Thursday, February 25, 2016

LOBSTER ROLL (the roll not the lobster) also HOT DOG BUNS and just plain MILK BREAD as a loaf, so good, so easy

I make "milk bread" and have decided to use the recipe, with a small modification as the base recipe for my Lobster Rolls.  There's a long boring story about the rolls that involves a slightly famous cooker type but I was removed from their feed after my comments, not bitchy just observant, so I'm not playing there anymore.  I still, however, adore Lobster Rolls and even though I can't actually afford the lobster and caviar (!!!) to make the cookers version I'm still making them to hold my world famous, most delicious on earth egg salad.  I have chickens so I can egg salad my way from here to Christmas.  HAHA

Here is the low down and the zillion pics to help you make this dough.  It makes great bread, it makes great individual rolls and it make awesome lobster rolls.  I did, as you can see, invest in the specialty pan but you sure don't have to.  Just roll the dough into tubes and put them close in a pan that just fits them till they rise and you'll do just fine.


The first thing you have to do, yes you do, is make the "yangzhong" or hot water roux for the dough.  Yes you have to, yes it works, yes it helps, just do it, it's easy :) It's an ancient Japanese technique or making bread, don't listen to the newbies tell you it's a new idea or recently discovered, geez people, it's been around for a hundred or more years and I, personally, have been using it for over 10.

HOT WATER ROUX or  "yangzhong"

In a 2 cup microwaveable measuring cup, put 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup flour, microwave for 1-2 minutes, just till it boils.  Whip with a fork, cover and leave on the counter till cooled then store in the fridge.  You can make 2 batches of this dough with it, no, you can't only make half :D



In the bowl of your kitchen aid (or by hand, don't get in a snit) combine the following:

3 cups a/p flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast (one packet)
1/4 cup sugar (scant)
1 tsp salt
1 large or xl egg
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp room temp butter
1/2 cup of the hot water roux, cooled

Add the dough hook and let it go until it's all combined.  It will look gnarly and not cohesive.


Then, slowly and just a little at a time, seriously, go slow here, add

1-5 Tbsp Warm tap water

to make a cohesive, slightly sticky dough.

Turn the mixer to 4-5 and let it knead for you about 5 minutes.  OR just get in there with your hands and start kneading...and kneading...and kneading.  By machine, it will clear the sides of the bowl and be slightly stuck at the base.  When it's done, the dough will be smooth and clear and no longer stuck to the bottom.

Give it a quick knead by hand, to feel involved in the process.  Pop the dough into a lightly sprayed tub, I use a grout mixer bowl from Home Depot with a lid, I'm so cheffy.  Anyway, pop the lid on and leave it on the counter until it at least doubles. Remember my house is full of yeast because of the volume of bread I cook so it will take longer at your house.


Put it in a lightly oiled bucket and leave it about an hour till it doubles.  Spray your lobster roll pan or whatever vessel you're going to bake them in.
This dough is happy and relaxed and easy to just press out to the size of the lobster roll pan.  IF you're doing a 9x13, divide the dough into 10/12 and roll to the width of your pan and lay them in.  For the lobster roll people, just gentle press the dough to approximately the size of the pan then lift it in and gentle ease it into the corners.  Cover, or in my case, put the pan in those oversized veggie bags you get at HEB, yes, I always use the extra large bags so I can use them for bread.  Leave till it rises to almost the top.

PREHEAT oven to 375 while it rises.  

This dough doesn't double this time, it just poooooofs to about 1/4 ? inch from the top of the pan


This is where it gets weird.  Grease the bottom of a sheetpan and put it on top of the rolls when it goes in the oven, it makes the rolls a bit denser and fills the pan, forcing the dough down and into the corners.  

Bake with a sheet pan on it about 15 minutes. I bake on the top third of the oven so the bottom/top doesn't get too brown.  Remove the top pan and cook another 15 or so till it's done. 

Remove to a rack, inverting immediately.  I brush with a little butter and there, leave it to cool a bit then we'll doctor it up and fill it and eat it!!  

Now, we wait (ooooh, it's been worth it) 

Slice at the grooves, cut down the middle most of the way but leave it attached at the bottom.  Butter on both sides, yes do it...toast in a dry pan till a little crispy.  


