Easy Sandwich Rolls

When it comes to a good easy sandwich roll, a homemade one is hard to beat. Finding a great recipe is also a bit of a challenge.

I wanted a recipe that didn’t require an overnight sponge or two rising times. I wanted a recipe that could be done in just a couple of hours and have good texture and great flavor.

The recipe had to be versatile and most of all, fun.

First is the recipe as I made it and after, is a basic recipe that can be modified easily to give youSandwich Rolls a whole bunch of different results.

With practice, you could have these ready to eat within 2 hours.

Easy Sandwich Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • 5 ounces water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 egg at room temperature, beaten
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mixed grains and seeds; soaked in 1/4 cup water
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Wash and topping:
  • 1 egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon water
  • Sesame and poppy seeds and coarse salt

Method:

Remove the egg from the refrigerator and crack it into a bowl. Beat it slightly with a fork, set it aside to come to room temperature.

Heat the milk, water and honey with the butter just until the butter melts. Cool until the temperature falls below 120°F then beat in the egg.

Measure 2 cups of AP flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. On low-speed, add the cooled milk mixture until a dough forms.

Slowly add the remaining flour a bit at a time. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and will not be sticky when enough flour has been added. You may need to add additional flour beyond what is called for in the recipe.

Once a soft non sticky ball has formed, knead for 5-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Zero a scale and weigh the dough mass. Determine how many ounces of total weight you have. You can determine how many rolls to make in one of two ways.

1. Divide the total weight in ounces by how many rolls you need. Then cut off dough balls that of that weight and all rolls will be the same size.

2. Decide how large you want the rolls. The rolls featured are 3.2 ounce dough balls.

Seeded Sandwich Rolls

  • small slider rolls – 2 ounces – bake 10-12 minutes
  • sandwich or burger size rolls – 3.2 ounces – bake 12-14 minutes
  • large sandwich rolls – 4 ounces – bake up to 20 minutes
  • Hot Dog Buns: 4 ounce rolled into oblong shape, slice open on top or side – bake up to 20 minutes

As the dough balls are weighed, round each dough ball to create a smooth top. Place them 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal under the rolls.

Place the smooth dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, cover with a piece of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick oil. Let the rolls rise until they double in size – in a warm kitchen this may take 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400°F

Once the rolls have risen, glaze them gently with egg yolk and sprinkle with seeds. The egg yolk helps the seeds stick and gives a nice shine to the finished roll. Brush the egg yolk on with a brush, being careful not to deflate the risen roll.

Bake the rolls in a 400°F oven for 12-15 minutes; 10-12 for the small rolls and up to 20 minutes for the larger rolls.

Verify internal temperature has reached 210°F and then cool the rolls on a rack. Be sure to space them so they don’t become soggy while cooling.

The final internal temperature should reach 210°F for any size.

Once the rolls have cooled, slice them open and fill with your favorite sandwich filling. The rolls are tender, absorbent to hold juicy fillings without getting messy, taste really good and look fantastic.

Once you see how easy it is to make these sandwich rolls, you’ll make them again and again.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a Sandwich Roll with Cabbage and Kale Slaw and Sweet Pickle Chips

BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a Sandwich Roll with Cabbage and Kale Slaw and Sweet Pickle Chips

Plain White Sandwich Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 ounces butter, melted
  • 1 room temperature egg, beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups bread or AP flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Follow the same directions as the multi-grain rolls.

Use different toppings or slash the tops of some rolls for different looks.

If you use dried minced onions or dried minced garlic on the top of the unbaked rolls, be sure to soak the dried onions or garlic in a small amount of water before using as a topping. If they are not hydrated, they will burn and taste bitter.

Try adding cheese or shredded zucchini in place of butter to the recipe.

Use them as dinner rolls, give a bag to your neighbor.

To me one of the best parts of a sandwich is good bread. This is a great start.

Try them and let me know what you think and if you tried anything different.

Sandwich rolls

Sandwich rolls

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Time for a Change

I got a letter in the mail yesterday that let me know that it is time for a change. Two weeks ago I had a physical which also included doing a blood profile.

I have always taken great pride in knowing I followed my fathers genes for height, weight and cholesterol until yesterday. My mother has very high cholesterol which she is managing well; she and Dad are in their 80’s and are doing well.

