Belgian rolls are an absolute treat for breakfast or even as a dessert, brunch, and with a cup of tea!
These Belgian rolls are best served warm. They are soft and fluffy with a unique flavor. Being filled with lemon curd, the Belgian rolls are a kind of gourmet treat and are so much more than plain rolls.
My mouth is watering just thinking about them, so let’s get to it!
How Do You Make Lemon Curd?
When it comes to lemon curd, you can buy some in stores, but for me, I like the homemade version. Making lemon curd is very easy and requires only few ingredients.
My favorite lemon curd recipe is this one:
- In a mixing bowl, beat 4 egg yolks with 2/3 cup granulated sugar until pale.
- Set the bowl over simmering water. Fill the saucepan with 2-inches of water and bring to a simmer.
- Add 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest and cook the curd until it starts to coat the back of your spoon. Add ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
- Remove the curd from the heat and stir in 6 tablespoons unsalted butter. Cover the curd with plastic foil and refrigerate until cold.
You can store the curd in a refrigerator for a week or use it to make some other delicious recipes, like cookies with lemon curd glaze or as a topping on your favorite ice cream.
Can You Make This Recipe Faster?
This recipe requires some hands-off time. This means, you will have to wait for your dough to rise twice before baking. If you are short on time or just want to try something new, instead of yeast, you can use self-rising flour.
I have successfully made Belgian rolls with this one and the results were as good as with yeast. The only thing you may miss is that subtle yeast flavor.
The self-rising flour has enough baking powder inside to make the Belgian rolls fluffy and give them a nice lift.
The finished Belgian rolls will not be as pillowy as their yeasted cousins, but they will be soft and have a great texture. This is my go-to trick when I lack time or just do not want to bother with kneading and rising dough.
Just use the self-rising flour instead of plain flour, and that’s it. You do not have to add any additional raising agents, such as baking soda or baking powder.
Are The Raisins Optional?
Ah…the raisins. Loved and not-so-loved by many people. If you fit in this other category of not being a raisins fan, then most Belgian roll recipes are not for you.
For this recipe you can absolutely make the rolls without any unwanted additions. Though, I somehow feel they will not be the same. So, here are some options you can consider instead of classic raisins:
- Cranberries; they have almost the same texture as raisins and pair great with the lemon curd.
- Dried blueberries; I just love this combination of flavors. Lemon and blueberries are an absolute classic and you cannot go wrong with these.
- Dried apricots; you can use these as well, just make sure you chop them before use.
- If you are looking for some crunch, you can spread some chopped almonds instead of any dried fruits.
What Cherries Should I Use?
The classic Belgian buns use glace Maraschino cherries. This type of cherry can be found in most of the stores, but I enjoy making my own. Homemade products are always better!
If you have some spare time, you can make a big batch of glace cherries and use them on top of your baked goods.
My pineapple upside down cake can be made with these as well as many other recipes. The glace cherries are unavoidable for some cocktails, such as the Old fashioned, Manhattan cocktail, or French 75 with a Cherry twist.
If you want to make your own homemade glace cherries, here is what you will need:
- 2 cups Maraschino cherries
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup juice from the cherries
Combine cherry juice and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
Add cherries, preferably with stems, and slowly simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and arrange the cherries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
These cherries are free from preservatives, any additional food coloring, and artificial flavors.
If you cannot find glace cherries, or just do not want to make them, you can use fresh pitted cherries as well for a more tart accent to these sweet rolls.
How To Make Belgian Rolls
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk yeast, sugar, and butter. Add egg and whisk until smooth. Fold in flour and stir until the dough is just combined.
2. Dust the working surface with some flour and knead the dough until smooth. Place the dough into a bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
3. Roll the dough to a 14×20 inch rectangle. Spread the lemon curd over the dough and sprinkle over the raisins, if using. Roll the dough into a log, from the longer edge and cut into 12 rolls.
4. Arrange the rolls on a baking sheet. Beat egg yolk with water and brush the rolls with the egg wash. Let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Leave the rolls to rest.
5. Whisk the icing sugar with water. Drizzle over the rolls and decorate each with a glace cherry.
6. Serve and enjoy!
If you're in the mood for a sweet snack, what could be better than these fluffy, buttery Belgian rolls?
- 1lb. all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ¾ cup warm milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 5 tbsp lemon curd
- ½ cup raisins, or other fruits
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp water
- 0.25lb. icing sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 12 glace cherries
- In a mixing bowl, whisk yeast, sugar, and butter. Add egg and whisk until smooth.
- Fold in flour and stir until the dough is just combined.
- Dust the working surface with some flour and knead the dough until smooth. Place the dough into a bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
- Roll the dough to a 14x20 inch rectangle.
- Spread the lemon curd over the dough and sprinkle over the raisins if using.
- Roll the dough into a log from the longer edge and cut into 12 rolls.
- Arrange the rolls on a baking sheet. Beat egg yolk with water and brush the rolls with the egg wash.
- Let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Leave the rolls to rest.
- To make the icing whisk the icing sugar with water.
- Drizzle over the rolls. Decorate each with a glace cherry and serve.
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