Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rolls 101

Every time I go to a church potluck I bring rolls. I really enjoy making rolls and everyone loves eating them. On more then one ocasion I have been asked "These are so great! How do you make them?" Well, here you are, step by step directions on how I make rolls... to bad they don't make smell-o-Internet cause these babies are aromatherapy for the soul!!

4 1/2 to 6 cups flour
2 tablespoons yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water (115-120 degrees)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine

This is my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. A house warming gift from my mother. I don't know what I love more, my mini van or my kitchen aid (wow... did I just say that! Yep I am a mom alright!) This thing is the secret to my success. If you don't have one that is OK. The rolls will still turn out great, I promise!


With my trusty 60 hour roll (thank you Jenny!) recipe for inspiration (I kind of don't follow the instructions, I do my own thing) I am ready to get to roll making!

Add the yeast to the mixing bowl and add the water. I plug up my sink and let the hot water run till it's at max hotness and measure the hot water from the tap. (When I bake I have a sink of hot soapy water ready to toss the used utensils in. Helps with clean up.)

 I let the yeast and water proof (hang out) for about 5 minutes or so. While the yeast proofs I combine the milk, (we use soy milk so Bella [my 4 year old] can have the rolls too, she has a severe milk protein allergy) butter, (non dairy margarine) salt, and sugar in a pot and heat it on the stove until it reaches that magical number of 115 to 120 degrees. I use a candy thermometer to be sure it's temp is right. Yeast is pretty picky and if the liquid is too hot or too cold it won't work and you will make a very doughy paperweight.
 This is what the yeast and water look like. When you see bubbles then you know it's time to rock-n-roll. There is an idea out there that if you "feed" your yeast with a little sugar it will work better but I never have and my yeast works just fine.
 Add 2 cups of your flour and mix it with the paddle (regular beaters if using any other stand mixer) for about 35 seconds on med speed until all the dry and wet are combined. Now comes the fun part. Slowly crank the mixer to full speed and let it go for about 2 to 3 minutes. This is my little secret an it really helps to get the gluten activated so you will get a nice rise on your dough. If you are using whole wheat flour I suggest you whip it for 5 to 8 minutes to fully activate the gluten in the flour.
 This is what it looks like after the 2 minutes are up. It should be fairly lump free and smooth. Remove the paddle and replace it with the dough hook.
 add two more cups of flour and let the hook go for another few minutes. If the dough looks wet add more flour a 1/4 cup at a time until the dough clings to the hook and the sides of the bowl are clean. Like this...
 This green bowl is my favorite bowl to rise my bread in. Every bread maker has there favorite bowl and this is mine. It is rarely used for anything else but raising dough in my kitchen. Take your large bowl and oil it (I use olive oil) on the bottom and sides.
 take the dough out of the mixing bowl and form into a ball. put the ball in the bowl and flip it around so all sides of the dough get coated in oil.
 Cover with a kitchen towel and stick it in a warm place to rise. Depending on the time of year I rise my bread in different places. In the summer and fall I rise my bread in the sink. I stopper up the sink and fill it with boiling water about 2 inches deep. I place a cereal bowl upside down in the middle of the sink and put the bowl of dough on the cereal bowl an cove the entire sink with  bath towel. It works great and I get a quick rise. It works because the humidity in the sink helps the yeast to work a bit faster. In the winter and spring I have found that putting the dough in front of the fireplace works great as well.
 Let the dough rise for 15 to 20 minutes. It should almost double in size.
 Punch the dough down and plop it onto a floured counter top. At this point the sky is the limit as to what you can make.
  •  Form it into balls about 3 inches in diameter and place on a cookie sheet to make hamburger buns. Cover and let rise till double, about 25 minutes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • Flatten it out into the shape of a rectangle and cut into smaller rectangles and place on the cookie sheet and you have hoggie or hot dog rolls. Cover and let rise till double, about 25 minutes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • You can make cinnamon rolls... roll the dough out into a rectangle and spread butter on it. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on over the butter. starting from the longer end roll the dough up into a log. Slice the log into 2 inch pieces, place in a 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise till double, about 25 minutes bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. While they are baking make a glaze for them. Mix 2 cups powered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk in a bowl stir to combine. Right after you take them out of the oven pour the glaze over the rolls.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out to make 2 round pizza crusts. Make sure to prick the dough so it won't get lots of bubbles. When making pizza dough you do not need to let the dough raise a second time. Add toppings and bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. When making pizza you can forgo adding the sauce and put the topping and cheese on half of the pizza. Fold the untopped half over the topped half, crimp the edges and you have a calzone. Bake it at 375 for 25 minutes and serve with pizza sauce to dip.
  • Or you can make regular dinner rolls! Of course you can make them any shape you want.

I punch it down and with my hands flatten it down to a rectangle like this...
 Taking a pizza cutter I cut the dough into strips like this...
 Here is a strip of dough by itself
 I smoosh it down a bit and roll it up.
 If the insides are poking out I push it in a bit.
 You can space the rolls out on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart but my family likes pan rolls so I stick them in my roasting pan. That way I can fit more rolls in there.
 I stick the towel back over the rolls and let them rise for 20 minutes or so. While they are rising I heat up the oven. Some people suggest letting your bread or rolls or whatever rise in the oven the taking them out of the oven to heat it up then baking them. This has NEVER worked for me. Every time I take the bread out of the oven to heat it up my dough falls.EVERY TIME!!! So please don't raise your bread on it's second rise in your oven or all your careful water temp checking and yeast proofing will just be a waste!!!
 Bake the rolls at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top, like this...
 Bread is moist and sweats after it's done baking. So take the rolls out of the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack. If you don't the corners will get all mushy and wet.
 The rolling up method is quite nice looking I think and my kids love putting it apart.
So there you have it; amazing dinner rolls that are done in about an hour give or take. You can use the same process with making bread. Just use different ingredients and longer raising time. I swear by the whipping method. It works so well. If you think I left anything out or if you have questions please feel free to leave a comment. happy roll baking!

1 comment:

Hoovy4 said...

Yummy! loved making these. Suggestion: as well as posting the recipe mixed in with the pictures, could you then post the entire recipe by itself after? I like website that do that - it makes it easier for me to cut & paste the recipes into Word so I can then print them out. (Our best bites is a good example)
thanks for sharing your talents, Leahona!


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