Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bread is the stuff of life...and I didn't have any in the house

Ok, there wasn't any 'real' bread in the house, that simply won't do. Man cannot live withOUT bread in the house. Well, maybe man can but I cannot and I have two weapons, the knowledge and the time.

Recipes and 'how to's' leave you waiting to the end to see how it all works, in this case we need to take a moment to savor that which awaits us - in this case the anticipation of the thing is half the joy. You know what you're getting, and it's good.

Let's just take a moment shall we and revel in it's wonder. Yes, the top is crisp and ever so slightly chewy at the same time. Underneath is the light and airy almost feathery and moist body of the thing. Yes, it pulls apart and steam is released from between the , it rises up and kisses you gently on each cheek. The butter needs to be cold, unsalted and sliced thin like cheese. If you need a moment, I'll wait.

This is what we're doing:

I use my Kitchenaid ("big red" for those who are in the inner sanctum - I think I've said this before but after the family and the animals, and the laptop, it's the next on the "save from a burning house" list) but you certainly don't have to.

dissolve in the bowl and let sit for a few mins:

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast (I think that's 1 packet, I use instant and measure it out)
almost 1/4 cup sugar


1 large egg
1/4 c oil (veggie)
heaping tsp salt

Beat around for a bit then add UP TO 4 1/2 cups AP flour. I add 3 cups and beat like hell with the beater then swap it out for the dough hook and slowly add flour until it's a soft dough. Take it out of the mixer and knead a few times only to bring it together smoothly. It's a lovely soft dough to work with.

In a 9x13 glass pan (I like glass better, it browns nicely on the bottom and you can see it) Roll out 24 balls and put them in the buttered dish. I will take a moment and confess that I am genetically incapable of making 24 even sized and/or shaped little balls. I've tried, I've failed BUT at the end of it all, no one will notice or care and really, we can't let a little thing like uneven balls ruin a perfectly good carb load.

Leave to rise in a warm place (I use oven with the light on) covered with parchment (so it won't stick to them) for 1 hour 15 mins. They'll be all puffy and squished together.

Brush gently with milk and cook for 20+ minutes at 375.
*check at 20 mins, go longer if you want darker and crispier bottom*


You can take the whole thing out as one piece and rip the rolls off that'll leave the bottom crispy or leave them to cool in the glass pan and they'll be soft and, frankly, delicious either way.

Do it, a few ingredients, a little read or a tv show while things are rising and baking and you'll be happy, trust me, you will be, I know, I'm a mom

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