Overnight Lemon and Blueberry Rolls
Updated: May 27
Soft and fluffy rolls, oozing with zesty lemon flavour paired with mellow softness coming from blueberries.
In most recipes lemon flavour in the roll comes from the filling. Can it get any better? Yes it can. Here we are giving you a recipe for real lovers of true zesty flavours - lemon dough full of lemon flavour.
To get the flavour we are brewing cream with juice from two lemons, lemon zest and cardamom (which in this recipe is optional but highly recommended). Brewing lemon on small amount of cream allows rolls to remain fluffy (fat content) and in the same time keeps the zesty and light aroma intact. This is the first step. The second step is the overnight rest - in that time the lemon brew has a chance to infuse the dough with lemon flavour. Then, the filling - we are leaving blueberries to work its mellow and soft/warm magic - no need for additional zest in the filling. In this way you are getting two distinct flavours - one not overpowering the other.
All in all - airy, soft and full of zesty lemon flavour roll, filled with soft and sweet blueberries. All of this goodness is then topped up with lemon mascarpone frosting for double, zesty punch.
For a good bake here, brew cream with lemon zest and juice for some 30 minutes (to infuse zesty flavour). If you are using cardamom and you find it difficult to get already milled spice, mill cardamom seeds (which are way more aromatic) with small amount of sugar or small amount of flour. When proofing the yeast remember to mix with warm milk (38C). If you have never worked with yeast before you may find this post helpful. Make sure that all ingredients at first stage are mixed into the dough when warm or lukewarm. All that, together with some TLC while kneading will give you a good base for fluffy and airy lemon and blueberry rolls.
We recommend shaping rolls in the evening. Few adjustments are made to allow for that. Rather than creating a filling paste - we recommend brushing the dough with soft butter, applying sugar and then lightly sprinkling dough with flour. Blueberries are then gently tossed in sugar/flour mixture - when transferred to the cool place overnight this will prevent blueberries from letting the juice out and the dough from becoming too wet.
Once rolls are shaped, grease your baking tin generously with soft butter (this will give extra buttery, crunchy skin once baked). Leave the tray in the cool place (anywhere <5C) tightly covered (you don't want yeast to dry out) with cling film or dry kitchen towel. Second rise in the morning is really important for a good bake here. Our quick trick is to preheat oven to 175C for 1-2 minutes, vent the oven and place covered tray for 20 minutes in the warm (not hot!) oven to allow for the second rise. Then take out the rolls, preheat oven and bake.
We love baking with yeast. Check out our other recipes for quick and flavourful rolls:
Overnight Lemon and Blueberry Rolls Recipe
Yield: 12 rolls
Time: 30 minutes prep + 1hr rest + 10 min shaping + overnight rest + 20min rest in the morning + 20-25 min baking
To infuse lemon flavour:
- 1/2 cup (125ml) cream (18% or 36%)
- 1/3 cup (70g) white granulated sugar
- 3 cardamom pods (seeds) or 1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
- lemon zest from 2 lemons (approx. 2 Tbsps)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) clear lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
For yeast proofing:
- 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
- 2 Tbsps (30g) white granulated sugar
- 1 pack (7g) active dry yeast or 25g bulk active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp (10g) flour
For the dough:
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 3 and 1/2 cups* (525g) all-purpose flour + 1-2 Tbsps (20g) for kneading
- 1/4 tsp salt
*cup = 250ml cup
For blueberry filling:
- 80g unsalted butter softened (+20g to grease the baking form)
- 1/2 cup (100g) white granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 3 Tbsps (30g) all-purpose flour
- 600g blueberries
For lemon mascarpone frosting:
- 250g mascarpone
- 2-4 tsps milk
- 2-4 tsps clear lemon juice
- 4 Tbsps (60g) white granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar
1. Infuse lemon flavour: In a small pot mix cream with sugar, cardamom (if using), lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to boil stirring occasionally. Take off the heat once boiled and cover tightly - set aside for 30 minutes (in that time the mixture will brew and infuse lemon flavour; you will use lukewarm).
2. Proof the yeast: Mix sugar with milk and warm up to 38C, make sure sugar is fully dissolved. Add dry yeast to the mixture or if you work with active dry yeast mix it with 25ml warm milk until smooth consistency is achieved and then add to the mixture. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon flour on top (don't mix). Cover with cling film or dry kitchen towel and leave in warm place for 15 minutes. After that time you should see the yeast foaming and bubbling up. If you don't, repeat the step.
3. Prepare the dough: Melt butter and set aside to cool. Add egg to warm (not hot) melted butter (you want this mixture to be lukewarm when adding to the dough). Sift flour and salt into the large bowl. The bowl should be big enough to let the dough double in volume. Add lukewarm butter/egg mixture, lukewarm lemon cream (from Step 1) and yeast mixture (from Step 2). Mix all ingredients until combined then knead the dough until it’s elastic, soft and pulls away from your hand (10-12 minutes). Kneading here is simply patting the dough, remembering to turn the bowl every so often to aerate the dough from every side. If the dough is too loose add more flour but just 1-2 Tablespoons and after some 8-10 minutes into kneading (too much flour will result in hard buns). If you work with stand mixer - mix on low-medium speed for 12 minutes (add 1-2 Tbsps flour after 10 minutes of kneading). Once the dough is formed sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of flour on top and cover with cling film or dry kitchen towel, place for 1 hour in a warm place to let the yeast work its magic. The dough should double in size. When ready, lightly punch the dough (degas) and transfer to lightly floured work surface.
4. Shape rolls: Roll out the dough into 1cm thick rectangle. Brush rectangle with softened butter and sprinkle sugar mixed with cardamom on top. Sift 3 Tablespoons of flour on top of sugar - distributing flour evenly. Add blueberries and toss lightly in the flour/sugar mixture. Roll the dough into tight log. Cut the log into 12 rolls. Brush baking tray with soft butter. Be generous with it as it will add lovely buttery flavour to your buns. Place 12 buns in the baking tray leaving 2-3cm space between each roll. Cover tightly with the cling film (yeast buns will dry if not covered properly). Leave in the cool place overnight (you can leave it for up to 12-14 hours).
5. Bake: Once you are ready to bake, bring the buns from the cool place and allow to rest in the room temperature for 30 minutes (covered with the cling film), or transfer to warm oven for 2nd rest. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 180C or until the tops are golden in colour. Once baked take out to cool, let the rolls rest for 30 minutes before applying Lemon Mascarpone Frosting.
6. Frosting: On low speed mix mascarpone with sugar, then add milk and lemon juice - mix for few seconds until combined. Apply on cooled rolls.
1. Before baking the rolls you may find this post on Working with Yeast helpful.
Jazz it up:
1. Zest - you may opt to use lemon, orange, blood orange, grapefruit zest and juice keeping same proportions as in the recipe and replacing juice used in mascarpone frosting with the same as used in the dough.