So, sometimes when you’re living in the mountains, and it’s snowing, and you have 5 switchbacks to contend with, you decide that maybe it’s a better idea to make due with what you already have on hand. This is part of homesteading, from what I understand, and making due can often generate outstanding (unexpected?) results.
Case in point, the Best Easy Rolls. I didn’t have any eggs, but needed something home-baked to go with a Gertie dinner. After some trolling and some adjusting, I came up with an easy roll recipe that (coincidentally) has about the same prep time as Gertie’s Best Pot Roast.
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp instant yeast (Not instant? No problem. Just add 30 min in rise time)
- 1 tbsp sugar (white or brown)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups high-quality bread flour
- A pinch of salt to taste
I use a 20 year old KitchenAid mixer for all of my baking, and I love it so much I have dreams about it. Only partially kidding. You can do this by hand if you choose, but be prepared to roll up them sleeves and use that elbow grease.
To your KitchenAid, attach your mixing paddle and pour in the warm water. Add the sugar and yeast, and turn the mixer on low for 1 min. Then turn off and let sit until mixture is foamy. Nobody likes that word, but that’s what you’re looking for. Full frothy goodness takes about 5-7 minutes.
Switch to your bread hook, add softened butter, and toss in some salt to taste. On low, slowly add 2 cups of flour and allow to fold in completely. Then add the other 2 cups in this same process.
Allow the dough to beat on low for 10 minutes. If you’re doing this by hand, you poor soul, knead and fold and knead for about 20 minutes.
Slide your dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a warm, damp towel, and let rise in a cozy spot for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, uncover your dough, and beat it up. Pull it, fold it, and punch it. Then recover it, and leave it for another 30 minutes. Then once more. Note: if you’re not using a quick-rise yeast, simply add an extra 30 min of rise time).
After all the abuse and rise time, your dough will be at least doubled in size. I throw mine onto floured granite and cut it up into strips, then into bun-like shapes.
I use parchment paper (ALWAYS) in a large, metal roasting pan. This recipe makes 24 rolls, which is two rounds in the oven.
Fill ‘er up like so.
Bake at 365 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the tops are golden. Brush with more melted butter once removed from oven. Serve immediately. Accept hugs.
Make ahead ideas: Sunday Morning Gravy & Biscuits, or Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie (watch for those recipes soon!)
Eat well, love well, sleep well.