For many years all of my lab reports were great. Now, this report comes back with a spike in my LDL cholesterol (the bad one) into a danger zone of 160 (it should be below 100). “Let’s talk about some medications” my Dr. suggests.

i take drugs

I suggest drugs! (Photo credit: the|G|™)

Guess the butter has caught up to me. And the lamb, fried chicken, bacon and pastries. If you realistically look at it and ask

“Just how many Bacon Topped, Maple Glazed yeast doughnuts can one eat before you have to pay the price?” you would know the answer.

Darn, because that sure does sound amazing,  is it the bacon part? Or the maple glaze part? Or the raised glazed part? Can’t we just forget about health this one time?

Well the real question that has come home to roost is how many times can you say “yes, just this time.”

How many times can you rationalize in your mind that it is “OK” to slather bread with butter, or load up that baked potato with sour cream and cheese on top of that butter or dip that fried chicken finger into ranch dressing.

a baked potato with butter

a baked potato with butter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times can we continue to look away?

No more, according to that letter.

Now, either I get to show and do what I know is right nutritionally or I can get on that AMA medicated bandwagon for the rest of my life. At 57 years old, I hope to have a lot of life ahead and have no desire to do so medicated or dependent on some doctors opinion.

I talked myself out of walking today because it was “cold”. 53°F “cold”.

Ha.

I scolded myself for not going. I didn’t go because I was lazy. Although I can come up with several excuses that all sound so much better than lazy, lazy is the truth. Lazy is a choice and lazy is something I can do something about.

Avoiding cardiovascular disease needs exercise, so I’d better get over this lazy spell.

While I don’t have a cardiovascular diagnosis, its numbers like these that lead to it unless something is done. Here lies my choice.

The amazing thing is that I really truly do know better! I am better educated about diet, health and food than most and yet I still find myself eating bacon, sugar and butter as if I were immune to the effects.

Today, I made some multi-grain bread and crackers with organic flour and whole grains, made hummus without oil, thanks to the vita-mix. Gosh, it had such a bright flavor! These are some of our go to snacks and lunch stuff for the next week.

I looked in the fridge and noticed some things that need to go.

Cholesterol is Good for You!

Cholesterol is Good for You! (Photo credit: Mr Jaded)[This is NOT really in my fridge! But wouldn’t it be nice if it were just this easy to eliminate cholesterol?]

The determination to do this myself, by ‘eating better’ is going to trump the medication possibility.

I asked myself today, “what do I want to accomplish by eating this?” and threw some junky food away rather than down my throat.

So some changes are in order.

While I’m not going to say I’ll never eat butter again or bacon or brie cheese, I can’t make them part of a normal diet. Maybe once a year or never for that doughnut.

My immediate goals are to change the amount of fat, increase vegetables and fiber, balance lean meats and breads.

I make all of our bread, I know what is in it, I’m not real keen on giving that up any time soon. Not being gluten intolerant or sensitive to it gives me a choice to eat my lovely breads or not.

I like meat, I really like the flavor. I was a vegan vegetarian for about 3 years when I was in my early 20’s. I determined then I really liked the flavor of meat. Being aware of how much meat and what kind of meat we eat is a key to control.

We don’t eat processed foods or fast foods and limit sugar and salt intake. We eat a variety of grains because we actually like them so some of the diet modifications should be rather simple to accomplish.

It’s the butter and pastries that need to go away. I know that and I don’t need a doctor to put me on meds in order to get the LDL under control.

I have been teaching bakeshop classes since January, I am 100% positive that change in schedule is a definite contributor to the spike in LDL. Next week when my new classes begin, I’m out of bakeshop and into Global Cuisine and so all those pastries and temptations will be well out of reach.

Additionally I need to get moving. Go walking. Anywhere.

Hopefully I can work up to a light run and learn to enjoy the process and shake these lazy bones.

In My Kitchen February 2013

I missed out on last months post, mainly because I ran out of time and the other was due to being “suspended “ on WordPress. (Yeah, I’m such a bad girl!)

This In My Kitchen posting neatly summarizes what has been happening in my kitchen over the last month.

At Soup in Sunday I bought another bowl, for condiments this time.

