Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dinner Rolls

It has been a while since I have been 100% happy with a new recipe, but I've got to toot my own horn on this one. I have discovered the most perfect dinner rolls ever! Of course this recipe came from Taste of Home's Baking Book, which is where most of our bread recipes come from. The recipe will make 24 rolls, so I halved it. I even wrote out all the ingredients already halved on a sticky note and placed it over the the ingredient list in the book so I wouldn't accidently look at the wrong list.

2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp sugar and 1/6 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
5/8 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

How could I possibly mess something up? Well, I swapped the milk and the water. So instead of 1/4 cup of water it ended up being 5/8 cup of water. I was worried from the beginning that I had messed up, but it turned out not to be a big deal. I dissolved the yeast and 1/2 tsp of sugar in the water and then added the milk, butter, salt, the rest of the sugar, the egg, and half the flour. I mixed that with a fork until it was pretty smooth and then I added the rest of the flour. Then I got to kneading. Usually I knead until all the flour is thoroughly absorbed. This time I kneaded for the full six minutes that the recipe called for. Maybe this is what made the difference. I can't say for sure, but I know in the future that I will knead for however long the recipe tells me to.

Our method for rising is simple. The dough goes in a greased bowl covered in foil. We put the dough in the off oven with a pan of hot water underneath for about an hour. It works really well.

When the dough had doubled in size I punched it down and tried to divide it equally into twelve pieces. These pieces were formed into balls by pulling the dough down into a little nub at the bottom. It's kind of like a balloon: smooth and round on top, with a little nub on the bottom. The balls went nub side down into a greased 9x13 pan.

I let them rise again and then uncovered and baked them for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven and they came out PERFECT! So incredibly perfect. I went on and on about them all through dinner. And I'm not crazy because Brett loved them too and he even gave me a, "Good job," which is high praise from him.

We will definitely see these again, but maybe next time I won't mix up the water and milk. Or maybe I will. Don't mess with a good thing, right?

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