gently adapted from King Arthur Baking.
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1/2 C + 1/4 C granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tbsp agar-agar powder, optional
- 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 C granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (one half-package) cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp strawberry syrup*
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a large, oven-safe dish.
- Add the prepared strawberries to the dish and sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the top. Place them in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the berries are soft and shrunken, and floating in their own juices. Turn off the oven.
- Use a fork or spoon to mash the berries into chunks, similar to what you’d see in strawberry jam. After this is done stir in one-half cup of sugar, then use a spoon to transfer 1/4 C of the liquid the berries have released to another dish and set it aside (we’ll be using it for our glaze). Stir in the agar agar powder, then set the berries mixture aside to cool.
- Add the milk, cream cheese, and butter to a microwaveable bowl or measuring cup and zap it for 90 seconds, or just until the milk is lukewarm and the butter is melting. Pur the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer, then add in the sugar, egg, yeast, salt, and flour. Use the paddle attachment to mix everything into sticky, shaggy dough, which should only take a minute or two on low speed. When the dry and wet have come together scrape down the sides of the bowl and switch to the dough hook attachment. Knead on low or medium-low speed until a soft, bouncy dough ball has formed and is hugging the dough hook. The sides of the bowl should be mostly if not entirely clean, but it may cling a bit to the very bottom. Poke it with your finger: the dough should spring back pretty quickly.
- Lightly oil a large bowl with vegetable oil – I like to apply it with a paper towel to make sure it’s as thin of a layer as possible – and transfer the dough ball to it. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise for an hour, until it has almost doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, we’ll make the cream cheese filling: to a small mixing bowl add all of the ingredients listed under the Cheesecake Filling. Use a small whisk or hand mixer to beat them together until there are no lumps.
- Give the strawberry filling a stir during the rise time as well. If it’s still very loose and liquidy, pour the berries into a fine mesh sieve and let the excess liquid pour off into a small bowl. This is strawberry syrup so I highly recommend refrigerating it and using it.* We don’t want too much liquid in the berries, or the rolls will be soggy and it’ll be hard to roll and slice them.
- Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly oiled counter (the same vegetable oil on a paper towel trick works here, too) and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 16″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread the cheesecake filling all over the dough, leaving about 1/2″ of bare dough along one long edge. Repeat with the strawberry filling, taking care to keep that one edge naked.
- Now, roll it up! Roll it up as tightly as you can without damaging it – the dough is delicate and the filling is hefty so it will tear if you’re rough – making sure to start with the long edge that is covered with our filling. After you’ve rolled the entire length of dough up, pinch the seam together to seal the log together. Transfer the log very carefully to a large baking sheet and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make things easier to slice. It’s OK if you have to curl up or fold the log to fit into the baking sheet, just don’t break or tear it.
- Use a serrated bread knife or unflavored dental floss to slice the log into 12-14 pieces. Try to keep them as evenly sized as possible. After you’ve sliced them all, put the rolls into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise while you preheat the oven again to 350°F.
- It should take about an hour for the rolls to rise again. They won’t get much bigger, but they will appear noticeably puffy.
- Bake the rolls uncovered on the middle oven rack until done inside and golden brown on top, around 28 to 30 minutes, then remove them and make the glaze while they cool down.
- Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together with a small whisk or hand mixer until completely smooth. Add the vanilla and strawberry syrup and beat together until there are no more streaks. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the rolls, or just pour it over them. Dassit! They’ll keep in the fridge for like three days if they last that long.
- If you don’t want to use strawberry syrup for the glaze – or just forget to reserve some of it – you can substitute heavy cream or milk in the glaze recipe.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 1 hour