Steak House Yeast Rolls

Tanks Giving is fast approaching! I am going to re-post several of the most popular Thanksgiving related posts over the next few days you help you get ready for the big feast!

First up: Steak House Yeast Rolls!

Needing to develop some recipes for a couple of TV shoots coming up, I have been going through a lot of recipes.

This recipe for Steak House Yeast Rolls was a consideration but as I was working through the recipe, the realization that this would be far too complicated to do on Charlotte Cooks, my TV show on PBS in the Charlotte market.

Steak House Yeast Rolls

Steak House Yeast Rolls

With only 26.45 minutes to fill, two 2-hour rising times, mixing, shaping, baking, making a filling for cinnamon rolls, icing, would take an entire season, not 26 minutes.

You have the pleasure of the recipe and variations, my neighbors will enjoy a slab of rolls.

Since I started taking a nutrition class a couple of weeks ago, I have seriously increased the awareness of what I am eating and what is in those lovely morsels I select to stuff in my face.

Making these rolls at home ensures you are using good wholesome ingredients. No dough conditioners, artificial flavors or stabilizers. Just fresh butter, eggs, organic flour, sugar, milk and yeast.

The dough feels great and gives your arms a work out.

  • Servings: ”18″
  • Difficulty: ”medium”
  • Print

Original recipe from Martha Stewart

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 ounce active dry yeast
  • 4 ounces melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups of AP flour
  • Extra soft butter to butter the sides of the bowl and baking dish
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Heat the milk and water to 110°F. Whisk the yeast into the heated milk and water. Let sit for 5 minutes, it should become frothy and bubble.

Add the butter, eggs, sugar and salt to a large bowl, whisk in the milk and yeast mixture.

Add the flour one cup at a time, creating a shaggy dough.

This can be done in a mixer with a dough hook but the final kneading will have to be done by hand so you don’t burn out your machine. unless, or course, you have a really heavy-duty mixer. I don’t stress my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer with the final kneading. Initial mixing yes, but not the final knead.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Form it into a nice round ball.

Butter the inside of a large bowl, Roll the dough ball to cover the surface with butter then place the ball in the bottom of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap that has been also oiled to prevent the rising dough from sticking to the wrap as it rises.

Doubled in Size

Doubled in Size

Allow to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This may take 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide the dough in half.

Roll each dough ball into an even rope

Cut and weigh for even size

Cut and weigh for even size

and cut even size rolls. Weigh each roll to weigh 1.70 ounces. Lightly roll them to shape into balls.

Butter a 9 x 12 baking pan. Place each roll in rows 4 x 6, allowing a small bit of space between each roll. This space will fill in as the rolls rise. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.

Allow to rise again, until doubled in size.

Yeast Rolls ready to bake

Yeast Rolls ready to bake

Once the roll pan is full, you will have some left over dough.

This dough is perfect for some amazing cinnamon rolls!

Roll the dough into a rectangle. Mix some soft butter with some brown sugar and cinnamon to make a paste. ( Make sure it tastes good.)

Spread the butter cinnamon mixture over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the surface with pecans or walnuts.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam closed.

Using a serrated blade, cut 2″ sliced from the roll. Place them cut side up (and down) in a well-buttered baking pan so the sides barely touch.

Cinnamon Rolls ready to rise

Cinnamon Rolls ready to rise

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Use a pan large enough to fill with the sliced cinnamon rolls.

Allow these to double in size.

Baking yeast rolls and cinnamon rolls:

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F

Mix 1 egg with water to make an egg wash. Brush the surface of the rolls with egg wash just before putting them in the oven.

Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan half way through for even baking.

The rolls are done when they are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Any leftovers?

Make bread pudding!

Baked Yeast Rolls

Baked Yeast Rolls

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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

An Easy Crust for Pies and Tarts

Here is a super simple dough to use for pies and tarts. One key to working with any tart dough is to keep it cold. This allows the fat to melt while baking which creates light, flaky crusts.

Plum Blackberry Almond Tart

With lots of holiday events approaching, here is a simple basic approach to a nice pie or tart dough.

If you want a double crust, double the recipe. This only makes 1 crust.