Then pull gently apart and FILL IT and EAT IT!

These are just gratuitous beauty shots

I hope you make these, I hope you enjoy them and make them often.  Fill them with anything, cold salad, hot dogs and if you happy to be famous or inherit some dollars or simply hit a windfall that supplies you with big bucks then by all means, fill 'em with lobster salad and caviar.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DRIVE BY RECIPE - QUICK No Yeast (baking powder) rolls

I like an old fashioned, standard, old school, been making these for years, there's no new ideas, recipe like the next cooker gal.  THIS is one of those recipes.

Making dinner?  want something hot and tender and roll-like on the side but can't face yeast?  Make these, they're yummy.  I'd forgotten about these, I think my mom made them back in the day.  They are surpsingly bread like, not cloying or thick in your mouth, they're light and fluffy without being dry.

Go give them a try if you haven't, there's few things as satisfying as rolls fresh from the oven this fast.

DRIVE BY RECIPE:  QUICK Baking Powder Rolls

1 cup a/p flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 (generous) tsp sugar
1/2 Cup milk
2 Tablespoons (real) mayonnaise

Mix all together in a bowl, divide between 4 muffin cups, bake preheated 375 till done, 20?

Remove, butter liberally, eat, repeat



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I made Donut Muffins because if you call it a muffin you can eat three, I made minis so you can eat four... you're welcome

I was accused of being a baker.  I don't bake, I cook.  I looked through my food and I guess, much to my horror, I do, in fact, bake.

I usually wing my recipes and rarely re-create the recipe exactly each time.  I do try to have a proper recipe here and I reference my own work frequently.  I don't do exact measurements, even with the baking.

Use this recipe that I morphed from a bunch of recipes I read, have and created as a starting point.

Add more or less of the flavors depending on your mood and whim.  Be a cook who bakes and break rules as often as possible.  The worst case is you have to waste a little flour and an egg or two... c'mon, jump in and make it your own.


*We all know it's really just a baked donut in the shape of a muffin but that means you can eat more, enjoy more and have a happier life

This is a quickie so preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Grease WELL either a 12 cup muffin tin OR a 24 cup mini muffin tin and a 6 cup regular muffin tin OR any combination of tins that make you happy.

You'll need three bowls, yes you do, just get three bowls, you'll be happy you did.

  • BOWL 1 (biggest bowl)
  • 2 2/3 cups a/p flour
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 (scant) cup sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • BOWL 2
  • 1/2 cup melted, and cooled, butter
  • 1 T lemon juice (from a bottle, don't bother with fresh, it doesn't matter, if you don't have lemon juice, leave it out)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • BOWL 3
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)

Combine the contents of each bowl well, stir what needs stirring and whisk what needs whisking.

ADD bowls 2 and 3 to bowl 1 in one batch.

I whisk but you can also stir if you want, just get it all combined.  It's a beautiful thick batter.

Scoop the batter (I use a portion scoop if I can find it, when I can't, I use a spoon) into the tins, fill each about 3/4 full.

Bake the muffins in the top third, way up the top, of a preheated oven for 16 minutes for the large muffins and 13 for the minis.  Cook until a knife comes out clean.

Take out of the tins immediately. Leave on a rack for a couple of minutes.

Coat each in melted butter and toss in cinnamon sugar.  I use about 1/2 cup of melted butter to do all of them and the cinnamon sugar is 1 cup of sugar with just shy of a tablespoon of cinnamon, well blended.

Leave them on a rack to cool completely and there you go.  Eat Eat Eat Eat.  Share Share Share.

Here are the pics:

The bowls of stuff, ready to be combined

 The mini muffin pan, well sprayed.  I got 24 minis and 6 regular muffins from this version of the recipe.  13 Minutes for the minis, 16 for the big ones... test with a toothpick
I mixed up about a cup of sugar with enough cinnamon to make it taste like cinnamon, adjust to your desires.  Melted butter in one bowl, sugar in another, ready to coat and dip
 Ok, here's the beauty shots... truly...  LOOK at the crumb here, wow, it's rich and tender and delicious