The new bowl

The new bowl

There has been lots of information going around on how to grow things from kitchen scraps. I love scallions and have a hard time getting them to grow. My dad on the other hand gets things to grow for him just by thinking about it.

"Hydroponic" Scallions; They will need dirt soon!

“Hydroponic” Scallions; They will need dirt soon!

So scallions are now growing in vases for easy clipping and almost instant regrowth. They will need soil soon, I’m sure

In my kitchen this month are these lovely measuring cups.

Hedge Hog measuring cups

Hedge Hog measuring cups

You can use them as scoops too

You can use them as scoops too

How cute are these? They were a Christmas gift from Robert’s daughter Kim. Aren’t they adorable!

I started taking a class (just because) on Nutritional Concepts and Medical Nutritional Therapy so the awareness of what we eat has been in the spotlight. Eating/using  a lot of butter (I love butter!) is one thing that has changed. I used to keep at least 5# of butter on hand for baking but now, I hardly have any. If I want to bake, a to run to the store would be required. This step alone has really put a damper on the treats available in my kitchen.

So now baking sweet treats involves some actual thinking about it rather than just jumping in and baking my heart out.

I am teaching a baking class this semester so the advantage of this is I get to play with tons of dough and make all kinds of things all day long. When I come home, the treats aren’t staring me in the face demanding “eat me!”

However, Celia’s Chocolate Nutella frogs had me locating the jar of Nutella and slathering it on to  a Trisket and topping that with a few pistachios. Thankfully there are no incriminating photographs!

In my kitchen this month is a  new (to me) book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice  authored by Peter Reinhardt.

I find it fascinating. Additionally, I bought a couche for when I make bread. the need has been there for a while, I’m just getting around to buying one.

Bread Baker's Apprentice and floured couche

Bread Baker’s Apprentice and floured couche

One of our friends is a friend of Peters. I am hoping to get the book signed one day.

In my kitchen are some great new lenses for the i phone!

i Phone lenses

i Phone lenses

There are three of them, wide-angle, fish eye and macro lenses. I am really looking forward to having the time to really learn how to use them effectively.

I’ll do a post on the shots the camera makes with the different lenses.

Here is a shot using the macro lens

Using the i phone macro lens

Using the i phone macro lens

So, now it is time to go make bread for the week. Celia’s pain-viennois and Richard Bertinet’s method of kneading the sticky dough mass until smooth and elastic seems just like the therapy I need today.

I’ll make some with chocolate!

Gratitude goes out to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this fun series of peeking into one another’s kitchens each month.

Promise, I’ll get back on track and not be so late  submitting next month.

Pain Chocolate

Pain Chocolate

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars or What To Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover cranberry sauce you may have from holiday meals. I find whole berry works best but if you like the jelly kind, use it too. Store bought, in a can or fresh, any cranberry sauce will work out quite well.

For the best, make your own cranberry sauce.

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Cranberry Sauce 003

Cranberry Sauce 003 (Photo credit: MGF/Lady Disdain)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Spray the bottom and sides with baking spray, line the pan with a sheet of parchment, allowing the sides of the paper to overhang on the long edge of the pan. This makes for easy removal from the pan after the bars are baked. Simply lift the paper and the whole thing can be moved to a cutting board or platter.

Spray the parchment with baking spray. Set aside until ready to use.

Make the dough:

  • 8 ounces soft  unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar, mix just until it comes together.

Add the eggs and vanilla.

Mix together: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans in a separate bowl. Add the mixture to the butter and eggs, stirring slowly to combine, slowly add all of the oats and mix only until combined.

Press 1/2 of the dough into the bottom of the baking pan.

Top with cranberry sauce. Make sure to cover the entire surface, all the way to the edges. I added some seedless raspberry jam in dollops all over the dough too.

Dot the cream cheese over the surface of the dough.

Using the remaining half of the dough, dollop it over the top of the cranberries and cream cheese.

Bake in the pre-heated 350°F for 45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.

When the bars come out, drop 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. The heat from the baked bars will melt the chips, then spread the melted chocolate in swirled patterns over the top. You could drizzle some fondant icing over them too but that might be overkill.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour.

Carefully lifting the sides of the overhanging paper, lift the baked bars onto a cutting board and cut them into the desired size with a sharp knife. Sprinkle any crumbles over yogurt.

Store covered at room temperature for up to 7 days. (If they last that long!)