Easily done by hand, you can also use a food processor, just pulse the ingredients without the water, add water, bit by bit to make the dough mass. You may use all the water, only some or you may need more. It depends on how much moisture your flour holds.

Easy Pie or Tart Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 – 5 tablespoons ice-cold water

If creating the crust by hand, combine the salt and sugar with the flour. Cut the cubed butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, two knives or a fork.

English: A dough blender; also called a pastry...

English: A dough blender; also called a pastry blender. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cut the fat into the flour

When the mix resembles a coarse mixture (you still want to see some globs of butter, don’t make it smooth) add the ice-cold water tablespoon by tablespoon.

The mass should come together. Only use as much water as you need to bring the ball together. You may need more water or less water. This is why you add it bit by bit.

Add enough water to just bring the dough ball together when you squeeze it.
You want to see blobs of fat in the dough, not smooth.

Press the dough into a ball and place it between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Press it into a disk.

Refrigerate until cold.

Roll the dough between sheets of plastic wrap

Roll the chilled dough out to the size you need while it is still in between the wrap. This makes it easier to handle and is much easier to clean up too.

Remove one side of the plastic wrap. Position the dough over the pie or tart pan and press it into place.

Alternatively, you can press the dough into the pan and then chill while you prepare the filling.

Much easier is to use the fluted tart pans with the removable bottoms. Press the dough into the tart pan. Make sure you have at least 1/4 inch at the sides and at the curve of the pan so it is strong enough to stand on its own when the pan is removed.

Small fluted tart shells ready for filling

The fluted edge pans give all your tarts such a professional finished look, they are so worth the investment. Since they come in many sizes, you can make large tarts or small individual ones and any size in between.

Ready to fill and bake. See the fat? That means you will have a flaky crust.

Fill them just as you would a pie.

If you use a top crust, decorate it with dough cut outs instead of just a pile of dough on top of the filling.

Or use a strusel topping or leave the fruit exposed and glaze with melted apple or seedless raspberry jelly when the tart is done. This puts a “sealing glaze” on the fruit and makes it shiny. The photo of the Plum and Blackberry Almond Tart at the beginning of this post is finished with melted red currant jelly.

Here are some of my thoughts about using other ingredients besides water and butter.

Butter: Fat is fat, at least the melting point of butter is lower than body temperature. Fat provides tenderness and flavor to the crust. I’d rather eat butter than Crisco or lard or hydrogenated oils like margarine. I have yet to try coconut oil.

Water: Some recipes will ask you to use vodka instead of water. It provides a flaky crust too. Alcohol evaporates faster than water therefore creating a flakier crust. Try it if you like. I don’t drink distilled spirits so it never occurs to me to use vodka.

Flour: Use a good quality organic flour. You can use gluten-free flours too. I’m just not too sure how strong the non-wheat flours will hold up in a fluted pan once the outer ring is removed. My experience is most gluten-free baked goods are crumbly due to the lack of gluten.  Not sure how to over come that but since I’m not gluten-free, I use King Arther’s unbleached AP flour and I get pretty crusts.

I do know if I had to go gluten-free, I would miss pie crust, tarts, and good chewy bread tremendously.

No matter what liquid you use, just be sure it is ice-cold. I use a large measuring cup with lots of ice and water and scoop what I need from there. When finished, I pour the cold water into a glass and make lemonade or tea. I suppose you could do the same with vodka. Use lots of ice.

Bake off empty shells by lining with parchment and filling with rice or beans and baking until done. Fill with fresh fillings.

Fill unbaked shells with fruits, custards, fillings and bake until golden and bubbly. Times vary but usually take 45-55 minutes in a 350°F oven.

There are so many finishing and fillings!

Use any left over scraps to make dough cut outs. Egg wash them and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on a cookie sheet until golden brown. Use these on the top of the tarts, place them when the tart is still hot from the oven or serve as a garnish with each serving.

Be creative.

Carrot, Cheddar Sandwich Rolls

 

These rolls are pretty straight forward to make and turn out wonderful.

They make a great roll for deli sandwiches, add a pickle and some crunchy chips and you have an amazing lunch.

Carrot Cheddar rolls

Carrot, Cheddar Sandwich Rolls

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 ounce dry yeast (2 packages of 1/4 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (non-iodized)
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup All vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated orange peel
  • (The zest from 1/2 medium orange, use the  fine blade of a microplane)
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour

Method:

Heat the milk and water to 100 – 110°F. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar.Whisk it together.

