It's about time to get ready for Valentine's day! There is no better gift than the one you made with your hands. Today I am going to make heart shaped sweet rolls. Of course one can bake heart shaped rolls and eat them all year around - really there is no reason to make it just for a special holiday.
You can make heart shaped rolls using your favorite bread dough, pizza dough or just by following the recipe below to make the dough. You will need approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to make the dough following the recipe below. Making the dough and baking the rolls takes approximately 2.5 - 3 hours. Plan accordingly!
Measurement: 1 cup = 250 ml
Ingredients for the dough (enough to make about 12 - 20 rolls):
2 -3 cups of all purpose flour;
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil;
1 cup of warm whole milk;
1/3 tablespoon of salt;
4 tablespoons of sugar;
1/5 cup of warm water;
1 pocket of active dry yeast;
Ingredients for stuffing:
2 tablespoons of melted butter;
or apple (preferably green sour)
or your favorite jam;
or any other stuffing of your choice.
(Just for the records) I use whole milk from "Whole foods" store.
Extra large eggs, unsalted butter, unbleached all purpose flour, apple and organic jam from "Trader Joe's" store. "Wesson" canola oil from "Stop and Shop" store. And "Hodgson Mill" active dry yeast I got from Amazon.com
You will need some basic kitchen items to make the dough and to bake the rolls.
Warm one cup of whole milk.
Get 1/5 cup of warm water. I like to use disposable plastic cup for the yeast - after all it's 1 cup less for me to wash ;)
Mix active dry yeast with 1/5 cup of warm water.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the yeast.
Mix yeast and let it rise. For healthy yeast it should take about 10 -15 minutes in a warm place to rise double in size.
In the mean time, beat 1 egg in a large bowl.
Add warm milk to the egg and mix it.
Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the mixture of egg and milk. Beat all thoroughly.
Add 1/3 tablespoon of salt and mix it.
Add 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the mixture. Mix all thoroughly.
By this time the yeast should double or triple the initial volume and reach the brim of the plastic cup. That is the right time to add the yeast and mix it with egg-milk-sugar-salt-oil mixture.
Add one cup of flour and mix it.
Then add the second cup of flour and mix it thoroughly.
You can add the third cup of flour or less (use less flour to make softer dough) and mix it.
Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until it double the volume. It should take about one hour. The top of a preheated oven fills as warm place.
You have about 1 hour of free time to read (or listen to) Russian classic poetry sure it helps to impress people and even wins her heart. Alternatively you can learn how to make balloon animals, balloon hearts and flowers of balloons It all makes a nice addition to your Valentine's day gift - adventure. It is also the proper time to prepare stuffing for the rolls. For example we can make rolls with apple. Any apple will do, though green sour apple probably would be the best. Cut the apple on four parts. Peel the skin and remove the core. Then cut the apple on even smaller parts as you like. Note: I prefer to cut apple instead of shredding it. Shredded apples lose a lot of juice :(
Also, I would like to make rolls with butter and sugar. We have to melt about 2 tablespoons of butter. Just cut the butter on pieces and put it in plate. Rest the plate with butter on top of the oven right next to the bowl with dough. It would take about 10 - 15 minutes for butter to melt.
Spread some vegetable oil over the baking sheet.
Spread vegetable oil over the table where you are going to work with dough. Rub some oil on your hands as well. Also, you can use a bit of flour instead of oil. We need it to prevent dough from sticking to the table and to your hands.
In this example, it took about one hour for the dough to double in volume.
Put the dough from the bowl on the table (the table is covered with oil or flour).
Shape the dough in one long sausage.
Cut the dough into 12 - 20 pieces. Try to make them all about the same size.
Make sure your hands and your work space on the table are covered with either oil or some flour. Flatten one piece of dough at a time. Make it a round shape about 3 - 5 millimeters thin.
Spread the stuffing over a flattened piece of the dough. In this example I am going to stuff the roll with melted butter and sugar. First I brush some melted butter using my fingers (you can use a brush for this purpose) over the flattened piece of dough.
Then sprinkle up to one teaspoon of sugar on top of flattened piece.
Roll flattened piece of dough.
Fold the roll in half bringing together open ends of the roll. Pinch open ends of the roll to make them stick together.
Use a knife to cut the folded end of the roll starting about 1/4 (1/3) away from the pinched ends of the roll, parallel with its longest side.
The pinched open ends of the roll stays uncut.
Unfold the cut in opposite directions. You have made a heart shape roll!
Previously we already covered the baking sheet with some oil. Otherwise you should do it before you put any rolls on the baking sheet. Place the heart shaped rolls on the baking sheet at least 3 cm apart from each other. Bake the rolls about 10 minutes (or until they get nice gold-brown color) in 450 F preheated oven. Here is easy mental trick to convert F to C. Subtract 30 and then divide the result by 2. For example: 450 F - 30 = 420 ; 420/2 = 210 C (this way it's faster than googling it :) You can convert C to F work it in reverse order ;) Each oven is a bit different, so the actual baking time may differ.
In this example I am going to stuff rolls with apple. You may brush the flattened piece of dough with melted butter or do it without butter. Spread some of the cut apple evenly in the middle of the flattened piece of dough. Keep the apple about 1 cm away from the edge.
Then roll the flattened piece and cut it with a knife in the same way as described above. Unfold the cut in opposite directions.
In the following example I am going to stuff the rolls with a jam. Just spread about one teaspoon of your favorite jam in the middle of a flattened piece of dough. Keep the jam about 1 cm away from the edge. Note: it's better to use less jam to avoid spilling the jam while baking the rolls.
Roll the flattened piece, fold and cut it as described above.
It's always better to put rolls of different size or with different stuffing on separate baking sheets. However, in this example I put rolls stuffed with apple and jam on one baking sheet. Well, sooner or later they are going to be mixed in my belly anyway :))
While I was making the second batch of rolls, the first batch of 4 rolls (2 with apple and two with butter-sugar) got baked.
Remove rolls while they are hot from the baking sheet to a plate.
I use two baking trays at the same time. However, the baking time is slightly different for the tray in the middle and the tray at the top of the oven.
I like to make rolls more golden than brown color. Here is an example of butter-sugar roll.
And the back side of the roll should be about the same gold.
Here is an example of apple roll.
And here is example of jam roll.
Let rolls cool about 10 or more minutes before you serve them. In big family eat fast or stay hungry!
Have fun and happy baking :)