Wow, my first real post. I’m not sure where to even begin. Part of me wants to tell you all about me, but I wouldn’t even know what to say. I suppose the real me will come across in my writing/pictures. I want to start by telling you a few things though:
I’m not a photographer, although I do think I have the potential when I have the right environment. I have a crappy little point-and-shoot camera and there is NO natural light in my apt since the bedroom is the only area with windows. I think I’m going to make a light box soon, and bring it into my bedroom…but I’m hesitant to have food anywhere near my bed since I’m a complete klutz. I’m going to try to improve my photos but these first pictures were taken just for me, before I even had any idea to start a blog. They were mostly taken by my boyfriend who is so impressed by all cooking I do that he feels the need to document it.
I’m also going to begin by posting things I made in the last few months, to catch you all up to today. I’m going to start with a Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls I made back in the fall.
I love grocery shopping. I don’t know if it’s just me, or anyone who likes food, but I could spend hours in the store. When I met Nate, I had only been to Trader Joe’s once or twice. I thought it was some high priced grocery store like Whole Foods. It was only after I met him that I realized it’s way cheaper than most markets…especially those in nyc.
Nate is a creature of habit. Every week he buys the exact same items: whole wheat dinner rolls, turkey, apples, focaccia, peanut butter pretzels, baby carrots, and a couple other things. He would bring the dinner rolls over to my apt when I would make dinner for him. So I thought…maybe I can make him some homemade rolls.
I did some research online and came across a King Arthur Flour recipe with lots of good reviews. I have to say that they came out tasty, and Nate approved, but I think the effort it took wasn’t worth it when the rolls at TJs are suitable. I’d rather be making dessert 😉
Now listen…I know yeast and bread-baking is a complicated thing. I probably shouldn’t have started with a complicated recipe cuz you’ll get the wrong idea about me. I promise the things I usually make are way easier. But think of it this way…if it comes out crappy, just keep it to yourself and no one has to know. At least you tried 🙂
1) If you’re using active dry or “highly active” yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
2) Combine the dissolved yeast with the remainder of the water and the rest of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a smooth dough. If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 5 to 7 minutes at second speed. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.
3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, till it’s quite puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you’ve kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.
4) While the dough is rising, lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ round cake pans.
5) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into 16 pieces.
6) Shape each piece into a rough ball by pulling the dough into a very small knot at the bottom (think of a balloon with its opening knotted), then rolling it under the palm of your hand into a smooth ball.
7) Place the rolls in the 9″ x 13″ pan, or put eight rolls in each of the round cake pans, spacing them evenly; they won’t touch one another.
8 ) Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. They’ll become very puffy, and will reach out and touch one another. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
9) Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, and tent them loosely with aluminum foil. Continue to bake until they’re mahogany-brown on top, but lighter colored on the sides, an additional 10 to 13 minutes.
10) Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. They’ll be hot and delicate, so be careful. Serve warm, or at room temperature.