First crack at bread…

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I had a bread machine about 10 years ago or so. And I liked it, but I never felt like I was making bread. The machine did it all, and then spit out this odd shaped loaf of bread. It was so wide, the bread never fit in the toaster. Because of the odd shaped loaves, I stopped using it. And in one of our fifty moves, the bread maker did not make the cut. Poor thing. It never had a chance in our house.

So, yesterday, I was in the mood for something yeasty. You know that feeling when you just want.. need… desire carbs?? I needed to find an easy yeast roll recipe that didnt call for eggs. I was out, and did not feel like leaving the house. I found one here that called for egg for the wash on top only. I used butter instead. They were missing that nice glossy top, but overall came out pretty darn well for my first crack at using yeast. Next time, I want to make sure I get the sizes more uniform so that they rise and bake the same. But overall, I was pleased. I placed some in the freezer and kept some out. The smell alone was fantastic. Mmmmm…just the yeasty goodness I was looking for. Butter melting inside a warm yeast roll… it doesnt get better than that.

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Yeast Rolls

Gourmet, December 2004

Recipe by Ruth Cousineau

1/4 cup warm water (105-115°F)
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for greasing bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer (for checking water temperature); a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth); parchment paper

Stir together water, yeast, and honey in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir salt into 3 cups flour in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, buttermilk, and butter, stirring until a soft dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, adding just enough more flour to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic, 6 to 10 minutes.

Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Cut dough into 18 equal pieces. Cup your hand over 1 piece and, using your thumb and pinkie to keep ball inside your cupped hand, push dough with heel of your hand against work surface while rolling in a circular motion (clockwise or counterclockwise) to form a smooth ball. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, arranging balls 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rolls rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Brush rolls lightly with egg wash and bake until rolls are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool at least 15 minutes.

One thought on “First crack at bread…

  1. Your rolls look lovely! I really preferr without the egg wash tops – I bet they taste as good as they look. Have you seen the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book? One of my favorites.

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