Letting Life Lead
Fresh baked bread.
It even makes my husband quietly go “mmm,” and he’s not an easy person to please with food. I’m lucky to get a “meh.”
Here is the recipe I used, and like always, I share it because even with my tinkering this dough comes through for me every time even though I am likely doing it wrong.
This is not my recipe, though alas I am unable to produce the original origin. If you recognize it, please let me know so I can add a link.
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of shortening (room temperature)
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk (or dairy substitute)
1 egg room temperature
Wake up the yeast by mixing the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about five to ten minutes. If the yeast is good then the mixture will foam. You want things to be quite warm (but not hot) for the yeast which is why the other ingredients are best at room temp. Cold will put the yeast back to sleep. (Tip: if you buy yeast in bulk store it in the back of the fridge where it will keep indefinitely. I have never had my yeast die even after years when stored this way.)
Combine flour and shortening. Mix until at a crumby stage. Add milk, egg, and yeast. Hand mixing is fine and is what I usually do or you can us a mixer with dough hook. The instructions I have say knead for about five minutes until smooth and elastic. My dough has always come out quite wet and sticky so never becomes smooth. I don’t try to add flour to make it work because I don’t mind the wet dough and I’ve never had a problem. Cover and let rise to double about an hour in a warm place.
After rise, punch down dough and portion into 12 to 24 pieces. I prefer bigger rolls so do a dozen. If your dough is smooth and easy to handle cut it and roll into balls; if it is wet like mine just portion it with a floured spoon. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Use whatever pan you want. I put all twelve not quite touching into a baking pan on silicone mats, but a pie pan or cookie sheet would also work.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Let rise one more time for 30 minutes to double again.
Brush with butter before baking if desired (I don’t). Bake to a golden brown 12 to 20 minutes depending on your oven and size of your rolls.
These come out with a hint of sweetness. If you use sour cream or yogurt instead of milk, they get a hint of sour dough taste. Substituting honey gives a nice flavor also.
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