In her biweekly column, A Shared Tradition, CIA grad and amateur food historian Molly Siegler cruises around the world (and into the depths of her pantry) to explore the versatility of a single food item.
This week: Molly takes a tour of sweet, yeast-risen treats.
Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs (photo by Nicole Franzen)
My most spectacular (and embarrassing) kitchen disasters have always revolved around sweet rolls. It must be my overly enthusiastic anticipation of the treats. My mom passed along a luscious orange roll recipe last summer that I accidentally drowned in orange juice -- a slight miscalculation. A recipe from my mother-in-law met with a similar fate and quickly morphed from the intended delightful lemon shortcake with blueberry filling to a terrifying and enormous Smurf cake (a little direction-following mishap).
Oh, well. When you get them right, sweet rolls have the power to transcend meal times and dessert regulations. Plan your next brunch or tea party around these beauteous buns.
Kanelbullar is the sophisticated cousin of the gooey American cinnamon roll. Highly spiced and found in every respectable tearoom, these buns take a bit of practice to perfect (lucky for you!).
Pan Chancay are sweet rolls in disguise.
Craquelin has a sugary surprise that pairs perfectly with afternoon coffee.
Monkey (Ginger)Bread (photo by Sarah Shatz)
These are just a few of the ways I like to travel by way of sweet rolls. What other regionally inspired flavors would you use to make these toothsome treats your own? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
Do you love a good food theme as much as I do? Tell me what food items or themes you'd like to see featured in this column and your idea could be the subject of an upcoming post!
Like this post? See Molly's previous topic: Cheese Dips.
Molly is a chef and food educator living and cooking in northern Wisconsin. When she's not dreaming up themed menus, she's dishing out other delicious content as the editorial assistant for the Whole Foods Market Cooking program.