Easy Artisan Rolls

Okay, it’s been a busy few weeks. Not going to lie, most of these posts that have been released at the end of August or at the beginning of September were made in the middle of summer, at the end of July.

I was able to catch up with my baking and do a lot of it over the summer, most often in the mornings when it wasn’t ripping hot the whole day. I wrote up the posts, took pictures, and then scheduled them for later.

It’s something I have to do because when I get busy, life is BUSY. By the time this recipe will have went public, I’ll be back in school, when in reality I typed it when I was still relaxing at the beginning of August.

Either way, to the rolls. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the recipe. Crusty outside, soft inside, really good basic bread rolls that have only FOUR ingredients, and take maybe 20 minutes hands on all together? Yes, please!

I found the original recipe here, and was extremely pleased by the results. Next time I need rolls for a gathering, I’m going to whip these up! It really couldn’t be any easier. Mix the four ingredients in a bowl, cover it up, go to sleep, then shape and bake in the morning. Seriously. These rolls are that easy. (Also, the author has some great tips on making these rolls ahead, if you need them!)

Next time I make them, I’m going to experiment with some flavour add-ins, like rosemary, sea salt, or maybe even cheese or garlic. The options are endless!

Ingredients

Yield: 12-16 rolls, depending on size

4 c. flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 c. room temperature tap water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Make a well in the center, and add in the water, incorporating everything together until a wet and sticky dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave out at room temperature overnight, or 8-12 hours.

After the first rise, preheat oven for 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour, then turn out the dough onto the flour. Cut into equal pieces, about 12-16 (depending on how big you want your rolls), and shape into balls, making sure rolls are coated in the flour, and pinching the edges together to seal.

If you want smooth looking rolls, place seam side down on the prepared baking sheets. If you want a more rustic texture, place rolls seam side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-40 minutes, until almost doubled.

Transfer pans to the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate pan(s) and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until rolls are an even golden brown. Transfer rolls to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Rhubarb Sweet Rolls

If you remember from my last rhubarb posts, I have a lot of it. My wonderful parents have a garden, and in the summertime they are overflowing with produce of all kinds: tomatoes, beans, peppers, lettuce, carrots, and especially rhubarb. They usually have so much rhubarb and it grows so fast that they can’t physically keep or use it all.Last summer, my parents gave me 8 freezer bags full of rhubarb, and I’ve been looking for ways to use it up, especially because my dad told me they have a ton more for me to take. Ah! Pretty soon, it will overrun my freezer.Well, I woke up yesterday, and it was cold and rainy – a perfect baking day! I scoured Pinterest, and soon came upon these rolls, and decided the time was ripe (hah!) for another rhubarb recipe. If you are anything like my parents, and you have an abundance of rhubarb and not many ideas (I can’t make pie, as Paul is allergic to strawberries), I’m here to help! These are sweet and a little tart, but they are basically cinnamon rolls, but instead of a cinnamon filling, a quick rhubarb “jam” situation. You can have them for breakfast, or dessert and (if you’re daring!), put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warmed roll.

Ingredients

Yield: 12 rolls

For the dough:

¾ c. milk
4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, cubed
2¼ tsp. (or 1 packet) instant or active dry yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
¾ tsp. salt
3¼ c. flour

For the filling:

4 c. sliced rhubarb, divided (the recipe says 3 cups, but I’ll explain)
½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch

For the glaze:

Leftover filling
1-2 c. icing sugar (as needed)
1 tbsp. lemon juice (if needed)

