I ate the most amazing sweet roll on my recent Alaska trip. We had the good fortune of stumbling upon the cutest little bakery in Girdwood. The amazingly beautiful begonias caught our attention and we decide to stop and get a treat.
The Bake Shop is charming and the owner, Stefanie, is even more charming. We asked her about her amazing flowers – things grow big in Alaska. She grows the flowers in a greenhouse until it’s warm enough to put them outside. Then she loving tends them with plenty of Miraclegro.
She tends to her customers with the same loving care and treated us to her fabulous sweet rolls. The huge fluffy rolls are topped with jam and sliced almonds.
After indulging, I decided I had to have the recipe and Stefanie was gracious enough to email it to me. The original recipe made a giant pan of sweet rolls and I downsized it and made one quarter of the recipe.
The dough was pillow soft and easy to work with. I just pressed out the dough with my hands into a rectangle and didn’t even need to use a rolling pin.
I didn’t have the anise seed or mace called for in the original recipe, so I subsitute a finely ground star anise and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. I also substituted (since I was serving them for the 4th of July) dried cherries for the raisins and black cherry jam for the raspberry jam.
They baked up so light and fully and the tart cherries were a nice contrast to the sweet cherry jam. The rolls were just as good as I remembered. My family loved them.
The only thing I would do differently next time is roll the dough out thinner, in more of a square shape, so that there are more thin, delicious layers like the fabulous sweet rolls at The Bake Shop.
- 3/4 cup warm water (about 110º)
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour, divided
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup powdered milk
- 1 star anise, finely ground
- 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons - 1 stick) butter, room temperature, divided
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, diced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup black cherry jam
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Whisk together warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar and set aside.
- Mix 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, powdered milk, anise, and nutmeg in stand mixer fitted with a beater blade. Turn machine to low and add 6 tablespoons butter, eggs and yeast mixture.
- After the liquids are incorporated, switch to the dough hook, and gradually add the remaining flour (add more or less as necessary) until dough clings to the hook and almost cleans the sides. Knead until the dough is smooth and just slightly sticky, 6 to 7 minutes. Knead in dried cherries the last minute.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
- While dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in bowl.
- Remove dough from bowl, and pat into a 16 inch square. Spread 2 tablespoons melted butter evenly over dough and sprinkle on brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Using dental floss or knife, cut dough into 12 pieces.
- Place each roll cut side up in a greased 13 x 9 pan. Top each roll with a teaspoon or two of jam and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake uncovered, 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- For the glaze: whisk powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm sweet rolls.