I have been told that even though I have been carrying a fetus around for 6 months, I am not considered a “mother” yet and therefore do not get presents for “Mother’s Day.” I, personally, find this to be absolutely preposterous. Mainly because I like getting presents.
Is it the pushing the baby out of me thing that makes me a mother, finally? Surely not, because you wouldn’t tell a woman who had a C-section or who adopted a child that she doesn’t get to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Maybe it’s a “not until you’ve held your child” kind of thing. But I think if we’re talking in terms of physical contact, I have definitely touched this baby. Or, rather, he’s touched me. He’s rolling around and kicking in there. Hell, my husband felt the kick on the outside of my stomach for the first time last night.
Anyway, regardless of what my husband thinks constitutes me being mother enough to acquire gifts, I consider myself a mother already. So I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day in my own way by making myself a special breakfast treat.
Coincidentally, I finished them up the morning that my own mother gathered my besties for an intensive baby shower planning session, because my mom is a project manager and she, well, manages projects. And since I am a generous mother, I brought more than half of these sweet rolls over to her house to share. So selfless, so caring. I at least deserve a card.
These sweet rolls are a spin-off of cinnamon rolls, as you may have guessed. I don’t think it’s fair that cinnamon gets to have all the fun. And cinnamon seems so “fall” to me, and it is definitely spring. And spring is a time for putting lavender into everything humanly imaginable. I opted for white sugar instead of brown, added some lemon zest, dried culinary lavender, and a teensy bit of cardamom, then rolled them all up in this glorious yeasty dough, my favorite for cinnamon rolls. The resulting soft, moist buns got topped with lemony mascarpone frosting.
Exactly how old does my child need to be before I can start demanding these rolls be served to me in bed on Mother’s Day?
- ¼ cup (60 mL) warm water (about 110°F)
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- 4½ cups (510 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided, plus a little more for work surface
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender
- ¾ cup (170 grams) mascarpone cheese
- 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons milk
- In a small bowl, whisk together warm water and yeast. When yeast is dissolved, whisk in ½ teaspoon granulated sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until mixture foams up.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs to combine; add buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add in yeast mixture, remaining sugar, and salt.
- Remove bowl from mixer and add about 2 cups flour and the melted butter. Stir with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened and combined. Add 2 more cups of flour, return bowl to the mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment, and knead with dough hook at low speed for 5 minutes. Touch the dough; if it is sticky, continue to run the mixer on low speed for up to five minutes more and add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft and moist, but no longer sticks to your fingers. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 1 minute to ensure that dough is uniform. If it sticks to your work surface, knead in more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it no longer sticks and all the flour is kneaded in.
- Spray a plastic mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the ball of dough into the bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free area until it has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Brush the bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Turn the dough ball out onto a work surface and pat it into a rectangular shape. Roll the dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter, leaving about ½-inch of dough unbuttered at the top edge.
- Combine sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, and salt in a small mixing bowl and mix together with your fingers, rubbing between your fingers to get the oils out of the lemon zest and release the flavor. Sprinkle evenly over the buttered surface, leaving about ¾-inch uncovered on the top edge. Sprinkle evenly with lavender. Gently press everything into the dough, then roll into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam of the dough to seal it, then stretch the roll to about 18 inches length and adjust the roll to make sure the thickness is uniform all the way down. Slice into 12 even rounds.
- Place buns, cut side down, into your buttered 13x9-inch baking pan. There should be some space between the rolls. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, draft-free area until the rolls get puffy and press against each other, about 1½ hours.
- Meanwhile, adjust your oven rack to its lowest position, place a baking or pizza stone on the rack (optional), and heat the oven to 350°F.
- Place your baking pan on the pizza stone (or directly onto the rack). Bake until rolls are golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
- While the rolls are cooling, make the glaze. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 1 minute. When the mascarpone is lump-free, gradually add in confectioners' sugar with the mixer on low speed. Add the lemon zest, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until creamy. Turn the mixer back to low, and slowly add the lemon juice and milk, beating until the frosting is uniform. It should be somewhat thin, but not runny.
- With the rolls still warm from the oven, spread the frosting on top. Serve rolls warm.
- *You can make the rolls the night before and reheat them in the oven in the morning. Reheat in a 250°F oven for about 10 minutes, then spread on the glaze and serve.