Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving On My Mind

I intended to prepare the second Redwall Feast with S9 this weekend then I became obsessed with Thanksgiving.  I started looking at recipes, thinking about seating and napkins, and planning sleeping arrangements.  I also spent some time on Saturday morning talking about the menu with my husband. 

During our conversation, my husband began to wax poetic over the rolls he remembered from our junior high school cafeteria.  Yes, we went to junior high together.  Yes, the rolls were worth remembering.  They were tall and buttery.  They were served warm and they pulled apart in a light and fluffy goodness that can best be compared to cotton candy.  They were exquisite.

I have always made my own bread.  I have my grandmother's tried and true bread recipe that I use for almost all my bread needs.  It makes lovely pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, loaves and rolls.  It is delicious but it is not light and fluffy and it does not pull apart like cotton candy.  So, I went on a quest to find a contender to stand up to childhood memories. 

This is the recipe I found and it is the one we will be enjoying on Thanksgiving day.  These rolls were light and fluffy and if they didn't pull apart exactly like cotton candy, they were pretty close.  The recipe calls for a heavy duty mixer.  I did all the mixing and kneading by hand and it worked fine.  I also left out the dough enhancer and the rolls were lovely.

“Sunday Best” Dinner Rolls

Added by Terri @ that's some good cookin' on July 27, 2011 in Breads, Dinner Rolls
Servings 36
• 2 Tablespoons Yeast
• ½ cups Sugar Plus 1/2 Teaspoon, Divided
• 2 cups Warm Water, divided
• ½ cups Butter, Melted, Plus More To Dip The Rolls In
• 3 whole Eggs
• 7 cups To 8 Cups White Flour
• ½ cups Powdered Milk
• 2 Tablespoons Dough Enhancer
• 2 teaspoons Salt

Preparation Instructions
Dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in 1 cup warm water.

While the yeast is proofing, add the remaining 1 cup of warm water, melted butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and eggs to the mixing bowl of an electric mixer such as a Bosch or KitchenAid. When the yeast has doubled (it only takes a few minutes), add it to bowl. Mix on low speed just until the ingredients are combined.

Add 4 cups flour, powdered milk, dough enhancer, and salt. Mix on a medium speed for 7-10 minutes. Turn off mixer and let mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Add 2 more cups flour and mix on medium speed until ingredients are well incorporated. With mixer running, add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, just until the dough cleans the side of the bowl. This is an important step because it marks the difference between a roll that has just the right amount of flour and one that has too much or too little flour. Turn the mixer to a higher knead setting and let the mixer do its thing for 8-10 minutes until the dough is very smooth and elastic.

Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. I leave the dough in the mixer bowl. This is where you really save time on this recipe. After the dough has rested, you can start forming the rolls.

Lightly butter a 9 ” x 13″ metal pan. Use a metal pan, not a glass baking dish. Pinch off enough dough to form a 1 1/2″ ball. You can vary the size of your rolls by how much dough you choose to make each one. Sometimes you might decide that you want bigger rolls if you are using these for sandwiches, sometimes you might be in the mood for something a little more traditional. Look at the amount of dough you are using for your roll and imagine it double its visible size. That’s how big your finished product will be—maybe even a little bigger. I make my rolls so that I can get 4 rolls across the pan and 5 rolls lengthwise.

Dip each roll into some melted butter before putting them into the pan. The butter provides two things: it allows the rolls to make a wonderful top and bottom (the corner rolls are my favorite because they have two outside browned sides, a brown bottom, and a lovely golden brown top) and the rolls separate easily from each other after they are baked.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set the rolls in a warm place to rise. It takes about an hour for the rolls to rise; sometimes only 30-45 minutes, depending on how happy the yeast is that day. You can get some good talking done while the rolls are rising.

Once the rolls have doubled in bulk, remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls at 375ºF until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes. You can brush a little more butter on them, if you want to. It makes them extra pretty.

By the way, this recipe can make about 4 dozen rolls. You could make a pan of rolls and use the rest of the dough for cinnamon rolls or scones. Just a thought.

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