Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rolling Rolls

I seem to be chief bread-baker in my family.  My older daughter does own an electric bread machine.  Every time I start to wonder if the art of baking bread from scratch will be lost, somebody asks for a lesson.  My niece is now an expert at unkneaded bread loaves.

One of my grand daughters asked me if she could help make rolls.  She thought rolls were just tiny loaves.  

Not the way I make them.  I make butterhorn rolls.

At first my family thinks I don’t know how to cook, because while I use measuring cups, I don’t really measure anything.  I know what texture I want the dough to be.

Approximately, I use: 

1 TBSP active dry yeast a cup and a half of warm water
1/3 cup honey or agave
If I’m in a mood for it, a Tbsp of olive oil.
Anywhere between 1 and 3 tsp salt (depends on mood)
enough flour to make a good bread dough – at least 6 cups -- I use whole wheat. My daughter likes white, so we compromised on white whole wheat.  It looks like white flour, but is supposedly still whole grain.

I combine all this in the mixer.  The dough is still wet. You don’t need a dough hook.

Let the dough rise.  
Beat it down again.
Let it rise again.

Dump it out onto a floured rolling sheet.  I like the silicone ones.

The flour on the rolling sheet is what makes the dough lose its goopy stickiness.

This is the point where my grand daughter became interested.  Having to explain what I’m doing means I have to go off autopilot – and actually think about how I make bread.  Having a helper is actually extra work.  

The last time she helped me bake it was a magic trick in which she made a cake in a hat.  That was magic – no oven involved.  This was cooking.  She already knew about wearing oven gloves.  I like these in silicone, too.

First she got to use the rolling pin to roll out the dough.  No, I don’t think this is why they are called rolls.  I think they are called rolls because they are round and they can roll.

Then I cut the dough like a pizza into triangles.  She got to roll up the triangles, into horns, and put them on cookie sheets.  We had enough dough for two circles, and each circle made 8 triangles, so we had 16 rolls.

We let the dough rise again.  We popped the cookie sheets into the oven, turned the oven on to 350 degrees Farenheit, and waited until they smelled right – about 20 minutes.

Cooking is a matter of texture and smells, and occasional nibbles of raw dough.  Since my grand daughter freaks out at raw eggs, these rolls have no egg. They taste good, so who cares?  

Cooking is a matter of getting something good to eat – the actual ingredients and process can vary. 

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