kruizing with kikukat

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bread Machine Rolls

"The best thing about a long weekend is a short work week."
                             -Kikukat's ex-boyfriend

Yup, yup, yup, even if the guy bugs me, he's right.  And thanks to Labor Day, this past week was indeed a short week (in time only).

A short work week means I have one less day to fret over what I'm bringing for lunch.  And fret I do.  I stress over what I'm going to bring as well as what D1 will eat.  Luckily, for at least one day each week (and its in the middle of the week so holidays don't usually affect it), I have Local Kine Errands deliver lunch for me.  Its always the same lunch...small salmon bento (the one without the meatball) from Puka Puka Kitchen.  I think I might try the large salmon bento next.  The small doesn't have too much salmon in it.

D1 normally brings some kind of sandwich with a whole deli counter of meat packed in.  Earlier in the school year, I offered to make her a wrap.  She came to my room that day and asked what I used to "spread" the meat.  From that day on, she has insisted (snicker, snicker) that she make her own sandwich/wrap.  The only thing I do is wash her lettuce when I wash mine.  I gladly dole out the $ for the cold cut supply because this takes a load off of me in the morning.  The Help says we are keeping the Safeway and KTA deli counters in business just with our dry salami and honey ham purchases.  Maybe we try roast beef next.

Frankly, I'm really not a sandwich person.  What I really enjoy is bringing some kind of soup for lunch, and this past week, I actually did just that.  The Help made a big pot of bean soup, which he shared with his parents.  I brought a bowl of it for lunch, and I was able to bring a bowl of it for one of the bosses who did me a huge favor.  In addition to the bean soup, I also packed fresh apple cake and some rolls.

The apple cake is the same one featured on my blog about a year ago.  It is often pinned on Pinterest, and people who try it always tell me how good it is.  This week, at the suggestion of some readers, I frosted it with a lemon cream cheese frosting, and it was really good.  I will eventually get around to posting that recipe.

The rolls...the rolls...where do I begin?  First of all, this is the only recipe you need to justify purchasing a bread machine.  Seriously.  Everyone here, including picky, picky D2, loves these rolls. 

It has taken me a while to develop this recipe just the way I like it.  I modified a recipe which came with the bread machine manual of my original bread machine.  The original recipe was not sweet at all.  I tried adding sugar, as much as 1/2 cup, to see how sweet I could get these.  At 1/2 cup of sugar, the rolls were too difficult to shape.  Cutting the sugar back to 1/3 cup gave me the sweetness I wanted with the ease of shaping that I needed (I am not Portuguese. . .shaping bread is NOT in my blood, but I can wrap a mean potsticker!).

And I have made these rolls into all kinds of shapes.  Because the original recipe gave instructions for making 15 rolls, for a while, I stuck to that and made 15 (like you see in the small picture below).  I made them in a shallow rimmed pan (large cookie sheet) and placed them kinda close so they'd touch when they rose.  They baked up really nice, and they spread a little.  These were good for making sandwiches.

Then I got a little wiser and realized that its hard to divide the dough into thirds then into  5 pieces, so I bought a large square pan (ordered from Amazon. . . around 11" x 11" or so) and made 16 rolls (4 x 4) in the square pan.  These are the rolls you see in the other pictures.  They spread less and are just slightly smaller than the ones made in the flat pan.  If you don't have a large square pan, dividing the dough into 15 pieces and placing them in a 9 x 13" pan will also give you the same result as the square pan.  I have divided the dough into 8 pieces, made them elongated and used these for hoagie-like sandwich rolls.  I haven't done it yet, but if you divide the dough into 10 or 12 pieces and shape them into ropes, those could be hot dog buns!

Normally, I dip the rolls in melted butter after I shape them, but I tried brushing them with water and sprinkling some fancy lavender salt on top.  This is fine if you plan to eat the rolls on the same day.  But after the first day, the salt melted and left the tops wet.  I will stick to the butter dip.

While I made these rolls to go with the bean soup, the Ds jumped in and helped themselves.  They always do, and they will readily partake in the rolls, no matter the shape.  They will each grab a roll (or half a roll if I make them like hoagie rolls) as they leave the house in the morning and eat it plain.  Sometimes they will stuff the roll with cold cuts (D1), shredded Costco roast chicken (D2), or salami (both).  And you can be sure that when D1 stuffs her roll, it is packed with a layer of meat nearly as thick as both bread layers combined!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 c milk
     1 egg
     2 tbsp butter, cut in pieces
     3 1/4 c bread flour
     1/3 c sugar
     1 tsp salt
     3 tsp yeast
     1-2 tsp melted butter

Place first seven ingredients in pan of bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Set machine to dough cycle.  When dough cycle is complete, remove dough to floured surface and let rest 5 minutes.  Generously grease a 9 x 13" pan (low sides, preferable). Divide into 15 balls, somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a racketball.  Dip one side of ball into melted butter, invert and place in 3 x 5 pattern in prepared pan.  Let rise 30-40 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake rolls for 15 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

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