To make the dough, in a large glass measuring cup, warm the milk and butter together in a microwave until the mixture reaches between 100-110°F. Be careful! Don’t go over. Too hot, and you run the risk of killing your yeast. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Wait 5 minutes for the mixture to start to bubble and foam. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead and you need to start again with new, fresh yeast.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the beaten egg, the milk mixture, the flour, and the salt. Beat with the dough hook, on low at first, then on medium for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together and becomes smooth and elastic.Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Oil the mixer bowl, then place the dough into the bowl, rolling to cover with oil. Plastic wrap the bowl, and set in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Make the filling while the dough rises.For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups of the sliced rhubarb (reserving 1 cup for the filling when it’s done – I’m a fan of rhubarb chunks, not just puree), the sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until rhubarb breaks down and the mixture turns thick, into a jam-like consistency. Set aside filling to cool while the dough finishes its rise.To assemble the rolls, spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Lightly flour your work surface, and turn out the risen dough, gently rolling into a large rectangle, approximately 18×12.Spread 1-1½ cups of the filling over the dough, leaving about 1 inch of room around the edges of the dough. Sprinkle the reserved rhubarb chunks over the filling. Now it gets messy – beware! Roll the dough log in, starting from the top long edge. Some of the filling might leak out, but that’s okay. Get the roll as tight as you can, and make sure the seam side is down to try and seal it as much as possible.With a sharp serrated knife (or unflavoured waxed dental floss – that’s what I use!) cut the log into 12 even pieces. I use dental floss for all of my cinnamon roll cutting – it’s a trick I learned years ago. Just wrap the floss around the roll, and pull. It will cut everything for you! Easy-peasy.Place the cut rolls into the prepared pan, with a little bit of space between them, not squished tight. They need room to rise again. If you had a bunch of filling come out of the rolls, you can drizzle some extra filling over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for the second rise, about 30-45 minutes, until the rolls fill the pan and are touching.Preheat oven to 350°. Make a simple egg wash (if desired), and brush rolls to help browning. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.While the rolls bake, make the glaze. My glaze is different from the original (I didn’t want any leftover puree). In a medium bowl, combine the leftover rhubarb filling with 1-2 cups of icing sugar, as needed. There is enough moisture in the filling that you shouldn’t need any lemon juice, but if you like a runnier glaze, then use more liquid. Drizzle or pour glaze over the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.Cool in the pan, and serve warm.

Southern Peach Bread

This peach bread is so good! It’s extremely easy to make, and takes about 10 minutes to whip up. Also, it only takes one bowl to make everything. How easy is that! Paul loves peaches, so when I told him that I was making a peach bread, he was extremely excited.

I found the recipe here, from Pinterest, and I am so happy with the results. Little effort, big rewards. Delicious! The only thing I changed was that I left out the pecans because I didn’t have any and I didn’t want to go to the store. I left those in the original recipe though.

I don’t want to spend much time talking about this recipe, because it’s too good! I’m going to go eat another piece.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 loaf

½ c. vegetable oil
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. finely dices peaches or peach puree
½ c. sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ c. pecans, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, and sugar. Add in the eggs, peaches, sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk again.

Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt a little at a time. If using, fold in the pecans.

Pour batter into the greased pan, and bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, let cool 5-10 minutes longer, slice and serve.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

So, I made a ton of bread in my last post. There is only two of us in the house, so I don’t know what I was thinking when I made two loaves. Correction: two MASSIVE loaves. Brioche bread is heavenly, but wow, I came out of last week with a LOT of bread.

The nice thing that came out of the mass amount of bread I made is a chance to make bread pudding! We aren’t huge bread eaters (again, what was I thinking?!? Oh, right… Brioche.) I scoured the internet for recipes to make some really good bread pudding, and finally settled on this Pecan Pie Bread Pudding. It looked absolutely incredible, and I knew that I had to try it.

I had enough bread to double the recipe, so I did. It was enough to fill a 9×13 pan, but I’ve only included the original recipe, which is half of what I made. One thing I’ve learned about bread pudding is that it works the best with day old or stale bread. That way, the dry bread can soak up all that liquid and become gooey, delicious bread pudding.

Another nice thing is that bread pudding is so easy to make. It usually doesn’t take very long, and this one is so easy! There’s only two dishes to clean afterwards.

It was an absolute snap to make, and man did it smell good in the oven! Paul was so excited when I told him I was going to make Pecan Pie Bread Pudding, he was planning out exactly how he wanted to eat it (warm topped with vanilla ice cream).

Not going to lie, this recipe is simple, but sweet and rich. Like, stay away if you have a sugar problem sweet. There is tons of corn syrup, brown sugar and white sugar. For sweet lovers, this is your dream come true!

