Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Around here, the Thanksgiving menu changes once every few decades. I remember when I was quite small, my mother would make three kinds of stuffing. There was bread stuffing with olives onions,celery and sage (icky), mashed potato and hamburger stuffing (I think I would have a bite or two of this) and there was the good old southern cornbread and sausage stuffing. Somehow over the years the cornbread stuffing emerged victorious (thank heavens). We've gone through various pie phases as well. Although apple and pumpkin are constants, we only have mince pie when my Nana is around and we only get the heavenly mocha pecan pie if my Aunt Shirley is cooking. I know, I know, that makes it sound like we're flibbertigibbets when it comes to pie, but I should point out that the mince reigned from the beginning of my memory until sometime in the 1990s and Aunt Shirley's pie was in for the early 2000s. And now we're down to apple and pumpkin. So, it would be a rash act if I suddenly introduced rolls to our Thanksgiving table. And considering that I won't even be cooking in my own kitchen, I won't be whipping up any rolls this year. But I did audition a recipe, just in case you needed one. See how giving I am? It had absolutely nothing to do with my overwhelming desire to chow down on buttery goodness on a weeknight. Just pure selflessness. Really.
PS - You really don't want to make these on a weeknight unless it's for a special occasion. You probably don't have this kind of time. I don't have this kind of time either which is why when I tried to make them I completely messed up the timing for dinner and had to make emergency mashed potatoes just to put enough food on the table and then had to freeze and defrost the rolls the next night for baking. But we could pretend that I did that just so you'd know that yes, you can freeze them (before the rise) and then bring them to room temp, then rise them, then bake.
BUTTERY CHEWY ROLLS
adapted from Cooking Light, I'd tell you which one but I tore out the page ages ago
3 T sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 C warm milk (Cooking light recommends 100F to 110F, I don't temp my milk, just don't make it so hot that you kill your yeast).
2 3/4 C flour (approximately, more for flouring your board)
3/4 t salt
3 tablespoons butter softened (I used melted).
Combine the yeast and sugar and milk. Let proof for 5 minutes. It should increase in volume. I did this in the bowl of my stand mixer. Add the flour and salt and mix until a dough forms. You can either let your mixer knead it or do it by hand. I don't think I found it sticky like they said, so I did it by hand. You want it smooth and elastic. Cover your dough with plastic and let stand for 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough to a 12 x 10 rectangle. Smear it with butter. I used a pastry brush. Then fold it in thirds lengthwise so you have a 12 x 3 rectangle. Pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes. If you use the fridge instead when you get to the next step, the butter will ooze out of every bit of the dough and you will feel annoyed.
Roll out the dough again to a 12 x 10 rectangle. Fold it in thirds again, the same way. Pop it back in the freezer (they say 10 minutes). Don't freeze for too long or you will find it incredibly difficult to roll it back out. I over froze mine at this point and there was no way in heck I was going to be able to roll it back out to an 12 x 8 rectangle. NO WAY.
Roll the dough out to an 12 x 8 rectangle. Roll it up like a jelly roll (start at one edge, roll carefully to the other edge). Pinch the crease to seal. Since there was no way I was getting a 12 x 8 rectangle I just rolled it as big as I could and then rolled like a jelly roll. No ill effects. Slice into 12 discs. Pop in a greased muffin pan and let rise 45 minutes. Then bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Let cool.
I froze my rolls before the final rise. I bring them to room temp, allow time for the rise then bake.