Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I love to let bread rise on a warm windowsill, but the sun hasn't been out much these days. I do have a warm mantel near the wood stove that works perfectly.
Make an easy batch of rolls. Shape them however you'd like. My old Better Homes and Gardens "Complete Step-By-Step Cookbook" is a classic and it shows 9 different ways to shape them, including Fantans, Parker House Rolls, Bow Knots and Rosettes. I made mine Shortcut Cloverleaves. Just snip an X on the top, then let them rise.
3 1/2 cups flour, 1 package dry yeast, 1 1/4 cups milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup shortening or butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 egg
Mix together 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, shortening or butter, and salt. Heat until warm and melted. (Let cool if it's too hot. You want it warm for the yeast.) Add to flour mixture and add the egg. Mix on low speed for a minute then at high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. (until it's not too sticky) Knead with the dough hook on your mixer until it is smooth and elastic. (approximately 5 minutes)
Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise in a warm (not hot) place until double (45 - 60 minutes). Punch down and divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Cut each half into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, pulling the edges under to form a smooth top.
I sprayed muffin tins with cooking spray. Placed the dough smooth side up, and cut the tops. You can bake them plain, or bake them in a round cake pan. Or check out some other shapes and options.
Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 10 - 12 minutes. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then move to a rack. Makes 24 rolls.