Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This is how I Roll

I haven't done a cooking post in a super ridiculous long time... So here we go.

I am REALLY tired of commercial bread.  It has all these weird ingredients which totally goes against healthy eating.  I am all about making my family as healthy as possible, but yeast scares the living crap out of me.  Its SO much work to make the dang bread and most of the time what I get is less than stellar, and sometimes downright inedible.  Which sucks when I put all my proverbial eggs in one basket and try my hand at bread to go with the soup I am making.  If it sucks, we have no bread.  Which makes this carb lover unhappy.  My dad has a breadmaker, and while the results are edible, they are far from fabulous.  So I continued with the mystery ingredients until a better solution presented itself.  Enter my happy solution.

Exercising the new top front teeth
I got this recipe off of Pinterest, and then tweaked it to make it manageable for weeknight meals and made them whole wheat instead of white rolls.

Whole Wheat Buttercrust Rolls
Original recipe from Jenna on Eat, Live, Run

4 1/2 t dry active yeast (2 packets)
1/4 c warm water (about 125 degrees)
1 1/4 c hot water
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
5T powdered buttermilk
1.5 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
3 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2-2 1/2 c all purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 eggs

1 egg yolk plus 1 T warm water for wash

1) Dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit for five minutes, until foamy.

2) While the yeast is activating, microwave the 1 1/4c of hot water until really hot/starting to boil. Add the butter, stirring so the butter melts completely. Add the sugar and stir till it dissolves. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, mix flours*, baking soda, salt, and powdered buttermilk in the bowl of a standing mixer (you can knead this by hand if you want, but it takes some serious time and effort). Pour in the yeast/water mixture, followed by the semi-cooled water/butter/sugar mixture, and finally the eggs. Knead by hand or with the dough hook on your standing mixer until smooth and elastic, about six minutes (perhaps longer if doing it by hand). Make sure the dry ingredients are being incorporated, and stir a bit if needed. Add flour if the dough seems really sticky. If using a mixer, turn the dough out onto the counter, and knead a few times by hand.  Form the dough into a ball

4) Lightly oil a bowl and plop the ball in, cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel (to prevent the dough from drying out) and place in a warm area to rise (about 80-90 degrees is ideal).  Let rise till doubled in size or about 1 hr.

5) Preheat oven to 375. Punch down dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 2-oz balls (use a food scale or make small golf balls). Roll each ball into a rope and tie it into a knot, trying not to let the end stick out too much.

6) Line baking sheets with parchment paper, place rolls about 2" apart, and brush each one with the egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

* Add the lesser amount of flour at first.  Flour in different climates in different seasons will have varying amounts of moisture in them. As the dough mixes, sprinkle the flour in a little at a time until the dough has the "right" consistency.  Its hard to explain what the right consistency is, but here goes: it should be sticky, but not SO sticky that you cannot get it off your hands and is impossible to work with.  This dough is a little wetter than some other bread doughs, so don't worry if it is a little stickier than you are used to.  Just flour your work surface and carry on. :-)

My 1 year old son LOVES these rolls and I admit, I am a big fan, too.  I made the white flour version for Thanksgiving, and then gave the half whole wheat flour a spin recently, and both came out just stellar.  I may swap out the egg wash for a butter wash just to see what they do, but they are really glossy and pretty this way.  Enjoy your preservative- and weird-ingredient-free bread!

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