Wednesday, October 9, 2013

No-Knead Rich Dinner Rolls

It's getting really cold. Today it's a dark, rainy, windy, and foggy day. It's definitely baking weather; and one of my favorite things to bake is bread. Not too long ago, I made some No-Knead French Bread and it got me thinking about other breads that I could make "no-knead." I tried it a couple weeks ago with a Rich Dinner Roll recipe I had, and it worked very nicely! They're not my Grandma's Parker House Rolls (which are probably my favorite rolls), but these dinner rolls were a very nice companion to my Awesome Pot Roast. They are light and fluffy, with a golden buttery exterior, and a slightly sweet taste. I've actually made them a couple times, and they are always gone in a flash.

Here's how it starts:
water, milk, butter, salt and sugar go into a microwave safe bowl/measuring cup. (You could do this on the stove too, but I find it easier to clean a glass Pyrex dish than it is to clean a pan.)

I microwaved everything for 1 minute, so that it all melts and comes together. (Make sure to stir the sugar at the bottom to get it all dissolved.) You want the mixture to be between 105F and 115F.

In a mixing bowl, combine half the flour and all of the yeast.

I just mix them together with the wooden spoon I'm going to stir the bread with.

Then add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, and stir.

Next, use one room temperature egg. Use the same container that you warmed the milk up in, so the residual heat will warm the egg slightly while you beat it.

Make sure to beat the egg quickly after you put it in the warm dish, so it doesn't cook.You want the egg to warm up so it doesn't scramble when you add it to the warm dough.

Pour the egg into the bread dough.

It will look like it's not going to come together . . . but just keep stirring and it will.

When everything is smooth, like this . . .

top everything with the other half of the flour. DO NOT STIR!

Just place a towel on top, and put it in a warm place.

After 10 minutes, come back and stir it. - I actually forgot about mine for 20 minutes, so this is what it looked like.

Stir it together as much as you can, and then place a towel over it again.

After 10 minutes, it will haven risen again.

Stir it down again . . . and repeat every 10 minutes until 50 minutes has passed. (A total of 5 times since the start.)

When you're waiting for it to rise between stirrings, keep a towel over it and put it in a warm spot. On this day, I didn't have my oven on already, because I was making my Awesome Pot Roast in the crock-pot. So, I just nestled the mixing bowl by the warm crock-pot and it worked perfectly.

So, you get the idea . . . it rises and you stir it down.

Repeat 5 times and it's done.

Dump it out onto a floured work surface (I just used my clean counter-top), and flatten it out.

Once flat (about 1 or 2 inches thick) cut it in half.

Then roll each half into a log.

Cut each log in half.

And cut each half into thirds.

Take each small piece and fold it onto itself to make a ball. Once it's in a ball, I usually pinch the bottom of it with my thumb and first finger - in the shape of a fist (see picture). This makes the dough taught and the ball more spherical.(Squeeze hard.)

Repeat until all the pieces are in equally sized dough balls.

Place the dough balls into a baking dish (You could make them on a cookie sheet, but I like more soft edges than crispy edges, so I put them in a dish.) I used an 8x8 baking dish so that I would have tall rolls, but if you like them shorter and crispier you can use a 9x9 or bigger. You could also bake them in a muffin/cupcake tin. Spray the dough with cooking spray (or rub them with butter or oil) and cover the dish with plastic wrap.

At this point you could freeze them for later use. If you are baking them right away, then you'll want then to rise now. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

After they have at least doubled in size, brush them with butter. (I just used my fingers - the butter was VERY soft.) - The more they rise, the lighter and fluffier they will be.

Bake @ 350F for 12 minutes (or until golden brown). Remove and brush once more with butter (this softens the crust).

Nothing left to do but serve them up. (I usually rest them with a towel on top until dinner is ready - about 20 to 30 minutes. This helps the dough set better in the center.)
I hope you enjoy these rolls, and let me know if you try any other bread recipes as no-knead. :)

Here's the recipe:

No-Knead Rich Dinner Rolls  
*makes 12 rolls

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp salted butter
1 Tbsp instant (rapid rise) yeast 
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
1 egg, room temperature

Combine water, milk, sugar, salt and butter in a microwave safe dish (or in pot on the stove). Microwave for 1 minute, and stir to combine. You want the mixture to be between 105F and 115F. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups of flour and the yeast. Stir in the warm milk mixture. Beat the egg. (I recommend doing this in the same dish you warmed up the milk mixture, so that the egg warms up a bit and doesn't cook when you add it to the dough.) Add the egg to the dough and stir until completely smooth. Cover the dough with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour, but DO NOT STIR. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm spot. Stir the dough every 10 minutes until 50 minutes has passed (stir 5 times). Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Flatten the dough, and divide it in half. Roll each half into a log. Cut each log in half and then each half into thirds - so you have 12 equal pieces. Fold each piece onto itself to make a tight ball. Place the balls into a greased dish (8x8, 9x9 or 12 cup muffin tins). Spray with non-stick cooking spray (or brush with veg. oil or melted butter) and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, the dough should have at least doubled in size. Bake @ **375F for 12 -15 minutes - or until the rolls are browned and sound hollow when tapped. Turn out and cover with a towel until ready to serve. (**If you prefer a darker roll, bake @ 400F)

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