Turkey, cranberry and stuffing rolls

After the success of my festive alfajores in round one of the Plymouth Chamber bake off, the pressure was on for week two, when three people would be eliminated from the competition.

The theme was bread – the aspect f baking I’m least experienced in and least confident about. Great!

I had quite a lot of ideas, and couldn’t decide whether to go sweet or savoury. The sweet option, white chocolate, cranberry and marzipan sweet rolls, went down well with all my taste testers, but the savoury option got the majority of the votes, so that’s what I went for.

I used the dough from this recipe as I knew it worked well, and took inspiration for the filling from a Paul Hollywood recipe – cooked turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, and my own additions of edam cheese and black pepper.

My favourite aspect of this bake was definitely the presentation – arranged in a Christmas tree shape with a ribbon tied around the base, so festive and cute!

Although I wasn’t at all confident when I dropped these off for judging, I needn’t have worried – not only did they get me through to round three, but I was actually awarded Star Baker! Amazing!

These are so perfect to make with leftovers from your Christmas dinner, they’d make the ideal boxing day lunch. Try them, and maybe your family will even give you Star Baker status too… 😉

Turkey, cranberry and stuffing rolls (adapted from here and here)

Makes 12 rolls (with some dough leftover)

  • 450g plain flour
  • 14g sachet dried yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 250ml milk
  • 55g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 150g cranberry sauce
  • 150g cooked turkey, shredded
  • 100g cooked sage and onion stuffing, broken up
  • 20g edam cheese, finely chopped or grated
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix together half the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk to a lukewarm temperature, then add into the dry ingredients with the eggs and butter. Stir to combine all the ingredients, then add in the rest of the flour a bit at a time, until the dough forms a ball that leaves the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for about five minutes, until springy, then spray the bowl with cooking spray, put the dough back in, cover and leave to rise for at least an hour until doubled in size.

When risen, knock the dough back, give it a quick knead, and then leave for a second rising, for another hour until doubled again.

Turn the proofed dough out onto a floured surface and knead quickly. You only need 2/3 of the dough, so keep the rest wrapped in clingfilm and use for something else (I made cinnamon rolls!)

Roll the dough into a rectangle 12″ long and 9″ high. Spread the cranberry sauce all over, then evenly distribute the turkey, stuffing and cheese, then finish with a little black pepper. Roll up the dough from one of the long sides, keeping it as tight as you can, until you have a long roll of dough with all the filling rolled up inside.

Slice the roll into 12 1″ pieces with a sharp knife – try not to press down too hard so they don’t lose their shape.

Place 11 of the rolls on a large baking tray arranged in a triangle shape, with one extra at the base, leaving a couple of centimetres between them. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise again, this time for about 45 minutes. Once risen, bake at 200 degrees for 25 minutes until risen and golden on top. Brush with melted butter straight away, then eat hot or leave to cool.


Apple, marzipan and chocolate rolls

Time has really gotten away with me this month, and of all the baking challenges I had hoped to take part in, Random Recipes, hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen, is the only one I’ve actually gotten around to baking for – I’m hoping April will be a bit less hectic, but I have a rather strong suspicion it will be just the same!


The theme for this month’s RR is one of my favourites – cuttings, memories and clippings. I rarely delve into my cuttings so it’s always good to get a bit of a nudge, so I dutifully handed over a stack to the pony and asked him to choose.

I’m never entirely certain how random his selections are, but the spiced apple rolls he picked, from an old Waitrose Seasons magazine, certainly appealed to me to bake and to him to eat.

I did alter the recipe a little, swapping raisins for chocolate and omitting the spice, but I think that’s ok because in the RR rules it does state that you can alter the recipe for dietary requirements, and as far as the pony is concerned keeping his chocolate intake up is a necessity rather than just a desire…

The dough seemed a little on the dry side when I was kneading it, but it rose well, made it easy to roll, and baked up lovely and fluffy, so it may well be a recipe I end up going back to in the future. It also seemed like too much apple when I was trying to roll them, but they held together once baked and all the apple juice that came out in the cooking helped to keep the rolls soft and moist.

The flavour combination worked really well – I’m not the biggest fan of apples and chocolate together but in this, with the marzipan, it all came together, and the pony said they would be perfect for his breakfasts this week, so all in all a success!

Thanks Dom for encouraging me to bake from my cuttings selection, and apologies to all the other challenge hosts who I haven’t been able to bake for this month – I will try harder next month, I promise!

Apple, marzipan and chocolate rolls (adapted from a Waitrose Seasons magazine recipe)

  • 350g strong plain flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 7g fast action dried yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100g butter
  • 75ml (ish) warm water
  • 2 apples (I used Golden Delicious)
  • 200g marzipan, chopped
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped
  • icing sugar to dust

Mix together the flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre and add the egg. Melt the butter in a heatproof measuring jug, then add enough water to bring the total volume of liquid up to 175ml. Pour this into the well with the egg, then stir it all together using a metal spoon until the mixture forms a rough dough. Turn it out onto your work surface, and knead for a good 10 minutes, then place back in the bowl, cover, and leave to rise for about an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.

Once risen, knock back the dough and roll out into a rectangle roughly 50cm long, 15cm tall. Peel,core, and dice the apples, then scatter over the dough with the chopped chocolate and marzipan, making sure they’re all spread out evenly, right the way down the length of the dough but leaving a 1cm border along the top and bottom (long edges) of the dough.

Roll up the dough from one of the long edges, into a long sausage shape, then cut into 9 equal pieces. Place the rolls in an 8×8″ square tin (greased if it’s metal, mine was silicon so I didn’t bother) and leave to rise for another 30 minutes – 1 hour, until risen again. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out onto a serving plate, dust with icing sugar, and serve warm.

