar, and it adds a sweet-savory note to most dishes.

My dough was quite sticky after the first five minute knead, so I added the additional ¼-cup of flour.  It still seemed a little sticky but I did not add any more flour as I didn't want them to be too dry.  I did a quick rise because I had used #Red Star® Platinum Superior Baking Yeast®, which is an instant yeast. Everything seemed to go smoothly until I tried to roll the dough.  I just could not seem to get it rolled over the filling, and as I keep rolling it just keep spreading the filling towards the other side.  In the end I did the best I could, cut the rolls and placed them in the pan for a second rise.  At one stage I did consider giving up and advising the group that I would have to sit this one out, but I am proud to say I persevered.

After baking I let them cool a little and then spread on the glaze - frosting fixes everything doesn't it? The rolls didn't turn out as bad as I thought they would, and my girls actually loved them. Personally, I thought they had a "yeasty" taste and there obviously wasn't enough filling inside them.  However, my girls love me (as much as I love them) and I wondered if they were just saying they liked them, but they came back for seconds.  And the icing on the cinnamon rolls, so to speak, is that it has been raining for a few days now so it was really hard In a few weeks time I plan on trying Cinnamon Rolls again, I mean we can only learn from our mistakes can't we?  So, if you have a great recipe for a beginner send it my way!

If you would like to know more about #TwelveLoaves and see what the others made for the Strawberry theme please scroll down below the recipe.

Balsamic Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Filling ~
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup strawberry jam
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic glaze
Dough ~
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, warm
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Glaze ~
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk or milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a small bowl add the sugar, jam, and the balsamic glaze; mix until well combined.
  2. Gently stir in the strawberries. Set aside.
Dough ~
  1. Whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. 
  2. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook, and with the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add ¼ cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.
  3. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 30 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  4. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish.
  5. After the 30 minute rise, preheat the oven to 350℉.
  6. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and press it into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle.
  7. Pour the strawberry filling in the center of the rolled out dough, and using an offset spatula or rubber spatula spread out the filling making sure to leave a ½-inch border along the top and bottom edges. 
  8. Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Gently stretch the log to be 18 inches in length with an even diameter all the way throughout and pat the ends to even them up.
  9. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls (or more if you like your rolls thinner). Arrange the rolls cut side down on the prepared baking pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  10. Bake or 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through but not overly browned.
  11. While the rolls are baking make the glaze.
  12. Drizzle the warm rolls with the glaze.
Glaze ~
  1. Mix the softened cream cheese and buttermilk together until smooth, add the vanilla and mix. 
  2. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth. 
  3. Let it sit for five minutes as it will thicken slightly, and the add additional milk or buttermilk one teaspoon at a time until desired glaze consistency is reached. It should be thick yet pourable.
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe (dough/ glaze) & Tierney Tavern (filling)

The theme for March #TwelveLoaves is Strawberries. In February we had a delicious month of Chocolate breads! We are ready for spring and chose Strawberries for our March theme!

To join in simply choose a recipe featuring strawberries (your bread of choice could be accented with fresh or dried strawberries, strawberry preserves), etc and whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with STRAWBERRIES. Let's get baking! If you are looking for inspiration check out all of the wonderful recipes below ~

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!
  1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
  2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
  3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2014, and posted on your blog by March 31, 2014. 

 #TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the fabulous Alice of Hip Foodie Mom.


  1. In Italian I would say: Slurp.
    Irresistible rolls.
    Great recipe.

  2. Oh my, these look so, so good. What a fantastic idea adding balsamic vinegar into the filling. Incredible!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

  3. Oh, my gosh, do these look incredible!!! I wish I had these for my breakfast today!!!

  4. yes, we are definitely chasing away those winter-time blues and bringing some sunshine into everyone's day today! love this month's theme .. Balsamic Strawberry Cinnamon rolls?!!! be still my heart. . can't wait to try these. . they look perfect and delicious!. . fixing your link now!

  5. Strawberry and Balsamic really are a match made in heaven - these sound entirely addictive! And I love that Ellen quote, I hadn't heard it before (saving it). :)

  6. Gorgeous buns, Felice! Personally, I love a yeasty tasting bread. I don't see a thing wrong with these!

  7. You had me at cinnamon rolls. I love the balsamic strawberry combo! I'm so curious about these. I'm going to save this for later and make some. I LOVE making cinnamon rolls!

  8. I HATE rolling out dough so I completely sympathize. But I bet I would have agreed with your daughters because I think these look really delicious!

  9. Sorry you had frustration along the way but I think these look great! And I love balsamic and strawberries together-- great idea!

  10. These look really good Felice! I'm sure you will perfect the rolling technique, but oven spring cures a lot!! I love the flavor combination!

  11. These sound heavenly...would you mind adding the balsamic vinegar and the amount to the glaze ingredients...Thanks!!

    1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. If you check the ingredient list for the filling the balsamic glaze is listed there.

  12. Aw, sorry you had issues with rolling the dough, but the end result looks pretty darned good. And I like the idea of combining strawberries and balsamic. Sometimes you don't need a ton of filling if it's flavorful!

  13. Oh I really understand your situation. Only after trying cinnamon rolls thrice, I got it right....almost. My biggest bottleneck is slicing the dough. The first time I made them, they weren't looking like rolls..more of a flat bread but you just need to keep trying and eventually you'll get there :) I always add balsamic vinegar when I make strawberry jam, this idea of youtrs is really worth trying!

  14. Felice, you always tempt me with your delicious baked goods! And yay for the cooler weather which means that I will definitely start baking more :D

  15. I think these rolls look fabulous. Whether they turned out as intended or not, the end result is what counts. And since your family enjoyed it then it was a success.

  16. Oh, my, goodness!! These buns looks simply fantastic. I haven't made rolls for my family in ages, but we do have strawberries everywhere now. And they would love these!
    No signs of spring? Do you get signs of spring? ;) It's full spring here!

  17. I just love the sound and look of your buns, yum.


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