Lemon Berry Sweet Buns

Things tend to lodge themselves in my head.

If you say a single line from that “Sexy and I Know it” song, or better yet, “Somebody that I Used to Know,” the song will be stuck on repeat in my brain for the rest of the day. Sometimes I’ll hear a word that I like, something that has a nice sound, and I’ll think that word over and over. Sometimes for days. Please tell me this happens to you.

Apartheid. Bungalow. Un parapluie.

It’s starting to happen already.

I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker this past winter, and I knew I had to have it. But then I had all this internal dilemma about do I want to try to find gross out-of-season berries? Or just use frozen? I know frozen berries are a perfectly acceptable substitution, but I felt like waiting until the start of berry season would not only be super delicious, but it would also be a warm, sweet, and fresh welcome to summer.

Aaand let me tell you, all those months of anticipation were worth it. These rolls were amazing. My mother doesn’t actually like lemon or berries, but the texture of the dough, light with just the slightest hint of lemon, was enough to entice her. The berry and lemon mixture oozed through the layers in this incredibly enticing way, slightly tart, but overall, just sweet enough to be awesome.

Bring on the sundresses and lemonade.

Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Gather up your ingredients. Pretty bowls get you extra points.

Dough! The texture of this dough was amaaazing. I never wanted to stop kneading it. Maybe I’ll make it into a pillow.

I mashed up the berries in the filling. Super juicy, but it covered the length of the dough better than leaving them whole.

Rolling and cutting is my favorite part. It’s a little hard and super messy, but have confidence! Totally worth it.

I may have let these rise an extra half hour. But hey, there are worse things than extra-puffy buns.

And there we are. Baked, glazed, and ready to be devoured! These are so huge they dwarf my spatula. All you need is an equally-massive ice-cold glass of milk and you’ll be set.

Lemon Berry Sweet Buns

(Very slightly adapted from Joy the Baker)

Dough:

1 cup 2% milk

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (That should be about two packets.)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, plus another 1/2 cup

Filling:

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

zest of one lemon

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted and slightly browned

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

For the dough, gently heat milk in a small saucepan to about 95 degrees. Stir the milk, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment in place. Let this mixture sit for 5-7 minutes, until bubbly and frothy. When the yeast is ready, add the softened butter, eggs, lemon extract, and salt, as well as the all-purpose flour and 2 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour. Stir together with paddle attachment on low speed for two minutes. After those two minutes, replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and beat for 10 more minutes. During this time, the dough will begin to come together nicely.

Spread the last 1/2 cup whole wheat flour over a clean, dry surface. Pour out the dough onto the bed of flour, and knead it into the still-sticky dough. This will take a couple of minutes, and you should still have a slightly tacky dough when you’re through. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, stir together the berries, cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon zest. Don’t be afraid to muddle your berries a little. It’ll make your situation messier, but also delicious.

Brown your butter, and let it cool slightly. Grease a 9×13 inch pan, and set it aside.

To roll your buns, begin by flouring a large, clean surface. Roll out your dough to a 10×20 inch rectangle. Spread your browned butter over the rectangle, then follow with the berry mixture. Roll up the dough on the long end like a spiral, making a 20-inch-long tube. Using a bench knife, or other sharp knife, cut the tube into quarters, then cut each quarter into thirds, making a total of 12 buns. Quickly and gently place the rolls in your prepared baking pan. Cover the buns with plastic wrap and a tea towel; let rest for one hour. (I did 1 1/2 hours, and they were a little too puffy.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake buns for 20-25 minutes, until dough is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool.

To make the glaze, stir together sugar, lemon juice, and water. Pour over cooled buns and consume heartily, preferably the same day. If you must store them, do so in an airtight container.

– – –

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Stay tuned for some talk about super awesome books later this week!

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