The girls and I got together today to bake up a storm. Well, actually, I have no control over the weather, so I'm not baking a "storm" per se. But we are baking a lot. Sister-In-Law is making pie of many varieties--pumpkin, lemon, coconut, and maybe even chocolate cream (which is not really "baked," but whatever.) I'm making honey wheat rolls. Sister is making...coasters. That's not a funny name for a snack food. She's actually making Mod Podge coasters with scrapbook paper and other items on while tiles. She's a good cook and everything, but we'll have so much food that we decided the rolls would be from both of us.
Anyway, I thought I would make this a post about how to make my Honey Wheat Rolls, which I kind of made up, but not really. But kind of. You'll see.
Step 1: Locate the recipe, which was hiding in the back of my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, disguised as a folded piece of xerox paper.
Elise's Honey Wheat Rolls
1 C warm water
1 C warm milk
2/3 C butter, softened
1/2 C honey
2 t salt
2-1/2 C wheat flour
5 C white flour
4-1/2 t active dry yeast
3 T butter
Step 2: Assemble the
|1: Yeast; 2: Butter/Margarine; 3: Eggs; 4: Cake pans; 5: Sippy cup of milk, for easy, no spill transport; 6: White flour; 7: Salt; 8: Wheat flour; 9: Honey|
Oooh and aah over how pretty the honey is. Take a picture or two:
Step 3: Mix (by hand or with a mixer, but the mixer is easier) together all the wet ingredients and the yeast. Be careful not to overheat your water or milk (or even your butter if you're like me and forgot to take the stick out of the freezer in time and you have to microwave it to soften it and you end up with molten liquid butter that sits on the counter for a while to cool). Where was I? Oh, don't overheat or you will kill your yeast and get flat rolls. Just trust me. But don't make it too cold either, or your yeast will take FOREVER to do its job and you'll end up with...flat rolls. This is probably why people find bread so tricky. Just make sure it's a little warmer than your skin, I guess. That's my rule of thumb anyway--no, really...I stick my thumb in it and if it doesn't feel too hot, I use it.
Step 4: Stir in both flours slowly, until it's more dough than batter. You may need a little more or a little less than the recipe calls for--every batch is different. If you need to cut or add, do it to the white flour. Keep all the wheat flour you can.
Step 5: Knead in the remaining flour. Just dump the sticky mass onto a floured surface and go at it. It's quite relaxing, really. This is my favorite part. Really go at it for about 10 minutes.
Step 6: Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a towel--make sure it's in a warm place. If your house runs kind of cold, set your oven to 150 degrees and sit the bowl on top of it. Let it rise for 1 hour.Or until it's doubled. If it seems to be lagging behind at this point, give it another fifteen minutes and then don't worry about it. It rises again later.
Step 7: Separate the dough into 30 pieces (don't be like me a listen to the recipe--32 is a difficult number to make sit in the pans. Just do 30, okay?). Work each piece into a nice round, roll-looking-thing (specific, right?):
Step 8: Arrange them in two 13x9 cake pans and set them aside to rise for 1 hour (covered by a towel again). Or so. Use your best judgement--they will rise more in the oven, but you want them to be pretty large before they go in. And don't be like me (again) and not to the math on the timing and realize you have music rehearsal at 6:00 and the bread won't finish rising until about 6:15, so you leave them on the counter until 11:00 pm, hoping they don't take over the kitchen like that folktale about the magic spaghetti pot (does anyone know what I'm talking about?). So, yeah. Don't do that.
Step 9: Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until light golden.Watch them carefully, because the tops will not be as golden as you expect when the bottoms are done. Take them out a little early than your gut tells you to do, because they will continue to brown a little in the pan.
Step 10: Rub the remaining butter over the top of the hot rolls, allowing it to melt and run down the sides. It's okay if it pools between them. No, wait. It's MORE THAN OKAY. I used an entire HALF STICK of butter for this process and it seemed a little excessive, but they turned out great, so do with that what you will. The butter will make the tops a little more golden, will keep the rolls soft, and will taste like heaven at dinnertime.
Step 11: Serve warm (rewarm in a low oven for a few minutes if serving then next day). Feed them to your friends and family. Allow them to love you. It's okay. You earned it.