Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 24 buns
These morning buns could easily double as dessert. They are fluffy, gooey, buttery, and beyond delicious. There’s a lot of butter in this recipe, making it a special occasion treat, but I hope you’ll find a space for these rolls on your Easter brunch table. They definitely belong in the spotlight.
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups milk minus 2 tablespoons, room temperature
2/3 cup cold shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 cups flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for after baking
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
7 ounces almond paste, frozen until firm and then grated with hand grater
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
2-3 tablespoons milk (to thin to drizzling consistency)
Note: I don’t recommend halving yeast recipes; instead, if you don’t want 24 rolls at once, consider freezing some for later. To freeze some of the unbaked rolls, just wrap them well before the second rise and freeze them. Once frozen, pop them out of the pan all together and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zip top bag or wrapped in foil. When you want to bake them, stick them back in a greased pan, thaw them in the fridge overnight, proof for the instructed amount of time, and bake like usual.
Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam for about 10 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and then add milk up to the 2 cup line. Set this aside. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas. Stir yeast mixture and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes with cooking spray. Turn the chilled dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (I carefully cut the dough in half and worked with half at a time to make it more manageable; if you do this, just spread on half of the filling ingredients for each half you roll). Stir the coconut extract into the melted butter; then spread the melted butter all over the top of the dough. Sprinkle on the sugar, sweetened coconut, and almond paste flakes. Gently roll the dough up into a spiral and cut it into rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dishes (at this point, you could wrap and freeze the rolls for later if you wanted).
Cover the rolls with a clean dish cloth and let them rise in a warm spot until they’ve nearly doubled, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes or until browned on top (if you take them out at just lightly golden brown, they may still be doughy in the center). Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute. Whisk together the glaze ingredients (adding milk to get it to drizzling consistency) and drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls. Serve immediately.