Allow to stand while you measure the remaining ingredients.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (Or do it all by hand for a great arm work-out!) add the rest of the sugar, salt, carrots, cheese, shortening, orange peel, and the egg .

Turn on the mixer and get this all mixed up.

Add the milk, water and yeast to the mixture. Mix well.

Add 1/2 of the flour and mix well; about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining flour. It may be necessary to finish the flour addition by hand. This depends upon how strong your machine is and if it can handle kneading dough.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Oil the inside of a bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl. Wipe it around to cover the ball with oil.

Cover with plastic wrap or linen cloth.

Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 hour in a warm area.

When risen, punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured board. Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces weighing about 3.5 ounces each. The same weight is important to ensure the same size roll and even baking time.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and dust with cornmeal.

“Round” each dough ball into a nice round ball, flatten slightly and place on the parchment lined baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.

Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until the rolls double in size.

Bake at 375° for 14-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Immediately transfer the rolls to a wire rack to cool; brush the top of each roll with melted butter. Cool completely before using.

 

Bread Insanity: Baking Bread on the Grill

I have Bread Insanity. I hope it isn’t contagious.

Ever since last August  I have made all of our bread. Today, we are completely out so I need to make some.

This is the hottest record-breaking heat wave this area has seen since the 1800’s. Today it is 105°F outside with at least 80% humidity or more. I decided not to run today because of the heat, why do I decide to bake bread?

I need to make bread but certainly don’t want to crank my kitchen ovens up to 450°F for an afternoon on the hottest day of the year and the hottest day of June ever recorded here.

So I decided to bake the bread on the grill. Brilliant!

We have a wonderful workhorse of a grill that is over 10 years old. It is stainless steel and cranks 60,000 BTU‘s. Sweet.

I have learned to control the heat chamber like an oven so , bread gets to be baked outside today.

I have never done this before so it will be interesting how it turns out.

Up goes the umbrella to provide the courtyard with shade.

Tea and Thermometer while watching the grill waiting for the bread to bake.
105 F outside; hottest June ever recorded here. The grill set at 450 F raises the temp in the courtyard just a wee bit.

A clean table-cloth is placed on the table, fresh big glass of iced tea is poured and ready to sip with a straw. (Sip with a straw and you get the coldest part of the drink)

Bread is rising; grill is heating.

I have two loaves: one a traditional artisan loaf baked free form and the other in a cast iron pot.

Dough rising in a cast iron pot

I wonder if the heat retention of the cast iron will have any influence on how the loaf bakes.

Since it is so warm out, I leave the loaves on the table, covered, to rise in the warmth. Which happened quite quickly today.

After the grill had warmed for about 10 minutes, the first loaf goes in. The sheet pan fits.

No window to peek in like the oven has.

Timers start. 30 minute countdown begins, then temp to see if it has reached 190°F internally.

I realize I can’t go inside for very long because I need to monitor the temperature and keep it steady at 450°.

Grill temperature nearly there

Sweat. Drink tea, sweat more drink more. I am drinking un- sweet tea with lemon and mint to keep hydrated. Ugh, it sure is hot.

The only running I have done today is to the ladies room.

Damn it gets hot out there quick!

The courtyard is maintaining an ambient temperature between 118°F and 125°F with no air movement. Ek.

Outside temperature in the courtyard

Drink more and wonder about this idea of baking bread on the grill on the hottest day of June ever recorded here.

It must be Bread Insanity. There is no other explanation.

I wonder if I could grill a pie?

First loaf done!

Second loaf done! This is the one in the cast iron.

Finished loaves cooling

Cooling loaves

Ready to eat

Chocolate Cherry Bread

Believe it or not, this is not sweet chocolate cherry bread. It would be fantastic with grilled or smoked chicken or ham and honey mustard sandwiches with bread and butter pickles.

Chocolate cherry bread also makes great breakfast.

I have been perfecting a no-knead formula. Trying out different things, discovering what the dough can and can’t do has led to some interesting discoveries, such as this variation.

