Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Rolls (or Christmas, or Easter, or Just Because)

Remember I wanted to find the perfect roll recipe for Thanksgiving dinner?

Well, I think I succeeded.
Perfect for me meant I could make them ahead of time, put them in the fridge then pop them into the oven right before dinner.
That turned out to be harder than I expected.

The 2 recipes that I tired first turned out rolls that were rather dense and heavy. I wanted light. But after 2 failures, I was concerned maybe refrigerated dough and light couldn't coexist.

This tells you 2 things about me as a baker.
1. I don't have a lot of patience to try recipe after recipe. 2 recipe failures seemed like a lot to me. (I do have 3 little kids though, and not a lot of extra time to spend in the kitchen, so cut me some slack.)
2. I don' really know anything about the science of baking, rising, yeast, gluten and all the rest. I think I want to learn more, even though reading anything scientific means I have to really concentrate. That is hard to do when you have 3 kids running around or, when they're not, you are tired. But I think I'll still give it a whirl.

In the end, the 3rd time was the charm and I found a recipe for Chive and Thyme Pull Apart Rolls in Sunset magazine. The thing that caught my eye about this recipe was that I could put the rolls in the fridge after the first rise, pull them out and hour and a half before baking time, let them rise again, bake and voila! Fresh, hot homemade rolls!

I found the recipe in their November issue, but you can just click here and get it.
I made a few variations in the recipe, as all good cooks do, right? I didn't use the herbs cause I thought my audience might want traditional rolls instead. I think next year I'll do a batch of each.
I also didn't cut the dough into strips to lay in the muffin tin. Instead, I made 3 little balls of dough and put them in each muffin cup. It worked perfectly.

So perfectly that I didn't get a picture of any rolls before they were gone. In the mad rush that comes after the turkey is sliced, the gravy is hot and the rolls are coming out of the oven, I forgot all about taking a picture of my rolls.
But I promise you , they were good. Next year I'll be in charge of the turkey and the rolls.

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