Wabi Sabi is a phrase that, simply put, describes the wisdom and beauty of imperfection. Wabi Sabi works by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. Originally Wabi loosely translated from Japanese to mean "the loneliness of living in nature" and Sabi referred to a "cool or withered" tone. Over time the melancholy once found at the root of the phrase was replaced to conjure more of a rustic freshness than an inner longing. Either way you sway, these sweet, yeasted breakfast rolls will quench the hunger in your heart and hearth. While, of course, giving you plenty of practice at imperfection.
Blueberry & Sage Cinnamon Rolls
Serves 8 to 10
Prep time: 2 to 3 hrsBake time: 30 minutes
Dough can be made the night before & refrigerated
Rolls: 1 cup warm water / 3.5 teaspoons dry yeast / 2 tablespoons honey / 1egg/ 1.5 cups Carolina Ground Type 75 Pastry flour/ 3 tablespoons melted and cooled butter/ 1 teaspoon salt/ 1 cup Carolina Ground Type 75 Bread flour
Filling: 1/4 cup melted butter/ 3/4 cup brown sugar/ 1.5 tablespoon cinnamon/ 1/4 cup fresh blueberries / a handful of chopped, fresh sage
Egg Wash: 2 tablespoons heavy cream & 2 egg yolks
Process: In a large bowl combine the warm water, yeast, honey, egg and pastry flour. Whisk together till combined and frothy. Set aside in a warm spot with a cloth over the bowl for 30 minutes. Once rested and active, add to your "slurry" the melted and cooled butter, the salt and bread flour. Work into a dough ball by gently kneading or folding for five minutes. You want to see the dough come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Use a flexible scraper or spatula to get the dough off the sides of the bowl. Dust lightly with cornmeal or crushed flax. Replace the cloth over the bowl and allow to rise for one hour.
After an hour the dough should have doubled in size and smell quite yeasty. Lightly dust your work surface and turn the dough out, rolling it into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Smear on the filling mixture with your fingers or brush on with a pastry brush if still warm. Sprinkle the sage and blueberries throughout. Roll up the dough, using quick, firm and decisive motions. Pulling softly against the table or countertop will give you nice tension, easing up as you finish your roll. If the dough tears at any point just pinch it together and keep going. (Wabi Sabi!)
Grease a medium sized cast iron skillet or a standard sized baking sheet. Turn on oven and preheat to 375. Cut the rolls with a sharp knife into 1/2 inch sections. Arrange on your baking vessel of choice, cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm spot for 3o minutes. they should look "billowy" and have almost doubled in size upon return.