September 14, 2010

My Tuesday morning (half) failure: lemon cheese buns

This week has definitely started on a different note. Yesterday evening we signed the title documents of the house (still hoping the seller will do the same and we will not have to go through lawyers!), the school is opening tomorrow, we are in a good mood after our great weekend! All in all, this is going to be a super busy week, but also a positive one. And with these good premises, I decide to tackle my wish-to-bake-soon list.

The other day I had the honor to get a comment on my blog from mary of One Perfect Bite. That’s when I remember that on top of the list was this wonderful recipe for Lemon Cheese Buns that I saw a long time ago at One Perfect Bite. I have been drooling over these buns for weeks, waiting for the right day to make them. Today felt like the right day! So I jumped on the recipe and...everything started going wrong since the very beginning.

After 2 hours the dough hadn't even started to raise, forget about being double in bunk! Maybe I should have just given up at that point. I don't know what happened....the yeast is still fresh so maybe it was the weather, or my hands, or my cats jumped on it without me seeing them (it's always nice to have somebody else to blame!).

But the fact is: that wasn't a good start. I decide not to give up. I hate wasting food never know...sometimes, things that start on a bad foot still come out good. So I thought "ok, they might not come out like those amazing buns on One Perfect Bite but maybe they will be decent."

So I left them there for 3 hours....the dough raise a bit but sure it was not that promising: it was dull and hard. Anyway, I moved on, I shape the dough in 6 small balls (thank god I was using only one third of the ingredients) and let them raise for another half an hour as the instructions said and...nothing! They did not rise by a single millimeter. But Stubborn-Sara continued and made the filling (a super yummy filling btw). Filled the buns and put them in the oven.

Ten minutes later they were out. I have to admit...much better than what I was expecting given the premises! While warm, at least, they were actually pretty yummy but I have to say that mainly that was because of the filling. (The dough itself was pretty tasteless to me) They were also much softer than I expected so at the end I cannot call it a complete failure. They definitely did not look half as pretty as those on One Perfect Bite.

I guess I cannot cross these buns out of my wish-to-bake-soon list. I definitely have an unfinished business with these lemon cheese buns!

Lemon Cheese Buns
yields 20-24 little buns

For the dough
15 gr (0.5 oz) active dry yeast
180 ml (6 oz or 3/4 cup) warm milk (110° to 115°)
100 gr (3.55 oz or 1/2 cup) sugar
113 gr (4 oz or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
5 gr (1 tsp) salt
3/4 tsp grated lemon peel
3 eggs
570 to 640 gr (20.25 to 22.5 oz or 4-1/2 to 5 cups) all-purpose flour

For the filling
230 gr (8 oz or 1 cup) cream cheese, softened
50 gr (1.78 oz or 1/4 cup) sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add the sugar, the butter, the salt, the lemon peel, the eggs and 2 cups of flour. Beat all the ingredients until you obtain a smooth mixture.

Add the remaining flour and work it until you obtain a soft dough. Turn it onto a floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to grease the top. Cover it and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in bulk.

Punch the dough down and shape it into 20-24 small balls. Place the balls 3" apart on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and flatten them. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (It should take about 30 minutes...mine did not raise)

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. 

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, the sugar, and the lemon peel together until you obtain a smooth cream. Make a depression in the center of each roll and spoon in the filling.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. (It took 15 mintues to mine) Remove from pan and let them cool on a wire rack. 


  1. Mi piaciono i tuoi lemon cheese buns....complimenti!

  2. Yum, these sound delightful even if they didn't quite turn out the way they were supposed to :o)

  3. These buns still look pretty delicious to me! :)

  4. Lemon and cream cheese go so well together, I don't know how these couldn't be delicious!

  5. this look great, very very scrumtious.

  6. I think they look good! I love me some lemon. :)

  7. At least you persevered! I bet the filling was utterly delicious (I have a similar recipe for the dough that works well for me all the time if you're interested--its danish-y).

    My guess is that your milk was probably too warm, and if you didnt mix your salt into your flour, but just mixed it into the liquid, you most likely killed a good portion of your yeast. Yeast should be dissolved in 105-115, but I find that the closer it gets to 115, the longer it takes to rise. This is probably because most of us don't calibrate our thermometers, meaning it's probably more than 115 and we're killing some of the yeast. I always strive for 100-105.

  8. Thanks guys...yes at the end they were absolutely good and we finished them before I could actually take decent pictures of them!
    @Baking Barrister:I always persevere! As for the great tip...I have to admit that in my tiny tiny kitchen a thermometer does not even exist...I still go with "natural" and approximate methods of checking the temperature. That's another thing I have on my wish list :)

  9. They look gorgeous to me Sara. Sometimes these things happen. Yeast can be very touchy. Congrats on persevering and seeing it through to the delicious end!


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