Monday, April 23, 2012

Accidental Butter Rolls

So, I started out tonight wanting to make Martha Stewart's Parker House Rolls. I started the base of her recipe in my stand mixer and then proceeded to make dinner and deal with my crazy house full of kids. I got so wrapped up in things that I accidentally added all of the 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter INTO my dough, instead of using it to brush ONTO the dough. So, now I'm in a pickle. What to do? I have this yeast and sugar, milk and butter that is all ready to be made into a dough - but it's not going to be a Parker House dough that's for sure. So . . . I decided I would just roll with it and see what I could do with my mistake. I added some more sugar, milk, and some eggs and figured it would be a bread closer to a brioche or a Hawaiian roll, or cinnamon roll dough. Either way, we were having sweet, egg-y, butter rolls tonight.
I rolled them out put them in pan, let them rise and baked them off. Their not by any means a roll that I would want to make again and again, but they're not bad. They are actually pretty tasty!
   If you take nothing else from this post. Know that even I (especially I) make mistakes; and you can fix (or disguise) most mistakes in the kitchen. How do you think brownies were born?

Here's what happened:
I put the water, yeast and a pinch of sugar into my stand mixer. (I actually used 1/4 cup of my pasta water, because I was making my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta. That's a tip I got from my dad. Pasta water is great for making bread dough!)

I stirred it with my hand until the yeast was dissolved.

Then I put the 3/4 cup butter in the microwave to melt.

When the yeast was nice and foamy,

I added 1 cup of milk,

1/4 cup of sugar,

and (this is my mistake) all of the melted butter. It was at this point, when I'm pouring the butter with one hand and taking the picture with the other, that I thought "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I stopped, but the damage had been done. ALL the butter was in. So . . . this is when I tried to get creative.
After a few minutes of trying to shush a screaming baby, frustratingly rubbing my face, pulling my newly cut hair out, and berating myself for my silly mistake, I decided I would do something about it.
OK. It's still the makings of bread - it just has a lot of butter in it. Brioche has a lot of butter in it . . . . I'll just add some more sugar and milk and eggs and it will be more like a brioche roll than a typical dinner roll. No biggie, I can do this.

So, I added 1/4 cup more sugar, and 1 more cup of milk.
And I added 4 eggs.

Then I added 1 Tbsp of salt

and I started adding the bread flour. I wasn't sure how much flour this dough was going to take, so I just kept adding until the dough looked right.

After about 6 cups of flour it looked like this. It was pulling away from the edge of the bowl. I would have added a little more flour (since the bottom is still sticky) but it was trying to climb out of my mixer . . .so. . .

I floured my counter and dumped the dough out. (My camera decided to die at this point. I know, could anything else go wrong? So I am taking this shot from across my kitchen, so as to not unplug the camera from the outlet over by the stove. Gotta love a zoom!)

The dough needed to be kneaded (sorry that was kinda silly) for 10-15 minutes to develop all the gluten. Then I rolled it out and cut it the way that Martha Stewart said, although my rectangles definitely leave something to be desired. I was trying to hurry.

I also folded each rectangle in half, for no other reason than that is what Martha said to do.

I then put them into two baking dishes (two 9x9s should work well). I should have done a better job of getting the excess flour off the rolls, but I was still in a bit of a bad mood and was just trying to hurry.
 Also, now that I'm thinking about it. I prefer to make rolls in muffin tins, because then they get a cute little shape and are brown all around the edges. But, this is what I did this time.

I put the rolls into a cold oven on the middle rack. I put an empty cake pan on the bottom rack, and filled the cake pan with boiling water. I closed the oven and let the rolls double in size. (This quick rise trick is something that I learned from Alton Brown, and I use all the time when I don't want to wait a couple hours for my bread to rise.)

About 45 minutes later, when the rolls were nice an puffy, I took them out of the oven. I took out the pan of hot water, and I set the oven to 350F.

When the oven was hot, I baked the rolls for 25 minutes. (In this light, they don't look that brown, but they are a nice golden color.)

I put a towel on the counter, and dumped the rolls out. (The light above the counter is much better than the light above the oven/stove!

And I covered each one with a towel. (This is how my dad taught me to cool bread. You don't want it to dry out, but you don't want it to steam in plastic either.)

Then just serve. I like mine with honey butter - or peanut butter for breakfast.  Like I said earlier, this dough could have been used to make cinnamon rolls, but I wanted dinner rolls tonight.

In case you want to make the same mistake I did, here's the recipe:

Accidental Butter Rolls

1/4 cup warm water
1 (.75 oz) package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
pinch of sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, melted
1 Tbsp salt
4 eggs
6-8 cups of bread flour

Combine water, yeast and pinch of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. When the yeast is foamy, add the milk, butter, salt, sugar and eggs. Slowly add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12x16 rectangle. (It can now but cut into dinner rolls, or used to make a sweet bread like cinnamon rolls). For dinner rolls, cut into 24 equal rectangles. Fold each rectangle in half (to make a square) and place in greased pan. Let rise until doubled and then bake @ 350 for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn out of the pan and cool covered by a towel. Serve warm. 

Mistakes in the kitchen happen, but you don't have to let them get you down. Get creative and see what you can come up with.

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