RECIPE #327, DAY #521
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Homemade Brown ‘n Serve Rolls” from Tastes from Lizzy T’s blog*
TIMING: 3 hours, much of it rising
DIFFICULTY: Not the easiest, but not too bad
TOOLS: Round baking pans, stand mixer, heavy bottomed saucepan…
COOK TYPE: Oven, baking
HEALTH: They are made with white flour and butter (and even a fair amount of sugar), but they are homemade so avoid many of the commercial bread pitfalls.
EXPERIENCE: We are finally caught up to Thanksgiving and I apologize for the delay. But next year, you’ll have all these recipes to reference…
These are the rolls I wanted for Thanksgiving, which fit with the theme this year: people-pleasing. Having been allowed finally to tackle a holiday all by myself, I wanted to stick closely to what people would expect. Just better. These rolls fit that bill (white, fluffy, mildly sweet) and also this one: make-ahead. Since I was doing the entire Thanksgiving feast alone, I wanted to make as many things as I could–without compromising on quality–ahead of time. What fell into that category? Rolls. Salad dressing. Pies. Whipped cream. And hors d’ouvres.
However, these rolls did not work out right for me. I did the pre-bake, then I refrigerated them instead of froze them because I was going to bake them something like 12 hours later. That could have been my problem. Or maybe the pre-bake? They came out of the pre-bake already looking a little forlorn. I also think my issue might have been letting them be exposed to the dry air while proofing (instead of covering with a damp towel for the final proof). Next time, I will not make either of these mistakes, and then we’ll see how they turn out, because, as I was making them, I could tell that the dough was amazing.
I also over-baked them a bit because my timer got turned off (by me, on accident). Darn it! They were my only casualty, so I guess I did pretty well.
NOTES: As noted above, make sure they stay warm and covered and out of a draft during all proofing processes. Also make sure to freeze as directed unless finishing the bake immediately.
You can also bake these right away at 375F for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. (It should become very foamy.)
- Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat, warm 1 1/2 cups milk just until hot but not simmering. Stir in 5 tablespoons granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons unsalted butter until dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Allow to cool until warm to the touch. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine milk mixture with the yeast mixture.
- Add 2 cups all purpose flour. Cover with a damp towel and set somewhere warm and draftless. Let batter rise for 1 hour.
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and another 2-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, stopping when you have a very soft but thick dough. Attach the dough hook to your machine and knead for 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough, grease your bowl, and put the dough ball back. Cover again, set aside again, and allow to rise 30 minutes. It should double in size.
- Punch the dough down and on a flat, clean surface divide into 24 pieces. Keeping the pieces covered with a damp towel, work each one into a ball and place in a greased, round baking pan. You should fit 12 into each or 2 pans.
- Cover them and set them aside one last time and let them sit for 20 minutes, until doubled in size again. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 275F.
- Bake for 20 minutes. They should not be done. Let them cool then place in zipper bags or otherwise seal them and freeze for a few days.
- When ready to bake, set on the counter for 45 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 10 minutes, until fluffy and golden brown.
Serve with softened, salted butter and plenty of turkey gravy for sopping up.
*Recipe changed from the original.