I am going to tell you something that you may not know -- I am happiest when I'm in my kitchen baking. You're not surprised to hear that, you say -- I do, after all, have a blog called Passions to Pastry. But I loved baking, or at least the concept of a bakery, at a very young age; before I even knew how to bake. I remember when I was about seven years old, searching our property and my aunt's next door, for the perfect "retail outlet". This would be a huge, hollow tree with a large hole in the trunk. I would stock my pies, tarts, cakes, and cookies inside the tree and sell to hungry customers through the walk-up window (i.e. hole). I can still remember my total and utter disappointment at not being able to find anything that met my specifications. To this day, if I ran across the perfect tree, I would probably entertain serious thoughts of setting up shop.
I've never told my husband about this either, but I don't think he'd be the least bit surprised. He's always asking me (with great trepidation) what's going on inside my little head. (Oh... he knows me well, and also knows from experience that he will be roped into becoming an accomplice to any plans I have brewing.)
Today I was able to spend an entire, happy day in my kitchen baking. These are buttery, brioche-like rolls infused with vanilla (take note of the tiny black specks of vanilla seeds in the yeast dough above). Spread with the easily-made fresh strawberry jam, they are quite a treat.
Before baking, the yeast rolls are brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar. I used strawberry sugar, purchased at G. Detou on my last trip to Paris, but coarse or pearl sugar would be suitable substitutes.
Vanilla Cloverleaf Sweet Rolls with Strawberry Jam