Monday, November 21, 2011

The Bread Challenge: Sweet Yeast Rolls

On Sunday evening, I attended a Friendsgiving celebration, which coincided nicely with my ten mile run (refueling is definitely the best part of training). For the party, I made Isa's vegan chocolate pudding pie (delicious!) and these rolls.

The rolls were... okay. They were a little tough and on the chewy side, whereas I had been envisioning something more light and sweet, like a bread cloud pillowing from the plate. I'm not sure what went wrong, but I think it might have something to do with the amount of time I let my KitchenAid knead the hell out of them. Over-kneading is a thing, right? If not, then maybe I just invented it. BAM.

This is not to say that no one at the party liked them. On the contrary, everyone raved about them and the plate was empty by the end of the night. I have a feeling my friends would rave about anything I made from scratch, because they're nice, which is why they're my friends, so I didn't quite trust their compliments. But an empty plate really can't be argued with.

Overall, a decent recipe but I probably won't make it again. There are too many other breads I want to try first - like this pumpkin bread, for a little holiday you may have heard of called Thanksgiving. Obviously, I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Sweet Yeast Rolls

You will need:  
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
5 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon local honey (or agave or sugar)

Heat milk to scalding. Pour into a bowl with the Earth Balance, 1/2 cup of sugar and salt.

In another bowl combine the water, yeast and 1/4 t sugar and allow to sit for 5 minutes. It will be ready when it's thick and foamy.

After the milk mixture has cooled, add the yeast mixture. Then add 1/2 cup flour and beat about 200 times. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. (This is when I let my KitchenAid at it for perhaps too long, as I wasn't counting at all.)

Add 4 cups flour and beat well, then begin to mix with your hands. Add about 1 more cup flour or enough to produce a consistency of dough that can be turned out onto a floured board. Knead for 5 minutes. (Go, Kitchy, go!)

Put dough into a well-oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down and form about 12 rolls. Place them on an oiled cookie sheet and allow to rise for 1/2 hour.

Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms are brown and the tops are beginning to turn golden brown. Brush with honey and let dry. Rolls will be a little sticky, but that's okay.