SPELT AND CORNMEAL ROLLS

Rustic, toothsome, flavorful, and if all that wasn’t enough, these rolls are a cinch to make.  In a classic Dan Lepard’s approach, the recipe calls for minimal kneading, and because they are baked as small rolls, shaping is  a breeze.  The rolls also freeze quite well,  individually wrapped, then placed in a low oven to come back to that freshly baked feel.

Per Mr. Lepard’s request,  I won’t post the full recipe.  But you can find it in the database of “The Guardian”  through a quick jump here.

I will, however, give you a quick outline of how this recipe comes together….

The cornmeal needs to be soaked in boiling water for a few minutes, once you do that, all ingredients – soaked cornmeal, spelt flour, water, honey, and yeast – are added to a large bowl, mixed quickly, and left standing for 10 minutes.

A kneading cycle of 30 seconds, a 20-minute rise (yes, that fast…), and you are ready to divide and conquer… rather, divide and shape in 8 rolls.

After shaping, they rest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour.  Only 45 minutes to go before baking time!

Once they bake, they will more or less join together, let them cool this way, breaking them apart at serving time.

Adorable little rolls, dense, but in a good way… 😉  We enjoyed them in  sandwiches – smoked turkey & provolone,  ham, cheese, tomato & pesto sauce – but also as plain small bites with our dinner of roast chicken. They will certainly be a favorite in your home too!

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting event…

ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Potato and Olive Focaccia (another Dan Lepard recipe, another winner!)

TWO YEARS AGO: Salmon Curry

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BUTTERMILK CLUSTER

One of the English expressions that puzzles me the most is “easy as pie.”  That’s because I don’t see anything easy about making the dough,  rolling it out, and mastering the finishing touches that result in a gorgeous pie.  But, I promise  that this bread is  a cinch to make, and much, much easier than pie!  It quickly comes together,  so you can wake up on a sunny Sunday morning and make this bread in time for  brunch.

BUTTERMILK CLUSTER
(adapted from The Fresh Loaf Forum)

Makes 12 to 18 rolls, depending on size

6 to 6 1/2 cups (750 grams) bread  flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons)  instant yeast
1 tablespoon warm water
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey

Glaze:
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Topping:
1-2 tablespoons seeds (poppy, sesame) or grains (cracked wheat, rolled oats)

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the warm water and yeast in a small cup and allow to proof for 5 minutes.

Pour the yeast, buttermilk, and honey into the flour mixture and mix to form a shaggy mass. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then do a 10-20 seconds kneading.  Cover the dough with plastic film, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Repeat the minimal kneading two more times, at 30 and 45 minutes, then let the dough rise for another 45 minutes undisturbed or until almost doubled in size (total bulk fermentation will be  about 90 minutes).

Divide the dough into 12 to 18 pieces. Shape each piece into a neat ball and place in a round dish or spring-form pan close together.

When all of the rolls are in the pan, cover again with plastic and set aside to rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.

Uncover the rolls and brush gently with the egg wash. Sprinkle on the grain topping. I used sesame seeds.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the rolls are firm and spring back when tapped.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I didn’t have a springform pan, and my smaller round cake pan could only fit 11 of the dough balls.   So, I shaped the leftover dough as a small loaf and baked it separately.

            

As I munched on these soft, springy rolls I kept thinking about Thanksgiving dinner :  they are perfect for that occasion, so keep them in mind. Thanksgiving is such a busy cooking day, and this recipe is so easy  that it will be something to give thanks for.  😉

Something strange and unexpected happened to the individual loaf I baked.  I sliced it, then placed on the kitchen counter to wrap in plastic and freeze.  But,  I forgot about it for a couple of hours and when I went to search for it, it was gone!   My beloved husband was not around, and one of the dogs is too short to reach the counter, which left two possibilities:

1. I have a double-personality disorder and the “other me” has no self-control.

2. The “other dog” knows how to get the most of those long skinny legs.

I guess we know which one it was (sigh).

I am sending this to Susan’s Yeastspotting

ONE YEAR AGO:  Grilled Lettuce Salad   (you’ve got to try it!)

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FESTIVUS DINNER ROLLS

A post dedicated to all the Seinfeld fans…  😉

Sometimes in a meal a bread grabs the spotlight.  Think about the glory of a rustic sourdough boule beside a bowl of lentil soup, or a slice of pain Poilane beneath a golden cheesy layer of Croque Monsieur.  But during a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner feast the breads accept a more humble place.  Small rolls, soft and unpretentious, are the best choice. This recipe was published in Fine Cooking magazine in 2001, with Abigail Johnson Dodge behind it, which means it is flawless. You can make and shape the dough a day beforehand, place it in the fridge, and bake it while entertaining your guests on even a very busy cooking day.

CLASSIC DINNER ROLLS
(Abigail Johnson Dodge, Fine Cooking 2001)

18 oz. (4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) rapid-rise yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks

Place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of your KitchenAid type mixer, mix to combine. Put the bowl in the mixer stand and fit it with the dough hook.

Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, stirring gently until the butter melts, and the temperature reaches 115F to 125F. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl, add the egg yolks, and mix with the dough hook in low speed until everything forms a shaggy mass. Increase the speed to medium high and mix/knead for about 8 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl, shape it into a ball, grease the bowl lightly with oil, and place the dough back inside, covering with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled in size (45 minutes if using rapid-rise yeast, a little longer for other types of yeast).

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface (no need to flour; the dough is soft but not sticky) and gently press to deflate. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, form each into a ball, and place in the pan, with the seam side down.

Cover the pan with plastic and let the dough rise until almost doubled, about 30 min. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F. Remove the plastic and bake the rolls until they’re puffed and browned, about 20 min. Serve warm.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: To make  this recipe in advance, cover the rolls with plastic wrap right after shaping and place them in the fridge.  Next day  remove the dish from the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours, and then bake the rolls at 375 F.

I brushed the rolls right before baking with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a couple of teaspoons of water), because I like the shiny look it gives to the bread.  However, you can also bake them without it, as the original recipe suggests.

Warm from the oven, these rolls are perfect to soak up that last bit of gravy on your plate. And they can return the next day sliced in half, for mini-turkey or prime-rib sandwiches, a holiday tradition in many American homes!

If you are hosting a big Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner, these rolls will be a nice addition to your menu. They are very easy to make – even if you are a rookie bread baker – and absolutely delicious.

I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting.

ONE YEAR AGO: Lebanese Baked Kibbe (one of my favorite recipes ever!)

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FRENCH-STYLE ROLLS

Avert your eyes, bread baker purists!    The dough for this bread is made in a food processor, and takes about 5 minutes to prepare,  from measuring the ingredients to setting the dough to rise. The recipe comes from Pam Anderson’s “The Perfect Recipe“, and I’ve made it many times in my pre-sourdough starter days. I still make it, when I want homemade bread but don’t feel like slaving over the  preparation. Simple, straightforward, quick, and best of all: works every time!

BASIC FRENCH BREAD
(from Pam Anderson)

1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope ( 2 + 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup cold water
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt

Sprinkle yeast over the warm water, let stand while you measure the other ingredients.

Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and process a few seconds to mix.

Add the cold water to the yeast mixture, and with the motor running, pour it into the processor, allowing it to mix until it starts to form a ball. Adjust with water or flour if it feels too dry or too sticky. Process for 30 seconds.

The dough should look like this at the end of processing…

Remove it from the processor, knead it a few times by hand, and place it in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size (1 to 3 hours, depending on the type of yeast and temperature of your kitchen – mine doubled in only 55 minutes).

The dough makes enough for 2 loaves or 12 rolls. Shape them whichever way you like, I made half the recipe as rolls, and formed a loaf with the rest of the dough. Set them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.

Make a deep cross-cut on top of the rolls using scissors;  slash the loaves with a blade or very sharp knife.  Bake the breads  in a 450F oven: rolls for 20 minutes, loaves for 40 minutes.   I bake my breads covered by a roasting pan for 3/4 of the baking time, then remove the cover  to get a nice dark golden crust.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting…  Make sure you drop by to enjoy the weekly collection of breads she offers every Friday.

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BBA #40: WHITE BREAD

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge brings us to White Bread, offered in three variations – I picked number 2, just because I like even numbers (they are never lonely…)

It is a very simple dough to prepare: buttermilk, flour, yeast, oil, one egg. I halved the recipe (our freezer is already overflowing with bread), and folded the dough instead of kneading it. You can shape the bread in many ways, take a look at the gorgeous dinner rolls made by Oggi (click here . )   I opted to make hamburger-style buns, brushing them with egg wash and sprinkling sesame seeds on top.

They turned out pretty nice, and tasted delicious!

Coming up next:  Whole Wheat…   I am looking forward to making it and comparing with my favorite sandwich bread, Light Whole Wheat, number 18.    Stay tuned…

BBA#16: KAISER ROLLS

A Kaiser roll….
KR1

is the beginning of a great sandwich!
sandwich

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Back to this tasty bread…

Once more I switched from kneading the dough to folding it, and the results couldn’t have been better. For those following along the “challenge”, here’s a heads up: the recipe uses only half the amount of the pate fermentee shown on page 105. If you make the full amount, remember to only use half of it. 😉

After incorporating the pate fermentee into the flour, egg, oil, malt, and yeast, I folded the dough at 30, 60, and 90 minutes. At the 2 hour mark the dough was bubbly and airy as expected, so I cut it into 6 pieces and formed the rolls using the knot method. They rose for almost 1.5 hours (see the before and after pictures, the two photos at the bottom of this gallery).

composite2

A little egg wash helped to glue the black sesame seeds on top…

seeds

Right out of the oven, a light roll, with a nice crumb structure…
IMG_2206

hand

And, before I forget… that sandwich was made with ham, cheese, yellow tomatoes, and a fried egg. Absolutely delicious!

For more Kaiser Roll adventures, here are links to blogs by fellow bakers who made the rolls ahead of me, check them out!

Carolyn, from Two Skinny Jenkins
Deborah, from Italian Food Forever
Maggie, from The Other Side of Fifty
Devany, from My Hawaiian Home
Oggi, from I can do That
Joelen, from What’s Cooking, Chicago?