Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


BBB – Fan Tan Rolls


Our lovely Babe and Kitchen of the Month Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms selected our bread, following our recent themes of shaping’s.  Then she called this shaping technique “silly”.   I would have to disagree with her calling this “silly”.   Now, I ask you “Have you ever looked up the word silly?”  Let me tell you it’s an education.  For your edification:

silly |ˈsilē| adjective ( sillier , silliest ) having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish: another of his silly jokes | “Don’t be silly!” she said. • ridiculously trivial or frivolous: he would brood about silly things. • [ as complement ] used to convey that an activity or process has been engaged in to such a degree that someone is no longer capable of thinking or acting sensibly: he often drank himself silly | his mother worried herself silly over him. • archaic (esp. of a woman, child, or animal) helpless; defenseless. noun ( pl. sillies ) informal a foolish person (often used as a form of address): Come on, silly. PHRASES the silly season high summer, regarded as the season when newspapers often publish trivial material because of a lack of important news. DERIVATIVES sillily |ˈsiləlē|adverb, silliness noun ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense ‘deserving of pity or sympathy’): alteration of dialect seely ‘happy,’ later ‘innocent, feeble,’ from a West Germanic base meaning ‘luck, happiness.’ The sense ‘foolish’ developed via the stages ‘feeble’ and ‘unsophisticated, ignorant.’ from my on line dictionary


I do not think it is silly, trivial or frivolous to shape bread into shapes that appeal to the eye and make the bread easier and more interesting to eat.  So, I found the FanTan Rolls delightful.  Layering the dough with flavor creates a pull-apart bread infused with fabulous flavor … I’m assuming you used something you love to eat.  A pull-apart bread is wonderful finger food.  Sweet or savory, these are a delight with morning coffee, with soup for lunch and again as rolls with dinner.  Doubling the versatility of a recipe like this is super easy using two different fillings: make 6 rolls sweet and the other 6 savory, make them all savory but two different savories, heck, I think these would be very lovely just plain, let flavor guide you. Sweet Orange Marmalade Fan-tan Rolls Recipe By: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms”  

We have been doing some serious bread shaping these last months Babes so I thought I’d keep it going with a somewhat silly shaping method for rolls. It’s called making fantans and they are baked in muffin tins and look a bit like fans. Dough is rolled out, cut in strips and stacked, then the stacks are cut to make the contents of each tin, with the cut ends up above the muffin tin, fanned out a bit. Once they rise and bake they look less like fans but when you take them from the muffin tin they look more fan-like.  You can certainly make savoury fantans and I will be just fine with any changes you want to make, including using something other than marmalade for the filling. Butter and cinnamon sugar would be easy, Nutella would be lovely, jam of any flavor would be delicious. If you eliminate the nutmeg, maple syrup, and vanilla from the dough then doing butter and herb, a tomato paste, or any other savoury filling that suits you would work fine. The shape is the thing. The rolls are fine without any embellishments, but look really pretty with a drizzle of icing. You could sprinkle on some sliced almonds, too.


FanTan Rolls

 3-4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 cup whole wheat bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup whole wheat sourdough starter OR 1 package of RapidRise yeast mixed with ¼ cup warm water

1 cup non fat evaporated milk

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup(I used slightly less and honey)

1/4 cup egg substitute OR 1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

Flavor Direction ~ open to interpretation and preference

2/3 cup marmalade (about), warmed

  And yes, I made savory and I still used the honey sweetener and the vanilla.  Recently I used some vanilla been in a savory bean dish and it lent a haunting background note that was lovely.  



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. Place evaporated 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. 2. a.  Oh dear, I fear I stepped off the path here.  I’m really not a lover of evaporated milk and I used half and half.  And of course as I’ve said I used honey instead of maple syrup.  

3. Add starter or yeast and water to the milk mixture. 3. a. I had just recently worked up a new starter and used it.  I think my starter was not quite ready and my aim was to bake these again using the yeast but I could not manage it.  

4. 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 soft dough that is rather sticky. 4. a. I still had most of a cup of flour left out.  

5. 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 (or clean if you are Elizabeth) 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. a. Mine took 3 hours and had very little rise.  


6. Dust your work surface with flour. Punch down the dough, then halve it. Wrap one half in the plastic wrap and set aside. 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. 6. a. Shame again, I didn’t square everything up.  


7.  Spread the surface of the dough with about 1/2 your desired filling/spread/flavor, 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. Cut into 6 equal strips, then stack the strips on top of each other with the plain strip on top. Cut through the layers into 6 equal pieces, 7. a. Leaving one strip plain allows for the two outside ends to be clean of any potentially messy fillings, keeps fingers cleaner.  I just put the filling on, I am a firm believer in excess.  Remember, it’s the filling of your choice.  


8. then 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. Repeat with the remaining dough and the rest of the marmalade for the other six cups of the muffin tin.  

9. 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. (Optional – I put a piece of plastic wrap between the rolls and the towel because of the sticky marmalade.) 9. a. I allowed my rolls to rise 2 full hours.  I have a large plastic rectangular box that fits over my muffin pan, two loaves of bread or similar sizes and that’s what I use.  

10. Place the rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C.  10. a. I did my cinnamon sugar rolls at 360°F in a convection oven for the 25 minutes below.  


This is my latest coffee trick and absolutely healthy chocolate.  With my microplane grater, I grated very finely a large chunk of dark unsweetened chocolate.  Every morning I put about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the chocolate in the bottom of my coffee mug, pour hot milk on it, stir, pour hot espresso into that and finally


… top it all off with the skim milk froth … yes it is heavenly and most especially with a cheese topped Fan Tan Roll.  I defy anybody to sit in front of a warm fire with that in front of you and feel sorry for yourself no matter what your troubles of the moment are.

11. Remove the towel and bake the rolls until they are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. 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. 11. a. I used no glaze on my sweet ones but I did rewarm my savory tomato pesto six with (sigh) cheese.  Remember what I said about excess.  


When we did the Russian Rose Bread, I did some e-mail exchanging with BreadSong from the Fresh Loaf web site.  She did bake the Rose and you can find it here.  She also talked about a wonderful recipe for a sundried tomato pesto.  When we got January’s recipe for Fan Tan Rolls, I very quickly went for BreadSong’s recipe.  I used more garlic than she did and it is really very wonderful.  Of course it’s hard for me to leave things alone and next time I might use either some Aleppo pepper or maybe even an Anaheim pepper.


Don’t forget to visit my fellow Bread Baking Babes to see how they baked and also… visit our Katie! She is the BBBBB (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire) who writes up such lovely round ups of all the BBB Breads every month!


This Bread and all it’s iterations goes to Susan for YeastSpotting!


Trot on over to Feeding My Enthusiasms and all the other Babes blogs to see how they worked this recipe and made it their own.  And Thank You so very much for another wonderful recipe Elle.


Then be a Bread Baking Buddy with us and bake your own Fan Tan Rolls.

Here’s how:

1.Bake the Fan Tan Rolls, snap a pic & share your thoughts about how you liked it (or not liked it).

2.Send an email to Kitchen of the Month (find that info here). Please note in the subject line that this is for the BBB Buddy Bread.


Time for me to bake again.

This month we welcome a new Babe and believe me she is a BABE.  Jamie from Life’s a Feast.

Next bread for the BBB’s will post on the 16th of next month.  Just think next month it’s five years of Babes!