4 1/4cupsall-purpose flour Plus extra for kneading / rolling
1 1/2cupsGround Almonds
8ozpackage of cream cheeseroom Temperature
3TablespoonsPowdered Sugar mixed into the cream cheese
In small bowl warm the milk in the microwave at 30 second intervals until warm to touch. Make sure it is not so hot you can't put your finger in. Add the milk to your (stand mixer) mixing bowl with the yeast and sugar. Cover and leave for about 10 minutes until frothy.
Add the softened butter, eggs, grated lemon zest and salt. Add the flour and beat at low to medium speed until a soft dough forms, approx 3 - 5 minutes. Then increase the speed a little more and knead until the dough is soft and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead for 10 minutes using the dough hook, or by hand if you don't have a stand mixer. (again, use more flour if kneading by hand so it is not too sticky wet to handle) Watch the short video at the end of this recipe for kneading by hand. If after 10 minutes of kneading, the dough is not coming away from the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it does. When ready, remove the dough hook and shape the dough into a nice ball, then cover with a clean cloth and place somewhere warm to let rise for 1 hour. It should double in size.
Whilst waiting for the dough to rise, make up the cream cheese filling by mixing the cream cheese and sugar until all combined.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch the air out of the dough and turn it onto a well floured surface.
Divide into 2 equal pieces and then roll the first piece into a rectangle, about 10 inches by 13 inches. Have the longest side nearest to your body as in the photos below. Be sure to dust with flour when rolling.
Use 2 x 9 inch baking pans, and grease the pans. Place parchment paper in the pans and cut enough so there is an overhang all around of about 2 -3 inches.
Use half of the cream cheese and spread all over the rectangle, then distribute half the ground almonds then half the raisins as evenly as possible.
Taking the longest side nearest to your body, start to roll the dough, away from you as tight as possible. Then push down to seal the edge at the end.
Use a sharp knife and cut off the ends to make it tidy, then divide the roll in half, then each half divide in to 4 pieces, so you end up with 8 rolls.
Repeat steps 6 - 9 for the other half of the dough.
Arrange the buns like the photo, all around and one in the middle. Place them so the seam is closest to the side of the tin, then cover and let rise again until doubled and they are touching each other, about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C / Gas 4
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, then remove from the oven. To test if the rolls are cooked through, !Tip them out the pan (use a cloth!) and tap the base. Especially in the centre. If it sounds hollow, they're done. If not, return to the oven for another 5 - 10 minutes. Every oven is different but now you know the trick to see if they're done! **** Top Tip: If you think the rolls are getting too brown in the oven during cooking, place some foil over the top so they can continue cooking. The right hand pan was getting too brown compared to the left pan! Every oven behaves differently so keep an eye out!
Whilst the rolls are still hot, make the glaze by melting the butter and mixing in the powdered sugar until all dissolved. Then add the fresh cream and mix in well. Lift the overhang of the parchment paper up and carefully pour half of the glaze all over each of the bread pans. You may need to use a brush to help distribute the glaze. Leave in the pans until cool enough to tear the breads apart and eat!