November 17, 2012

Homemade Bread, Is There Anything Better?

Have I ever told you how much I love to blog? Well, if I haven't then I will do so now. I love having a food blog. As a stay at home mom it gives me a hobby, something I can do other than change dirty diapers, clean the house, take out the trash etc. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. But it is really nice to connect with myself every so often and have a break from the utterly mundane. This blog helps me do that.

Blogging is not always easy however, and in recent months this blog has grown more. I expect that this growth will continue and as a result, you may see a lot of changes on the blog. For example, the design of the blog might change, I am trying to change host sites for my domain, I am going to start offering advertising for small businesses, etc. A lot of these changes are absolutely necessary because they are going to make my life ten times easier--- and as a mom, I need that.

 I just love how supportive all of my readers have been so far, so stick with me through the changes and be very patient with me and my lack of technical skills. I promise it will all be worth it.  I have a list of changes that need to happen and it is very long. None of it will be that final until the beginning of 2013. Thank you for your patience.

On the off-chance that you are upset about this news (haha), don't worry I have a solution. BREAD. Good bread makes everything better. Especially homemade bread fresh from the oven slathered with cinnamon honey butter. Is there anything more comforting?

I submit that there is not (with the exception of all things chocolate).
Overnight Pull-Apart Rolls: Just a little recipe to make your life a lot easier come Thanksgiving Day.
Today's make-ahead recipe is for overnight rolls, which I am assuming will come in handy this coming week. You see, the dough itself maybe takes 5-10 minutes to throw together. Once its done all you have to do is throw it in a bowl and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. In other words this recipe is very little work= small investment of time, big delicious totally-worth-it dividend.

Overnight Pull-Apart Rolls: Just a little recipe to make your life a lot easier come Thanksgiving Day.
To make your life easier on Thanksgiving Day, make the dough the night before. One and a half hours before you plan on serving your turkey and all it's fixins', shape the dough, let rise for 30-40 minutes, and bake. It's as easy as that.

Overnight Pull-Apart Rolls

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 3 1/2- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I do one cup whole wheat)
Cooking Directions
  1. In small saucepan combine milk, sugar, shortening, and salt; heat to lukewarm (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F)*. 
  2. In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water**. Add egg and milk mixture. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough***. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead gently 2 to 3 minutes to make a smooth ball. (Knead in just enough remaining flour so dough is no longer sticky.) Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
  3. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface; allow to rest 10 minutes.
  4. To shape rolls, roll or pat dough to a 10x8-inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut in 2-1/2x1-inch strips. Lightly roll each strip and place in a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan, leaving about 1/2 inch between each roll. Cover and let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and rolls sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cool. Makes about 32 small dinner rolls.
Tips for Making More Successful Rolls:
*If you heat your milk mixture past 110-115 degrees F, allow it to cool until it is back within this temperature range. If you don't you might risk killing your yeast, and dead yeast equals bread that won't rise. Gross.
**Once again make sure your water is warm, not hot. Hot water will kill your yeast. Also, help your yeast grow by adding one teaspoon of sugar in with the water and yeast during this step. Sugar gives the yeast something to feed on. Who doesn't love sugar?
***A soft dough is one of the biggest determining factors of a light, fluffly, heavenly roll. Some cooks are tempted to keep adding flour for some reason and their doughs just become hard and tough. Also gross. You want your dough to be slightly tacky (basically it will look sticky), but it will have formed a ball, and it should not stick to your hands when you touch it. Understand?
One last tip about bread making: Always remember that just like your mother-in-law, bread making is a lot less intimidating than you think it is. 

5 out of 5 stars

A word about the honey butter: some honey butter recipes also contain powdered sugar or marshmallow fluff. I have had these recipes before and they are good. However, there is something so beautiful about the simplicity of just using honey for the sweetness in honey butter. After all, it is called honey butter.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine the butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip until light and fluffy. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe by Ina Garten
5 out of 5 stars

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