Friday, March 2, 2012

Delicious and Sturdy Garlic Rolls

These are my favorite rolls.

They are from the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen. I swear she had a tutorial. With real photos from a camera that allows lensing and actual depth of field. And maybe color-corrected lighting. But I can't find it. And God help you to try and get in and out of that site with a singular mission; it's almost as bad as Pinterest, with the options for wandering. So you're on your own, with this outline.

Maybe print the recipe out, first. So you can follow along. Or bring it up on your iPad so you can hold it next to your laptop while you contemplate your family's Waldorf simplicity, mixing quickly with the mixer rather than kneading by hand, which would cause issues with the pinching, scrolling and tracking.

'Cuz you're crunchy. That's why you read this blog. And maybe drink Coke.

Oh wait, that's me.

First, you should know, that recipe makes enough bread to feed an entire fire station. Actually, it makes twice that much, because I usually half the recipe and that's the amount we took down to our local station for their Thanksgiving dinner last fall. That's a serious amount of garlic goodness.

You can save the dough in the fridge all week, and make fresh rolls each night. But my 4 1/2 qt. stand mixer can't handle the whole recipe. (Note: Are you registering for a wedding? Replacing your old model? Get the 6 qt mixer. ) So I make half the recipe and bake it all. These rolls are sturdy. They'll last most of the week. If you can.

Also, I try to put a little whole wheat flour in the mix, so the bread is not total junk food. I've experimented with this, and I've found that the recipe can bear about 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour to 5 cups AP flour without getting gummy. I realize this isn't a health improvement so much as it's a rationalization. But we do what we can.

The dough will be shaggy when mixed. Make sure you take a spatula and turn the dough entirely upside-down in the bowl to get all of the dried flour off the bottom. Unincorporated flour makes nasty nubbies in the finished bread.

My ancient house is drafty and I have no counter space, so usually I turn the oven on for a couple of minutes, then turn it off, and then I let the dough rise in the oven. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid, or else the top will get all dried and crunchy and that does not make for nice bread. Trust me on that one. I've tried it both ways and the crusty top adds up to Bubble Roll Fail.

While the dough is rising, make the butter mixture. For the "seasonings," I use about 1/2 tsp. each of dried basil and oregano (remember this is for half the recipe, 6 1/2 cups of flour). I usually use salted butter, so I don't add the kosher salt. I also use 1/2 tsp. dried garlic, which is double the amount suggested. And, because this is what makes it the best. bread. ever., I add 1-2 tsp. chopped rosemary (fresh or dried).

Starboy is starting the butter here, but I forgot to make the beauty shot of the sauce.

After rising for two hours, the dough will smell yeasty, look springy and seem a bit alive. Remember the Valentine's Doughnut Fiasco? The problem was that dough didn't look anything like this.

Grab hunks and form golf balls.

Fill the pan with the dough balls that have been dipped in the butter mixture. If your balls are small enough, you might need a second baking dish (I use a glass pie pan). Dump the rest of the mixture on top, then sprinkle fresh parmesan on top before baking.

These are great with dinner, but they also are a fantastic snack sliced very thin, spread with peanut butter. They are not, as they say, a low-calorie food.

Here's the recipe again from The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen: Garlic Butter Crusty Bubble Bread.

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