Sunday, November 13, 2011

Honey Dinner Rolls--Great for Thanksgiving!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought a few honey-based yeast roll recipes would be welcome.  Both of these recipes make light, fluffy soft-crusted pull-apart rolls.  For both, I use rapid-rise yeast.  If you are using regular yeast, the rise times may be a bit longer. You'll also want to "proof" the yeast before adding it.  Place it in 1/4 cup warm water just above body temp (about 100 degrees) and decrease the water in the recipe by 1/4 cup.   If you're having a lot of company, make both!

These rolls have just a hint of sweetness that should please the kids at your Thanksgiving meal.
3 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon for tops
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 oz (1 package) rapid (or quick) rise yeast

Heat the water in a pan until it just starts to steam--you want it hot to the touch, not burning.  Add the butter and honey and stir until dissolved. I

In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir the flour, salt and yeast to combine then slowly pour in the water, butter honey mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just combined.  Increase speed to medium and beat dough until it begins to flap against the side of the bowl--about 5 minutes.  You may need to add a bit more flour, though this will be a sticky dough.

Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let sit until doubled in bulk.

Deflate dough and turn out on to a board.  Cut the dough into four pieces and then cut each piece into four

Roll each piece into a ball and place in a greased 9 inch baking dish

Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise until double in size--about 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter, brush tops of dough and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

This recipe results in a lovely round of golden brown rolls that look great in bread basket.  The crumb is a bit  more sturdy than the honey dinner rolls and the flavor has a bit of a tang.

1/4 oz (1 package) rapid (or quick) rising yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup very hot water
2 tablespoons honey (amber summer honey is great for this, though fall honey will also work)
1 3/4ths cups buttermilk, briefly warmed, just to take the chill off (don't scald!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Combine the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or large food processor).  Dissolve the honey in the very hot tap water. Add the buttermilk to the water and stir to combine.  Turn on the mixer and slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture.  Mix on medium-low speed until dough forms and begins flapping on the side of the bowl--about 5 minutes.  Cover bowl.  Let sit in a warm spot for about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch round springform pan with some butter.  Deflate roll dough and divide into 12 pieces and roll each into a ball.  Place balls in pan--about 9 on the outside and 3 in the center.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour until doubled.  Whisk egg white with a bit of water and brush tops of rolls.  Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake until golden-brown--about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

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