Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Lemon Blueberry Extravaganza!!!

I was supposed to see Kingdom play today, but I couldn't. I've been internet buds with the lead singer Davin for... four years now? but we still have yet to meet. I've said that I'd be at 563489797 of their shows (with treats!), but every time - EVERY TIME - something comes up. Like last month, Kingdom was playing my hometown; and I arranged a place for them to stay and everything, but instead of seeing them play I... moved to Georgia. Yeah, it's absurd shit like that, that keeps me from going. This week, my grandma died.

Now, there's nothing like a death to throw off your week. I had to scramble like a mad woman to get all of my school work done so I could pay my respects. We're talking three days of no sleep that included my seven-hour drive and her Catholic funeral service. "Exhausting" would be an understatement. Then I made the seven-hour drive back to Georgia, which made my neck and back cramp so bad, I arrived in Savannah with my first migraine(!) ready to throw up. I rested a few hours, then started baking in preparation for the show, but the thought of spending another eight hours in the car straight up killed me. I still haven't fully processed what this event (my grandma's passing) means to me; my back and neck are still in pain; and when I sat down to be a responsible adult today (i.e. bill pay, budget, etc), the gas money wasn't in my finances. So I didn't go, and I was stuck with all these rolls. (Campus security guards sure were well-fed today...)

Every time I miss a show, I think I have a very good excuse, but I had sworn - vehemently sworn - I would definitely be there this time. I was very much looking forward to it, in fact! Alas, a flakey-mcflakester again. To make up for my absence, I decided to make them a pretty low-tech tutorial on how to make the dessert I engineered for them. It's at the end of the post.

Before getting to that, though, I wanted to give an update on my goal progress. Even though my eating habits and activity levels have improved, I haven't stuck to my plan perfectly. However, I am temporarily abandoning it for reasons I hope to reveal in about a month. I don't mean to sound cryptic, but it won't make sense until I can elaborate on it... in about a month (if what I'm doing is successful, that is).

Definitely read the instructions, too. They're more precise and accurate. Also, for the record, I don't have a lisp. It's something about how my camera picks up sound.

+ 3/4 c soymilk
+ 1/4 c Earth Balance
+ 1 lemon (just the zest)*
+ 3 1/4 c flour
+ 1 package instant yeast
+ 1/4 c sugar
+ 1/4 c plus 2 T water
+ 2 T cornstarch
+ salt

+ 1/2 c Earth Balance (ROOM TEMPERATURE)
+ 1 - 1 1/2 c frozen blueberries
+ 1/2 c sugar

01. Pour the soymilk into a small saucepan, and bring it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Immediately remove the soymilk from the burner (if you don't, it will scald, and that's bad), and add the Earth Balance. Stir it around a little bit so it melts, and then set aside.

02. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup of flour with the lemon zest, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the soymilk/EB mixture, making sure it's still warm as this is what activates the yeast. Then add the water and cornstarch, and stir until the mixture is just combined. Add another 1/2 cup of flour, stir to combine, and repeat with the final 1/2 cup. Then gently knead the dough for about five minutes. All the ingredients should be well-combined, with a texture that's soft but stretchy with a very smooth quality. Drape your mixing bowl with a damp cloth, and set it aside to rise for ten minutes. It's not going to rise noticeably, but it will rise.

03. When you come back, roll your dough out into a really nice rectangle, roughly 12" x 9". Try as best you can to maintain that rectangle shape because it will make it easier when you make it into a log. Spread the Earth Balance from corner to corner like you're spreading it across a piece of toast, and then sprinkle on your blueberries and sugar.** Gently roll the dough into that log shape as tight as you can get it, being careful not to let any blueberries escape, making a clean seam, and pinching the ends shut. Using your best all-purpose knife, slice up the roll in clean, quick slices. (In the video, I say the slices should be about a half-inch thick, but it's probably more like an inch.) Arrange your rolls in a greased up pan, like a lasagna dish or cake pan. Make sure you leave some space between each roll, as they're going to rise more and will need that space. Then drape them with a wet cloth again, and set them aside someplace warm (but not hot) to rise some more for about thirty minutes.

04. At some point during that thirty minutes, turn your oven to 375˚. When the rolls have finished rising (they should be about doubled in size; if they didn't double, it means you didn't activate your yeast properly, but it's not a big deal. Your rolls won't be quite as fluffy as you might hope/expect, but you can go ahead and bake them anyway), pop them in the oven for twenty minutes. Then remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy.

* One of my roommates complained that these weren't lemon-y enough. I thought the flavor was fine, especially with how the blueberries made them pop, but to each their own. Here are two ways to deal with this: (1) going in, if you know you want a profound lemon flavor, use the zest of two lemons instead of one; (2) if you make them and decide, yeah, my roommate is right, mix the juice from your zested lemon with some powdered sugar and soymilk to make a lemon-y glaze, then drizzle it all over your rolls. Scrumptious and photogenic.
** I created this recipe just this week, so it still needs some engineering. Obviously, whole blueberries make both eating and assembly difficult, so perhaps mashing them up a little before rolling the dough might be an option. If anyone tries this, let me know.

You can expect roughly twelve to fifteen rolls from this recipe.


  1. I'm really sorry to read that your grandmother passed away.

    It's interesting that you write about Kingdom, my boyfriend and I offered our house to them for the night when they were in Denver. They were real nice, sorry you didn't get to see them!

    Your rolls look amazing!!

  2. Sorry you had such a tough week, hope things are better this week! The rolls look yummy!