Wednesday, March 20, 2013

French Bread Rolls

With Easter right around the corner and spring break right before it I thought I should get started on my Easter menu.

Do any of you have your menu ready yet?

Rolls are a must have at our house on this special day. I have many favorites that I love and have used many times (Cheesy Garlic Rolls, Fancy Dinner Rolls, Garlic Knots) but I thought I would try out one that I have been eyeing for awhile and one that I could use many different ways.

One I could dress up and make fancy for Easter or one that is awesome for eating straight out of the oven (slathered with of butter of course!) or one to make sandwiches with or one that I could freeze and use for later.

This my friends was perfect for everything I tried.  They did awesome in the freezer (which made my day!), were awesome on sandwiches (sharing that recipe next week), and were delicious straight out of the oven.  My tummy is growling just thinking about them. So yummy.

French Bread Rolls

(click here for printable version)

* Remember when working with yeast breads, the flour is a suggestion (it all depends on humidity, altitude, weather, and a myriad of other factors). I stop adding my flour based on the texture and touch of the dough. Here is a great tutorial on what you should be looking for.

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, give or take a few tablespoons

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels (which comes with lots of practice and if you need a little help check out the link from the tutorial above). The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.

2. Knead the dough in your mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer. Lightly spray a large bowl with non stick cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (this usually takes about an hour but depends on the weather, heat, etc. Just keep an eye on it).

3. Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap again, letting the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. Enjoy!

5. To freeze them, I usually make a double batch (while every things dirty you might as well make a whole bunch) and then once they are baked and cooled, I place them in a zipper-lock freezer bag and put them in the freezer. I either take them out a few hours before I need them or I take them out frozen and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes on 70% power.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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