Still, go make this as an indulgent treat to use up that leftover bread you keep forgetting about!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8×8 pan

8 c. bread pieces, in bite-sized pieces
3 eggs
1¼ c. light corn syrup
1/3 c. light brown sugar
¼ c. sugar
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Spray the baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Place all of the bread pieces into the baking dish. Pour the melted butter over the bread.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, sugar, the extract, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the pecans and pour evenly over the bread pieces.

Use a spatula to make sure all of the bread is soaked with the egg mixture.

I also chopped up a bit of extra pecans and sprinkled them on top before placing in the oven.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Brioche Bread

Time for another foray back into the world of bread-baking!

Brioche is a classic French bread. Its main components are eggs and butter, and boy, is it rich. This baby has a whopping total of 9 eggs (including the egg wash egg), and a full cup of butter in the batter. It is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve been looking up recipes for Brioche for years. I’ve dabbled in the “Easy” the “Beginner’s” and “So-Good-It’s-Almost-Brioche” recipes. They’ve never been the winner for me.

This recipe has it all – I loved how easy it was to follow along. A lot of brioche recipes sounded quite confusing, or needed a ton of time, or just seemed too finicky. I mean, this recipe does take quite a bit of time. All of the prep time, the rising time, and the baking and cooling time adds up to quite a chunk of your day. I was always turned off by the amount of eggs that the dough uses.

But, I don’t know what happened. I was surfing around Pinterest last night, looking for a recipe, and BANG. This brioche recipe dropped into my lap. The picture pulled me in, and I read through Marta Antonia Rivera’s blog Sense and Edibility to find this recipe. 

Suddenly, brioche didn’t seem so daunting. And I had a sudden urge that YES, I want to make brioche.

So here we are.

Not going to lie, the recipe calls for bread flour, and I only have all purpose. I know, I know, bad baker, but we buy HUGE bags of all-purpose flour from Costco, so I can never quite justify going out and buying more flour than we already have. I bake a lot, okay?

Either way, I do not have the beautiful step-by-step pictures as the original recipe did, so if you want, head over to the site linked above and check out the step-by-step, and hopefully, brioche becomes easier to tackle because of today’s recipe!

I wish you could smell this bread through your computer screen. It is absolutely divine, and so soft! Trust me, go make this. It is completely worth the effort!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaves of bread

For the sponge:

¼ c. honey
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. milk, warmed to 110°F
1 c. flour

For the dough:

½ c. sugar
4 tsp. salt
8 eggs (large)
5¾ c. flour
1 c. butter, cut into tablespoons

For the egg wash:

1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. water

To make the sponge, pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the honey and yeast to the milk and allow the yeast to bloom for 5 minutes. If the yeast does not get bubbly and foamy, it is dead. Open a fresh pack of yeast, and try everything again.

Whisk the flour into the yeast mixture. The sponge should look like a thick cake batter.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot (like the oven with the light turned on) to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

To continue making the dough, transfer the sponge to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix in the eggs, sugar, and salt. After incorporating, the mixture should look like a smooth, thick batter.

Slowly add the remaining flour into the dough. If it gets too hard to incorporate with the paddle attachment, switch to the dough hook.

Once the flour is incorporated, add in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Add the next 2 tablespoons only when the previous 2 are completely incorporated into the batter, and save the wrapper from your butter.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated into the dough, it should be soft, smooth, and pliable. Remove the dough from the bowl, and grease the bowl with the leftover butter on the wrappers. Discard the wrappers.

Return the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in the butter lining the bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise again in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Once the dough has finished rising, punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured countertop. Divide in half.

Preheat oven to 375°F, and lightly grease two loaf pans.

Form the two halves of dough into logs roughly the same length as your loaf pans, and place them in the greased pans. Whisk together the egg and water of the egg wash and brush the loaves with the egg wash to prevent drying.

Place the pans in a warm, draft-free spot and allow to rise until the dough is about 1 inch away from the top of the pan. This should take 30 minutes to an hour.

Brush loaves again with egg wash, and if desired, cut the tops of the loaves into a decorative pattern.

Bake loaves in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove pans from the oven, and allow bread to cool in pans for 10 minutes.

Remove bread from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.