Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Taunting the oven to tease the yeast...

Yeast and I are not the best of friends.  I try really hard to be friends, but sometimes it won't even rise to great me.  Sometimes it flatly turns me away.
I have found a way to get yeast to behave a touch better, but involves some trickery.  I've joined forces with my oven to pull the dough over yeast's eyes.  I set my oven to as low of a heat setting as I can, I wait for it to read 100 degrees in the thermometer inside, and turn it off.  You see, we tease the oven into thinking something magically is about to happen.  Perhaps some baked yumminess... instead, a brief tease.  I wait for the thermometer to read 90 degrees, then the dough goes into the oven, covered in a damp towel and in a glass bowl.  Sometimes you have to get forceful with yeast.
I've also found that I can do my second rising the same way then when it gets to just the perfect puff and i'm ready to bake it, I shock it and throw it into the refrigerator.  This way I can bake it at a later time, taking it out of the fridge and letting it come to more room temperature before baking, but this makes it easier to make cinnamon rolls or even these Garlic Rolls.  We had them on Easter.  They are yummy, so yummy.  Thankfully I could make them the day before and only have to bake them at Easter dinner.  Can you imagine me trying to make the the dough rose and did all that crazy stuff while juggling, kids, in laws and a wild dog?  Yeah, no.  Took my time on Saturday to make sure the dough behaved and rose as it should then Sunday did the baking and yes, they were well worth it. Mmmm I should make them again - soon!

Garlic & Herb Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried herbs
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
up to 1/2 cup additional flour

Place all ingredients except additional flour into bowl of a stand mixer.  User the dough hook and mix to combine.  Add up to half a cup additional flour as needed to make dough mostly pull away from edges of bowl.  Continue to knead in mixer for 4-5 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and fold into a tight ball.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise 60-90 minutes until doubled.  Divide into 16 pieces and form into balls.  Place in greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rise until rolls are puffed and touching, about one hour.  Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes until gold brown on top and cooked through.

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