Plated Oatmeal Cranberry Bar

How to Boil Potatoes for Making Mashed Potatoes

To make perfect mashed potatoes, you need to use the right kind of potato.

Russet potatoes are the potato of choice because of their high starch, low moisture content.

Read All about Potatoes  to learn which kind you choose for different dishes.

Wash, peel and cut potatoes into uniform sizes so they cook at the same rate.

Wash and peel to potatoes. It is advisable to use 1 potato per person plus 1. Left over mashed potatoes can be used in many ways and you will be lucky if there are any left over.

Put the cut potatoes into a sauce pan and cover them with COLD water.

Cover cut potatoes with cold water; bring to a boil.

Once the potatoes boil, add salt. Please don’t forget to add salt while boiling the potatoes. If you do, you will be left with very bland potatoes. Remember potatoes absorb flavor best while hot.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain. Process the potatoes through a ricer to produce perfect mashed potatoes.

Once the water comes to a boil. test to see how done the potatoes are. They should be almost done when they come to a boil.

Drain the potatoes when they are done.

Press the cooked potatoes through a ricer to get a fluffy lump-free texture.
A ricer is a good investment. This one belonged to Tyler’s grandmother. She used it to make spaetzle and soup noodles made with Romano cheese and lemon.

After ricing your potatoes will be light and fluffy.

In a small sauce pan, Bring 1/2-1 cup of cream to a boil. Add 2-3 tablespoons of butter to the hot cream, melt the butter. Carefully add just enough hot cream and butter to the potatoes to just moisten them and bring them together.

Be careful of over stirring which would cause the potatoes to get gluey, which isn’t very appetizing.

Adjust the seasonings with kosher salt and white pepper (so you don’t see black pepper flecks in the nice white potatoes).

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

To serve, you can mound them with a spoon, scoop or my favorite way is to pipe them out using a smooth tip, in decorative designs on the plate.

We used to do this at the restaurant and I always loved how it looked.

These are some of the ways to pipe mashed potatoes onto a plate.

So, there you have perfect mashed potatoes.

What can you do with left overs?

Make potato pancakes, add scallions and make potato scallion cakes, use them to thicken cream soups. Use left over mashed potatoes to top a casserole or to make Shepard’s Pie.

If you wanted to make them more low-fat, skip the cream and butter and use chicken stock instead. I would still use a bit of butter, but you won’t need much.

Bon Appétit!

Cinnamon Blueberry Almond Scones

Getting around to making scones for International Scone Week took some doing but finally, here is my dedicated scone.

Celia at Fig jam and Lime Cordial I believe started this “tradition” that now has an international reach.

There aren’t many photos as I figured most reading this would also have posted their scones and know the basic mixing process.

(Mix dry, cut in fat, add liquid, pat into shape, cut, bake)

This recipe is inspired by some pages from over 10 years ago entitled “The Joy of Baking Newsletter”.

This particular article had several scone recipes; some marked with “this is my favorite scone” so I thought it a good place to start.

Taking a basic “English” scone recipe ( less sugar) I added several elements together to create:

Cinnamon Blueberry Almond Scones

Cinnamon Blueberry Toasted Almond Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 large egg

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Cut the butter int the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal.

Mix the half and half with the egg.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour the milk and eggs into the well and mix together with a wooden spoon. Mix just until the mixture comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Pat it into a 16×10 rectangle.

Allow the dough to rest while you mix the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Cinnamon mixture:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Spread the cinnamon mixture all over the 16 x 10 dough, covering it completely.

Sprinkle fresh blueberries and toasted almonds over the surface.

Roll the dough into a cylinder, pinching seams closed.

Cut into 1 inch slices.

Spray a 9 x 9 inch square cake pan with pan release spray.

Place each slice, spiral slice up, into the cake pan, fill it up with the rolled slices.

Brush half and half over the surface of each slice.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown. Test doneness by using a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the scones are done.

Remove from the oven, invert onto a serving plate, flipping them again so the scones are right side up. Two plates are needed for this.

Drizzle the scones with fondant frosting and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Fondant frosting:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or enough to create the desired consistency to drizzle the scones.

Mix together to reach desired consistency, drizzle over scones.

Serve with fresh blueberries.

Now, go out for a brisk walk or run to work off all these scones!

