I'm going to preface this by saying, consider yourself warned: Seriously addictive little pull apart rolls ahead! These rolls get their name from the way the layers fan out to create such a unique, beautiful shape.
It's like those fans of puffed dough are just beckoning you to come over and take a nibble. Oh, and my favorite part about these rolls is that each tender layer is full of flavor.
Here I've made two different variations, cinnamon sugar and peach lavender. I have a special place in my heart for that peach lavender jam. Everything I add it to becomes something extra special, worth savoring.
Each of these variations is wonderful in its own right, but you could certainly use whatever flavor suits your fancy; strawberry, cherry and raspberry jams all beckon just as much.
You could even create a savory version with garlic and herbs – the perfect addition to a bowl of steaming bowl of soup.
Serve these rolls still warm, shortly out of the oven. They're perfect for a brunch or afternoon snack.
These rolls take a bit of time and patience, as most bread does, but the result is well worth the wait. My husband, Mike, devoured 4 of the 6 cinnamon fan tan rolls I made in a matter of a half hour - and he’d like you to know that was him exercising self-control!
For the Dough:
For the Filling:
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup low fat milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2/3 cup jam, your choice, warmed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
NOTE: To begin, use a Sourdough Starter. If you do not have one on hand, prepare a yeast starter with 1 packet active dry yeast, 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; set aside at room temperature for at least 4 hours, until fluffy and active.
In a large bowl, sift together 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat bread flour, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, yogurt, butter and honey. Stir over medium heat until the butter is nearly melted. Removed from heat and continue to stir until the butter is fully melted and the mixture has cooled to 110 degrees.
Add the sourdough starter or yeast starter to the warm milk mixture and stir for a moment. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Beat well to combine. Add the egg and vanilla. Stir to combine.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining all-purpose flour and stir until incorporated. Add enough of the remaining dough to make a soft, but rather sticky dough.
Turn the tough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 3 minutes to form a smooth, silky dough. Add more flour if necessary but only enough to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface.
Place the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl and turn to lightly coat. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Prepare muffin tin by brushing holes with melted butter. Set aside.
Lightly flour a work surface. Punch down the risen dough and split into two equal pieces. Keep the dough you're not working with covered with plastic.
Roll the dough to a 12x12-inch square. Brush the square with melted butter. Brush 5/6ths of the dough with half of the warmed jam OR sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving 1/6th at the end of the dough free of filling.
Cut the square into 6 equal strips. Stack the strips on top of each other then cut the stack into 6 equal pieces. You now have 6 sets of 6 stacked 2-inch squares. Take 1 stack of 6 squares and carefully fit it into a muffin cup, fanning out the layers a bit. Repeat with the remaining 5 stacks.
Repeat this entire process with the other half of the dough.
Cover the muffin tin gently with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the dough has doubled in size, bake the fantans for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. (NOTE: Be sure to keep a close eye on jam fantans, especially in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Jam can quickly burn.)
Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the muffin tin. Move to a cooling rack to cool. Serve warm.