Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dinner Rolls

Making my own dinner rolls is a perfect example of why I started cooking from scratch.  Reason #1- there are so many extra ingredients and preservatives in store bought bread, it's just not necessary; reason #2- it's so inexpensive to make your own its kinda ridiculous! Now, I have to tell you that I stumbled my way through learning how to make yeast bread, so I probably don't do it "right".  If you have any tips I would love to hear them!  But, this is how I do it and my family seems to like them pretty well:)

I've tried many recipes from cookbooks and online and the one I always go back to is from The Joy Of Cooking- Fast White Bread.  I tweaked a few things to our liking, of course:)

Begin with 4 cups of bread flour (don't try ap, it won't work), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 packets or 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large mixing bowl.  Give it a stir.

Add in 2 cups very warm water (115-125F) and 1 stick melted butter.  Mix on low til fully combined.

Continue mixing on low and add in 1/4 cup at a time 1 1/2-2 cups bread flour.

You'll know you've added enough when the dough stops absorbing the flour.

At this point switch your mixing blade to the dough hook and knead on low for 10 minutes.  My dough likes to climb up onto the top of the dough hook, so I spray the top of the hook with Pam before I switch it out.  While the dough is being kneaded heat your oven to 175F and prep a large bowl by spraying with Pam.

After 10 minutes transfer the dough to the bowl....

...and loosely cover with plastic wrap (also sprayed with Pam), place in the oven, turn the oven off and close the door.

 Let the dough rise for 30 minutes, or til the dough doubles in size.  I think I need a bigger bowl:-/

With a little flour spread on the counter plop the dough out and poke it down with your floured fingers.

Fold it over on itself a couple times...

then cut it in half with a bench scraper.

Set one half aside and cut the other half into small squares.  They should be about the same size, but it doesn't have to be perfect.

To form the rolls take a square, pull it over on itself- kind of like you would turn a sock inside out (does that even make sense?), then start to pinch the bottom as you gather so that you end up with it looking like a balloon, round and full with a little tab on the bottom.

Take the balloon and lay in on the counter in a small amount of flour and with your hand around it roll it in a circle until it becomes nice and round.    

Flip it over and do the same thing, tap off any excess flour... in a buttered casserole dish (you'll need high sides to get the rolls to rise high).  Now do that like 30-40 more times til all the dough is gone and your pan is full... this.  You can see the rolls on the left have started rising already:)  Loosely cover with plastic wrap (sprayed with Pam) and place back in 175F oven.  Turn oven off and close door.  Let rise for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on top while you preheat the oven to 375F.  The rolls will continue to rise while the oven is heating up.

You know they have risen enough when you slightly poke the dough and it doesn't bounce back very quickly.  You can see my finger print on the 2nd roll up.

Once this happens brush the rolls with melted butter and place in oven for about 20 minutes.  I began to check mine at 15m, today they baked for 25m.  It can vary each time though.

Once rolls are nicely browned remove from oven and let cool in the pan.

When they're mostly cooled you can remove to a wire rack and/or pull apart for eating, enjoy!

Dinner Rolls
adapted from the Joy Of Cooking- Fast White Bread

4 c bread flour
1/2 c sugar
2 pkg (4 1/2 t) active dry yeast
2 1/2 t salt
2 c warm water (115-125F)
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2-2 c bread flour

Combine 4 cups bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt in large mixing bowl, stir.  Add in water and butter and mix til well combined.  Continue mixing on low speed and add the 1 1/2-2 cups bread flour.  Knead with a dough hook for 10 minutes.  Place in a large bowl that has been sprayed with Pam.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with Pam and place in a warm place for about 30 min, til dough doubles in size.  Punch dough down and shape into rolls.  Place in a buttered casserole and rise again for about 30 minutes.  Brush rolls with melted butter and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes.  Let cool in pan before pulling apart.

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