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How to Roast a Chicken

Here is another basic skills post about how to roast a chicken. The same principle applies to most birds, large or small. Ducks are just a bit different due to the amount of fat on them.

To select a whole chicken, carefully look at the wing tips, they should not be brown in any way. Slightly red is OK but no brown. Look at the neck area, same thing. These areas show age on market chickens. If they are fresh, they will be ‘chicken color’ and possibly red tips on the wings. No brown, green or purple.

The chicken should also not have any odor. Give it a sniff. Pass it by if you smell anything.

Sometimes the inside of the bird contains a small bag of the heart, liver, neck and gizzard. Remove this from the inside of the bird. Throw it away unless you eat heart, liver, neck and gizzard. My father made wonderful sauce from these parts. Sometimes I saute the hearts and livers but there is only one inside each bird so they become the cooks treat. YAY!

Thoroughly rinse the bird inside and out. Pat the bird dry.

Carefully, using your fingers, loosen the skin but do not tear it.

Look carefully, see the butter under the skin?

Insert compound butter between the skin and the meat, smoosh it around so it almost covers the meat and then rearrange the skin back in place. This will baste the meat with herbs and butter while the bird roasts.

What is compound butter? Soft butter with herbs and seasonings mixed in. Any combination, any flavors, your choice. Toss it in a mixer, mix it up, place in a container and use it anywhere you would use butter. The butter I used here contained thyme, garlic, lemon, shallot and pepper.

To give the bird some flavor while roasting, insert herbs, onion and garlic into the cavity. For this bird I used rosemary, thyme and onion and a bay leaf.

For food safety sake, if you want stuffing, bake it in a separate pan. See note below regarding food safety.

On the bottom of the roasting pan, place chopped carrots, celery and onion (25% carrots, 25% celery, 50% onion ratio) and 1/2 cup or so of water or stock.

Professionally, we call this vegetable ratio “mirepoix”.

Tie the legs together with butchers twine or cotton string. Run the string around the legs and thighs and tie it off under the wings. This holds the bird together in a nice compact bird-like shape, controls the legs and plumps the breasts.

This is how you get a good-looking finished bird that isn’t splaying its parts all over the place.

Season the birds skin. I used Montreal Steak Seasoning for this one. Season as you like.

Season, tie the legs and truss the chicken. Place on top of vegetables to roast.

Place the tied and stuffed bird in the roasting pan on top of the vegetables.

Roast the bird in a 350°F oven for about 2 hours or so for a 3 pound bird. Please use a thermometer to test for 180°F internal temperature in the thigh, not near a bone.

The dark meat takes longer to cook so you test there. Please be sure to cook your chicken all the way.

There is nothing as unappealing as cutting into a whole roasted bird and have blood come out. Obviously, it goes back into the oven to finish cooking, if that happens.

When the bird is done, allow it to “rest” for about 15-20 minutes before carving. This is when I prepare the vegetables and put the final touches on the meal.

Food safety really comes into play with handling chicken.

  • Keep the bird cold.
  • Sanitize the work area with a mild bleach after preparing and handling the bird.
  • We are trying to avoid contaminating our families with Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni in particular.
  • If your bird is frozen do not allow it to thaw on the counter or in the sink. Put it under cold water that you change frequently or in the refrigerator which takes 2-3 days to thaw, so plan ahead.
  • Always sanitize everything that chicken and your hands come in contact with during preparation with a mild bleach solution when you finish. Knives, boards, spoons, counters, sinks, knobs, handles, towels, aprons, etc.

To make a sauce, use the drippings in the bottom of the roasting pan. Deglaze with chicken stock or white wine. Strain the liquid from the roasting pan into a sauce pot. Bring to a simmer.

Mix equal parts of butter and flour together in a small bowl. Drop small pea sized pearls of the flour and butter mixture into the simmering stock, whisk to incorporate. Season as desired. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to cook out the starch taste. Finish with a pat of cold butter whisked in, adjust salt and pepper. Strain again if desired.

Roasted chicken with sauteed beet greens

We sautéed the beet greens we had on hand from the pickled beet post. Yummy stuff.

There will be another post soon on “How to Cut Up a Chicken”

Enjoy roasting your chickens! I adore the aroma, it smells like home and all things wonderful.