I have adapted this recipe from a relative, who is from Bavaria-- just like my mom was. This is similar to Hot Cross Buns, because this is a sweet dough. The difference is that you fill the center with jam. Fresh, out of the oven, these are such a wonderful treat! I love the sweet "crunchiness" of the sugar, at the bottom of each roll. Great childhood memories for me.
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com
cups flour, plus ¼ cup flour (if needed)
cup vanilla sugar*
large eggs, room temperature
cup milk, warmed
stick unsalted butter, divided)
tsp apricot preserves (or your choice)
For the bottom of the baking pan:
stick unsalted butter, melted
cup sugar (to dip unbaked rolls into)
I buy Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar, or you can make your own with a vanilla bean pod. Anytime you use a vanilla bean pod, save it and sit it in with a jar of sugar.
Heat the milk no more than 105F. I use rapid rise yeast, that I like to proof by adding half the vanilla sugar with the warmed milk--allow to become foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Otherwise, if using instant yeast, you can skip this and add it right into the dry ingredients. I also use my stand-mixer with a dough hook for mix the dough, or you can also use a bread machine. Otherwise, do as our grandparents did, and mix by hand. Standmixer directions: Add the dry ingredients, and add yeast (I use rapid rise) Add the warm milk, eggs and melted butter to dry ingredients, mix until combined. The dough should come "clean" from the mixing bowl, so add additional flour if necessary (one tablespoon at a time). Knead for about five minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, over and let rise for about an hour (if using instant yeast, this might take a bit longer) Spray a glass square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F. Add the remaining melted butter and sugar to the bottom of the pan, and whisk to combine. Dump the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times by folding the dough over, turn in half, press with the heels of your hands, folder over and repeat a few times. Pull each piece of dough into a circle (doesn't have to be perfect). Spoon one teaspoon of jam-- be careful not to overfill). Grab a corner and pull over the jam, and do this until the jam is covered. Grab the corners and lightly twist to seal. Dip each roll into the butter/sugar mixture as you place it into the pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Optional: Melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter and brush onto the baked rolls. Best served slightly warm. Store in an airtight container, but do not refrigerate.