Chocolate chip sticky buns

After the success of feeding the pony cheese and leek rolls for breakfast, I decided a sweet version needed to be made – and when I saw these incredible looking chocolate chip sticky buns on An American Cupcake in London, I had to make them straight away.

These rolls have a quadruple chocolate hit – chocolate sugar inside, chocolate chips inside, chocolate glaze, and more chocolate chips sprinkled on top.

The dough was great and turned out light and fluffy, and the chocolatey-ness pleased the pony (although I think I’m a bit of a traditionalist and would choose cinnamon rolls if they were for me). I found the quantity of chocolate sugar quite a lot, so I kept half back for the glaze which worked out well.

The recipe says it makes six rolls, but I made eight and they were still rather sizeable, and I reckon you could probably go up to ten and still get a decent size – depends how hungry you get at breakfast I guess!

Chocolate chip sticky buns (adapted from An American Cupcake in London)

Makes 6-10 rolls

For the dough

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 14g fast action dried yeast
  • 125ml warm water
  • 125ml milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 480g plain flour

Sprinkle the yeast and 1 tsp sugar into the warm water and leave to proof for 10 minutes. Heat the milk and 50g sugar in a suacepan, then add in the butter and salt. In a large bowl, measure out 180g of the flour and stir in the yeast water, milk mixture and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon and gradually add the rest of the flour until it comes together into a soft dough, knead for 5 minutes then leave in a warm place to proof for an hour and a half.

For the filling and glaze

  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 135g light brown sugar
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • 120g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

Once the dough has risen, knock back then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 20″ by 16″. Spread about 50g of the butter all over the dough, then mix the cocoa and sugar together and sprinkle half on top of the butter, then scatter 3/4 of the chocolate chips over that. Roll up from one of the shorter ends of the rectangle, finishing with the seam underneath, then cut into 1″ wide slices and place on a greased baking tray, with a bit of space in between.

Leave for another hour to rise again. Make the glaze by heading the remaining sugar and cocoa mix, butter and golden syrup in a saucepan until everything has melted, then pour on top of the rolls.

Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until well risen and springy to the touch. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top, and serve warm.




Cheese and herb knotted rolls

For some reason, whenever I know the next thing I’m posting is savoury, I find it takes a lot longer to get around to writing it.

I don’t know if it’s just because I find sweet baking more interesting, or if it’s because the pictures I take of bread aren’t very good, but I just don’t seem to find it as exciting… does anyone else have this problem?!

Don’t let that put you off making these bread rolls though, they were actually really good!

I adapted Paul Hollywood’s basic dough recipe for bread rolls, then added in cheddar cheese, basil and parsley – purely because they’re what I have growing in my window at the minute, I’m sure any fresh herbs would be good.

I twisted them into knots to try and make them look a bit more exciting, which I think worked – a bit?!

Cheese and herb knotted rolls (recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood’s 100 Great Breads)

  • 250g strong white flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 30g butter
  • 15g yeast
  • 150ml water
  • 50g cheddar, grated
  • handful fresh herbs

Mix all the ingredients, apart from the cheese and herbs, in a bowl until all the flour has been combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise for an hour.

After an hour, knock the dough back and knead in the cheese and herbs. Divide into 6 equal sized pieces, then stretch each out into a long sausage shape. Tie each piece into a rough knot shape.

Place the knots on a baking tray, lined with foil and dusted with flour. Leave to rise again for another hour, then bake for 20 minutes at 220 degrees, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Cinnamon rolls – Fresh From the Oven

As much as I love to bake, yeasted products are not my forte.

I’ve only started baking my own bread in the past year, and to be honest I just don’t find it as exciting as sweet baking so I don’t do it as often.

I’ve decided that in order to be a more rounded baker, I need to focus a little more effort on breads and yeasted goods. For that reason, this month I joined Fresh From The Oven, a blogging group baking their way through the world of breads, one loaf at a time.

The October challenge was cinnamon rolls – a nice easy one to ease me into it!?!

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with sweet yeasted rolls, so I followed the recipe to the letter, apart from substituting sultanas for apples as i had a glut to use up.

Every stage of the process was completely new to me, and as with all breads it was rather time consuming – but well worth the effort!

The icing on top is a stroke of genius – they make the rolls sticky, sweet and moist, and help to keep them fresher for longer.

All in all, I think that for my first Fresh From The Oven challenge I did a pretty good job – the photos don’t do them justice!

You can find the original recipe for cinnamon rolls at Things We Make – give it a go!

Soft bread rolls

So occasionally, I bake something that isn’t sweet. Bit of a shocker I know, but no one can live on cakes alone, except maybe the friendly pony.

For some reason I never make my own bread. I know it’s not complicated, but I don’t eat it that often and it seems like quite a lot of effort when there are really delicious breads you can buy.

Last weekend however, I had a bit of time to kill so I decided instead of buying rolls I would make them. I was making some spicy bean burgers, so I wanted a really soft burger style roll for them to go in.

A searched around for a recipe and settled on this one. I followed it to the letter so not much point copying out the recipe here, but the resulting dough was VERY wet and sticky, and there was absolutely no way I could kneed it.

I ended up adding in at least another 1/2 cup of flour, if not more. I think because of this the rolls I ended up with weren’t quite as soft as the recipe intended, but for a first attempt I was pretty happy.

The only other thing I did different was brushing them with a little melted butter as soon as they came out of the oven, which gave them a nice glaze and  supposedly helps to keep them soft.

These rolls are definitely best on the day you make them, although the next day they were revitalised with a few minutes back in the oven.

I definitely think I need to experiment more with bread so hopefully more recipes to come!