The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cherry Cranberry Pecan Porridge Cream Cheese Rolls

isand66's picture

Cherry Cranberry Pecan Porridge Cream Cheese Rolls


These rolls were baked for Thanksgiving dinner at my Brother in law's in North Carolina.  We made our usual pilgrimage down south and as usual I volunteered to make some rolls for dinner.

I actually made 2 batches from the same main dough.  One batch had the cherries, cranberries and pecans and the other was plain with some melted cheddar grated on top and toasted dried onions.  The formula below includes only enough cherries, cranberries and pecans for half the dough so if you want to use it for the entire batch, simply double the amount.

These came out nice and soft and super tasty and went over very well with the hungry family.

Download the BreadStorm File here.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.   Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.    You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.    Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Add the dried cherries and cranberries to the water and let it hydrate for about 30 minutes.  Strain the add-ins and set aside and use water for main dough.  Mix the flours, and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, cream cheese and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Add the pecans, cherries and cranberries and mix until incorporated or you can add it by hand during the stretch and folds.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and divide into pieces approximately 110-130 grams depending on how big you want them.  Shape into rolls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets or jelly pans.  Cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with oil and let them rise until they are 1/3 to doubled in size.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, apply a simple egg wash and for the batch with the cheese and onions add after applying the egg wash.  Next add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the rolls are nice and brown.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 1 hour before eating.





Danni3ll3's picture

I have this bookmarked. Thanks for the very detailed explanation on how you created these. I just might to try these over the holidays. 

isand66's picture

Glad you like these.  If you have any questions let me know.  



dabrownman's picture

means Ian is making the Thanksgiving rolls in N Carolina!.  The crumb on these is especially nice and open.  Well done indeed.  These had to be a big hit with the family and friends.  Lucy loves these little jewels and so do I.  Lucy says to take the  black beasts on a walk to the beach so they can remember what summer was like right before the last Ice Age.

Well done and happy baking Ian

isand66's picture

It certainly is a combo I'm familiar with, that's for sure.  They went over very well at dinner and I had some left-over to eat for breakfast the next couple of days.  The plain ones were a big hit with the melted cheese and/or onion topping as well.

Not a bad idea to go to the beach, but no time today.  I baked off a durum/WW onion with beer bread this morning and I just mixed up a special new Challah bread to bake off tomorrow night.

Give Lucy a scratch and make sure she wasn't taken over by one of those Japanese robots while you weren't looking :>.

leslieruf's picture

what effect does the cream cheese have?  you are so inventive and come up with so many combinations, it blows me away :)  beautiful, 


isand66's picture

I added the cream cheese to make the rolls a little bit softer and "richer' from the fat content.  It makes the dough very silky.

Happy Baking.


Gill63's picture

with the addition of the cream cheese as well as the other add ins. I unexpectedly found pecans in Costco at a similar price to other nuts yesterday ( seem to have been twice the price of other nuts in the UK recently), so keen to give it a go. But, never heard of First Clear flour, wondering what would be a good substitution?


isand66's picture

First Clear is what they call a patent flour and has all the germ sifted out.  It’s used in making deli rye bread  and other rye breads.  I like the texture it provides but you can sub AP or bread flour and you will be just fine.  Let me know how it turns out.