Posts Tagged ‘rolls’

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dinner roll dinner roll ding ding ding!

March 26, 2010

When I first started baking, one of the things that intimidated me most was dinner rolls.  Yes, dinner rolls, weird, whatever.  For reasons unknown, I could never get a consistent result.  Some days they’d come out perfect, other days they’d just sit there refusing to rise, like sullen little rocks.  It was awful not being able to commit for holidays, since I wouldn’t have any idea whether or not a particular batch would succeed or fail miserably.

Nowadays, I don’t have that problem.  In fact, not only am I making rolls for whichever meal I’m attending, I also have friends, coworkers, and family who are buying them (from me! with money!).  Last year I made something obnoxious like two hundred rolls for Thanksgiving, and nearly that again for Christmas.  And every single one came out a perfect cloud of tasty.

What made the difference, you ask?  I’m almost hesitant to tell, I’m afraid people won’t be nearly as impressed with them if they knew how easy these rolls are!  First, I finally found the right recipe.  Yes, I’m talking about King Arthur Flour AGAIN.  Their recipes are so consistently good, how could I not?  In this case, I discovered their Soft White Dinner Rolls.  The butter, potato flakes, and dried milk add a ton of flavor, while leaving the texture light, soft, and tender.  They’re delicious on the day they’re made, and they also make great little finger sandwich rolls with leftovers.  They freeze beautifully, so I tend to make a double batch – eat one now, freeze the second for super-easy homemade rolls later!

I do have one confession, however.  I’m *not* going to tell you the shortcut technique I figured out that shaves off more than half the total prep time.  Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to keep the customers calling!

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the loaf that dare not speak its name

March 17, 2010


In the past week we’ve had another wonderful visit from an old friend, doctor visits, and car troubles.  We’ve also had some delicious food, and a couple of opportunities to bake, both sweets and savory.  Before I get to the newer stuff, however, in my last post I promised that I’d share my sourdough rolls.  To be honest though, I don’t even know if that’s what they are, exactly.  Yes, I’m using sourdough starter, but I’m throwing it into a recipe that normally uses a very young (12-16 hours old) starter, and produces a more traditional Italian loaf.  The use of an older starter gives these a much more pronounced tang than they would normally have.  Plus, I’m shaping them as rolls instead of a loaf (although I’ve done that, too).   So what is it?  Sourdough?  Italian?  Soutalian?  Italerdough?  Rollitalisour?  I don’t know exactly what to call them, but they’re darn good.  I think I’ve decided to keep this highly mutated recipe for rolls, and continue working on a truer sourdough for loaves.

Truthfully, I can’t promise that this recipe will work for anyone else.  I think (in my very limited knowledge on the topic) that so much depends on your particular starter.  I had to do a lot of tweaking with volume and timing to figure out what worked consistently with my starter.  For me, the first key was feeding the starter about 10 hours before I planned on beginning.  In theory, this means that I’d feed it just before bedtime, and start actively working with it after breakfast.  What that really means is that frequently I would end up with no bread when I had hoped for bread, because I don’t have the kind of attention span that lets me plan that far in advance on a regular basis.  On the occasions that I did remember, though, after breakfast I’d pull out 12 ounces of starter from the bucket.  This seemed to be just the right amount to use  in order to get the rise and texture that I was looking for.  Your starter may vary.  I’d be surprised if it didn’t.   Read the rest of this entry ?