Dinner Rolls – Make homemade rolls for Thanksgiving


Have you ever tried Corned Beef Hash? Not a homemade version, but the kind from the can. Oh, if you haven’t, you aren’t missing anything. Actually, you are missing something, the ability to tell everyone how horrible it is because you’ve tasted it and you know. I have never smelled and tasted something so vile. As soon as you pop open the can, the smell of dog food wafts past your nose. Yes, I said “dog food.” While they say that this is human food, I venture to guess that this is really just canned dog food and they mistakenly put a corned beef hash label on it. While my husband and I were dating, he tried to pass this off as an appropriate breakfast food. That was the first time I experienced it and THE LAST. It’s funny, because it was the last time he ate it as well. Ever since I said, “Oh my gosh, that smells like dog food” he hasn’t been able to eat it. I’m glad it’s not his favorite food, because it will never be in my pantry.

Anyway, I invited my parents over for dinner this past weekend, and I made turkey tetrazzini. I wanted to make dinner rolls to go along with it. Now, I wasn’t about to take the easy way out and buy some frozen dough or even the Brown and Serve rolls that you can buy at the grocery store. I wanted to make them from scratch.



For me, making yeast breads is so much fun. It’s a project that requires you to carefully follow the recipe. Other recipes are very forgiving, but not bread. I found a good recipe for dinner rolls on Foodnetwork.com. It had some pretty simple ingredients, so I knew it would be easy to prepare.

I am a little impatient, so the picture below is what happened in my kitchen when I needed to cool off the scalded milk. I didn’t want to wait for it to cool off naturally. So, this is the highly sophisticated way to make your bread baking go a bit faster.



This bread requires 2 rises, which isn’t tough, but you just have to plan ahead. If you want to make these for Thanksgiving, just be sure to give yourself several hours of prep time to ensure that they are done and warm by the time the family is sitting down to stuff their faces.



This story has somewhat of a sad ending. I popped them in the oven, on the middle rack, and let them alone to bake. All of a sudden I started seeing smoke coming out of the oven. Never a good sign! Half of my rolls were burnt on the bottom. I recommend putting these on the top rack of your oven, or else you will be forced to turn your burnt rolls into bread pudding or croutons.

Pretty rolls…



Burnt rolls…



Hopefully yours turn out like this…



Dinner Rolls
Adapted from: Food Network
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 package rapid rising yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup milk, scalded but cooled to warm
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted, plus an additional 2 tbsp (softened) for spreading on rolls
5-6 cups AP flour

Directions:
In bowl of standing mixer, combine yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, egg, salt, milk and melted butter. Using the dough hook, slowly mix in the flour until it is just slightly sticky. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl as the dough hook is mixing. Add more flour until it reaches the appropriate consistency.

Turn dough out onto lightly flour surface and knead for an additional 4-5 minutes – incorporate additional flour until the dough is no longer sticking to your hands. Form into a tight ball.

Spray a bowl with cooking spray and place the dough into the bowl, turning the dough to coat it with oil. Cover with a towel and place in a warm area (I use the top of the stove) to rise for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Lightly spray 2, 12 cup muffin tins with cooking spray. Turn dough out onto countertop and punch down (about 6 punches works). Using a pizza wheel, cut dough into 1-inch wide strips and then cut it again to create 1 inch cubes. Form the cubes into 1-inch balls and place 3 of the balls into each muffin cup. Once you have filled the muffin tins, cover with a towel and let them rise again for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush risen rolls with softened butter. Place rolls on the top rack of oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

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French Bread Recipe – Easy and Delicious!



I LOVE BREAD! There, I said it. I think I’ve only met 1 other person in my life that doesn’t like bread. I think he must be an alien. I could eat bread for every meal and in between every meal. I like it with butter, cinnamon/sugar, honey, Nutella, and pretty much any other way that it can be served. But, I still don’t like Rye bread. There is nothing good about rye!

Yesterday I was outside dethatching the lawn. Ok, for those of you that have never done this, it sucks! If you have never dethatched your lawn, you don’t know what this means, and if you DO starting dethatching, it will take you forever because you’ve never done it before. Lesson learned….dethatch your lawn every year and it won’t take 2 days to do just your front lawn. During the process of dethatching, I realized that we have virtually no grass in the front yard. It’s mostly weeds. GREAT! No wonder it always looked bad. Oh well, a special thanks goes out to the dude at Home Depot who told us exactly how to fix it. $150 later, we are ready for a thick, green lawn that requires multiple mowings each week. I love being a responsible homeowner…NOT.

So, while I was dethatching the lawn I came up with the idea to make homemade french bread (like I didn’t already have enough going on). I went inside, found a great recipe online, and then threw this together. The recipe that I found was really great because it had step-by-step instructions. I decided to go ahead and take pictures during my prep and baking processes, so I will post them as well. But, check out this post to see an even better play by play for making this bread.

If you have the time, make a couple of loaves of homemade bread. Try it at least once in your life. It’s not tough. The difficult part is kneading the dough, and I have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook, so it takes no time at all. Most stand mixers come with a dough hook, so use it if you have it. The other tricky part is getting the water temperature right. It can’t be too hot or too cold…it should feel a little warmer than room temperature. I don’t ever actually get a thermometer out to test the temperature, similar to the fact that I rarely time anything that I cook. I’m kinda lazy!

Perfect French Bread
Recipe from: Steamy Kitchen
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

4 cups flour (AP or Bread)
1 package (2 tsp.) active rapid rising yeast
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

Add 3-3/4 cup flour to large bowl of stand mixer. Add 2 tsp. yeast to 1 side of bowl and 2 tsp. salt to other side of bowl. Create a well in the center and pour in 1-1/2 cups warm water. Using paddle attachment mix until dough forms a sticky mass.



Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Turn mixer back on and mix for another 3 minutes.



Take the remaining 1/4 cup flour and spread it onto a clean work surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface and kneed in flour until dough can be formed into a nice, non-sticky ball. NOTE: I only used about 2 tbsp. flour. Do NOT use all of the flour if you do not need it. You don’t want the bread to be dry and crumbly.

Spray a medium sized bowl with cooking spray and add the dough ball to the bowl and turn the ball over to coat with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes.



NOTE: I turned on my oven and let it preheat. I then turned it off and placed my bowl on top of the oven so it doesn’t get too cold sitting on the counter.

When the bread has 15 minutes left to rise, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place your baking stone or baking sheet in the oven to warm.

Let dough rise until doubled (about 90 minutes).


Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.




Punch dough down, form into a ball again and then cut the dough in half using a pizza cutter. Place one of the halves back into the plastic covered bowl until ready to use. Shape one of the pieces into a rectangle.

Fold the long ends of the rectangle over each other. The 2 long ends should overlap slightly. Using the side of your hand and using a “karate chop” type motion, press the middle of the dough where the two ends overlap down so that it forms a nice indentation down the middle of the dough. (see Steamy Kitchen’s post for a pic of this. I forgot to take a picture of this step.)

Now pull up the long sides again and pinch them together in the center. Also, pull the short ends together and pinch to seal.



Turn dough over.



Place on lightly floured cutting board and cover with damp kitchen towel. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Gently place dough on heated pizza stone and cut 4 shallow, diagonal slits in the top of the bread using a sharp paring knife. Place dough in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. I used a thermometer to ensure the bread was done (190-210 degrees).



You can also add steam to the oven by spilling 1/4 cup water onto the bottom of the oven and closing the door while the bread is baking. This supposedly helps form the crust.

Remove bread from oven and let cool slightly before serving.