Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Sourdough Fantans Filled with Jam and My Favorite Things

These pretty little Lemon and Strawberry Vanilla Jam Fantans are so good, they inspired a song.  You can sing along if you like. It’s sung to the tune “These are a few of my favorite things” from the Sound of Music. Here we go,

Sourdough starter, and jam, and sweet rolls,

Mix them together to make something delightful! 

Enjoy them with coffee, or tea or just plain,

These are a few of my favorite things

When the starter dies, when the yeast fails, when the dough is bad,

I simply remember how to restart the start & then I don’t feel so sad.



Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms chose Jam Fantans as the bread of the month for the Bread Baking Babes. I’m glad she did. These yummy rolls include several of the things I’ve been working on this month: namely sourdough starters and jam.  When you add maple syrup, nutmeg and vanilla to the mix, the result is simply delightful.  

If you remember, when I activated my apple starter (2 posts ago), I doubled the feeding because I couldn’t bring myself to discard 1/2 of the jar of the culture. Now you know what I made with the rest of the culture proof.

Like the Cheesy Brioche, this rich dough isn’t something you would normally think of using sourdough in but it works really well.  If you don’t have a sourdough starter, you can use a mixture of yeast and warm water (see Elle’s instructions), but I would recommend the sourdough. It gives it a unique flavor.

Here is my adaptation of Elle’s recipe.  Be sure to refer to her post for more helpful tips.  She has some additional information if you don’t have a sourdough starter.  I didn’t include that info since I used my starter.


Lemon and strawberry Vanilla Jam Fantans

Adapted from: Jam Fantans for January by Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms

Makes: 12 Rolls


  • mixing bowl and wooden spoon
  • large mixing bowl, lightly coated with cooking spray
  • 12 cup standard muffin tin, buttered



  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1/3 cup lemon jelly, warmed
  • 1/3 cup strawberry vanilla jam, warmed



1) Sift 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, the 1 cup of whole wheat bread flour, salt, and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Set aside.



2) Placed milk, butter and maple syrup into a saucepan and heat until butter is nearly melted. Remove from heat. Stir a few minutes to help mixture cool. Let cool to 110 degrees F.



3) Add sourdough starter to milk mixture, then add milk mixture to flour mixture; beat well. Add egg and vanilla; stir until blended. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, stir until thoroughly incorporated. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that is rather sticky.



4) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and silky. (Add additional flour if needed while kneading, but only enough to keep it from sticking a lot.) Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to lightly coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours.



5) Dust your work surface with flour. Punch down the dough, then halve it. Wrap one half in the plastic wrap and set aside.



6) Roll the other half into a 12×12-inch (30.5×30.5 cm) square. You may have to roll slightly larger, and then trim the ends to even out the square. Brush dough with half the melted butter.



7) Spread the surface of the dough with about 1/2 the warmed jam, leaving 1/6 strip plain. This will allow you to have a plain side of dough on each side of the roll touching the muffin cup.  I marked six slices with a ruler, then scored the dough partway down using my bench knife so that I would know how much room to leave for the 1/6 strip.



8) Cut into 6 equal strips.



9) Then stack the strips on top of each other with the plain strip on top.



10) Cut through the layers into 6 equal pieces.



11) Place each into a buttered muffin cup, standing up so the layers are visible. Gently fan them open. Each will have six dough pieces with marmalade or other filling in between.



12) Repeat with the remaining dough and the rest of the jam for the other six cups of the muffin tin.  I spread six of the rolls with lemon jelly and six with the strawberry vanilla jam.  You can use whatever flavor you like.



13) Cover with a tea towel and let the rolls rise in a draft free spot at warm room temperature until the dough doubles, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. (You might want to put a piece of plastic wrap between the rolls and the towel because of the sticky jam.)



14) Place the rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C.  Remove the towel and bake the rolls until they are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Be sure to watch the fantans while they are baking or they could burn. Mine got a little bit brown, but they didn’t burn.

15) Cool in the pan ten minutes, then transfer to a rack and allow to cool for about another 20 minutes before serving.



If desired, drizzle a glaze of 1 teaspoon milk whisked together with enough confectioners' sugar (icing sugar) to make a drizzle that will not spread too much. Use the tines of a fork to drizzle it on. Let dry before serving the rolls.

I didn’t use the powder sugar glaze.  These rolls didn’t need it.



These Jam Fantans are fun to make and even more enjoyable to eat.  I tried a couple – one of each flavor. Well, I had to make sure they tasted okay.  I’m happy to say that they did!  Then I froze the rest of them for snacks. Now when I want something to munch on with my coffee, I just take one out of the freezer and warm it up.  Yum Yum! 

Thanks BBBs for letting me join the party.  I had a great time!



Happy Baking!


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