1. Replace 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup special dark cocoa

2. Hydrate 1 cup tart cherries,drain, fold the cherries into the bread after the first rise.

I mixed 1 tablespoon of cocoa into the flour used on the board when folding in the cherries. I did not line the rising baskets with cocoa, just flour.

If I keep making this, I’ll invest in some heavy linen cloth to line the baskets so the cloths will get stained from chocolate, not the baskets.

Recipe for Chocolate Cherry Bread

Makes 2 large loaves

  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked in warm water at least 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar, if desired

For handling dough: Mix 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder into 1 cup of bread flour. Use this to dust the rolling surface and any sticky parts of the dough as you shape the loaves.

Combine salt, flour and cocoa powder in a large bowl

Mix the dry ingredients together before adding the wet ingredients

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt in a large bowl, stir to combine.

Warm water to 110°F sprinkle yeast on top and let bubble for 5 minutes. (This ensures the yeast is active)

Whisk the yeast and water together and pour over the flour mixture, fold until all liquid is absorbed and all flour is incorporated.

Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated; form into a ball on the bottom of the bowl. Let rise for 2 hours or double in size.

Doubled in size

Form into a ball in the bottom of the bowl, cover with an oiled piece of cellophane wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes 2 hours.

Remove and sprinkle the top of the dough with cocoa/flour mixture, scrape to deflate and separate into equal balls of dough.

on a well floured surface, flatten one ball into a rectangle, sprinkle with hydrated cherries and cinnamon sugar if using, fold in thirds, sprinkle more cherries and cinnamon sugar, fold in half. Flatten the dough into another rectangle and roll into a log.

Pre-heat your oven to 450°F for 15 minutes before the bread is ready to bake.

Slash the loaves and place them into the hot oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reached a minimum of 190°F. Steaming is optional, if you want a crispy crust, steam is recommended. See how to add steam by reading the No Knead Bread post for a full description of baking off the loaves at home.

Shape into a log or ball; let rise for 1 hour or nearly double

As I mentioned before, this bread isn’t sweet. Even if you add the cinnamon sugar, the cinnamon adds to the complex flavor of the cocoa and the cherries. Simply divine for a smoked ham or turkey sandwich with whole grain mustard, lettuce and tomato.

Light lunch

“Charlotte Cooks” Bread

In January, we filmed an episode of “Charlotte Cooks” about making no knead bread. The episode was released and began airing on TV and You Tube on April 2.

The comedy of errors that went with the taping, I think, were glaringly obvious. The process made me think this is how Lucy Ricardo would have made bread. In spite of the dough getting out of hand, she would have continued on, so I did too.

To shoot the episode, I had to have bowls of dough in various stages in order to shoot continuously. The camera crew was not prepared to step up the pace we normally shoot. The idea was to keep one step ahead of the rising dough. Russ had to keep telling me to slow down. Guess I was trying to keep pace with the dough rising.

I had 5 bowls on dough going at various stages, all while trying to talk about the different stages and move them along to the next for a supposedly seamless show. I gave up on seamless.

The loaf you see me plop on the baking stone turned out the size of a small car and looked and tasted fantastic. That loaf finished baking after we finished shooting so we didn’t get shots of it. With all the different loaves and bowls around, maybe it wasn’t clear as to which one to shoot, but we shot everything. I think there were around 17 loaves finished for the set that day. (Thank God for commercial steam ovens.)

As you watch the episode you will see, by the bowl of dough that gets plopped into the oven, the dough had a mind of its own. Things got to a point where everything was comical; flour everywhere, dough spilling over the sides of the bowl and the oven at 450°F in addition to the camera lights. So the room was perfect for rising dough quickly.

I didn’t think we had enough good material to actually put together a show but Russ, the main man on the show, did a great job. I love my camera crew!

Setting the set for filming

The Main Man, Russ

You can read my post and get the recipe for No Knead Bread here. Yeah, you can cut it half and make a single loaf, but then you wouldn’t have the fun playing with 2 balls of dough.

If you want to make the Chocolate Cherry Bread, reduce the flour by 1/2 cup, add 1/2 cup dark cocoa. Just as you use raisins, substitute dried cherries and put 1/2-1 cup of dark chocolate chips in the flour. Everything else is the same!

Watch the next 20 minutes and let me know what you think.