Sweet and Tasty Strawberry Rolls

Over the last several years, I have practiced and practiced the yeast rolls that my Mema makes.  She has been making them for years and they are a recipe she found in a cookbook a long time ago.  I've been told she is not allowed in the front door of any family gathering without them.  

My Mom and I have both tried to make them like hers for a long time.  My Mom told me the trick is to take the same dough and make them as cinnamon rolls.  It's the best way to practice.  That is what I do often.  I love cinnamon rolls.  This past Friday, I decided I wanted to experiment a little more.  I wanted to take that same roll base and try different fillings.  My first thought was it's almost Valentine's Day so why not a strawberry filling.  That is exactly what I did and they were wonderful!

Making the roll base is the most time consuming part.  Why?  Well, they are yeast rolls and yeast has to rise.  Most of you probably checked out at that point because who has time to wait for yeast to rise.   I use the Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast packets.

Roll Ingredients
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not too hot or the yeast won't rise)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup Crisco (I've used the original and the butter flavor)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup hot water
3 cups self rising flour

Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar in the 1/4 cup of warm water.  I typically do this in a juice glass so I can watch it rise.  It takes mine about 10 minutes.  It helps if it's near warmth.  I normally set mine on top of the stove under the light.  While this is rising, I mix together the Crisco, sugar, and egg.  Then stir in the cup of hot water.  Then stir in your dissolved yeast.  Once all of that is mixed, stir in 3 cups of self-rising flour.  Self-rising flour is different than All Purpose flour.  It already has the salt and baking powder mixed in.  That is a very important distinction.  Once the flour is stirred in, let it sit.  I will stick my bowl in the oven turned off with the light on to rise until it doubles in size (about 2 hours).  At this point, press the dough down.  My Mom will do all of those steps at night typically and then put her dough in the fridge overnight.  This helps to make the dough not so sticky when you roll out.  I typically forget to make mine at night so I've yet to try this.  

Now, let's roll out the dough.  This is where the fun begins.  For cinnamon rolls, now is when you would roll it out and spread a butter and cinnamon sugar mixture on it.  However, I opted for about a cup of strawberry jelly this time.   Roll everything up into a log shape and then slice.  I put the sliced rolls in a two pans.  Normally for me it's a 9x13 pan and a round cake pan.  You want to give the rolls  space so they can rise but not too much space.  Put them back in the oven under the light to rise for two more hours.  

We can finally bake them now!!  I tend to bake mine at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until they are slightly browned.  If you want to freeze them, just bake them for about 10-15 minutes to get them set and then you can freeze them and bake them off at a later time.  I top mine with a simple glaze.  The glaze is simply a cup or two of powdered sugar, a few splashes of vanilla extract and a little water.  I never measure this because some times you want it thin and sometimes a little thicker.  I would start with a few tablespoons of water and just add more until it's the consistency you want.  


 This is rolled out with the jelly spread all over. 

 Hooray, two hours of rising complete!

All baked and slightly browned.

Glazed and time to sample the warm strawberry roll.