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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Cinnamon Roll Cookies

As mentioned last week, I made these cinnamon roll cookies during a baking day I had. These were so good, and really quite easy to make! The dough came together in no time, and it took longer for these cookies to sit in the refrigerator chilling than it did being made, rolled, assembled, and baked. The beautiful thing about these cookies was that they are slice-and-bake, so you can make the cookie dough ahead of time, freeze it, and slice a few cookies off when you need them.The original post where I found the recipe used them as holiday cookies (as in Christmas holiday), but I love cinnamon buns any time of the year. Why not in cookie form?Either way, I’m not going to keep prattling on, because you need to go make these cookies! They are a little more labour-intensive than your run of the mill drop and bake cookies, but totally worth it!

Ingredients

Yield: About 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on thickness

For the cookie:

2¼ c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ c. butter, softened
¾ c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

For the filling:

2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
¼ c. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

For the glaze:

1¼ c. icing sugar
2-3 tbsp. milk

½ tsp. vanilla

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.Gradually add in the flour mixture, beating after each addition, until a smooth, cohesive dough forms.Place the dough between two layers of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and roll into a large rectangle, about a quarter-inch thick.Brush the melted butter in the filling over the dough. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over the melted butter. Roll the dough, with the long end toward you, into a tight log. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.Preheat oven to 350° F. Take out chilled dough log, and with a sharp knife, cut into half-inch thick slices. Place slices on a cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden brown.Cool on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack sitting over parchment paper to cool completely.To make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of milk at a time, until you get a smooth, pourable consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the baked cookies, and let cool and firm up.

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.

White Dinner Rolls

I’m a sucker for bread. We know this. So, I came across these dinner rolls and something inside me yelled “WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW!”. I’m not one to argue when it comes to bread and baked goods, so I made them.

Let’s just say I am SO GLAD I did. The recipe makes a lot (as in two dozen rolls), but that’s okay. No one ever really turned their nose up at homemade buns…. did they? At least, Paul never has. These were pretty easy to make, and the appealing thing was that they use shortening. I’ve never used shortening in rolls or breads before (that I can recall, that is…), and I was excited because I forgot to take my butter out of the freezer to that last night.

Like I said, super quick to make, and they weren’t that difficult. The rise time is relatively short for bread dough, which also made me happy. I got the recipe from here, and this is a winner in my books.

Speaking of, I am feeling a little peckish as I write this. I think I’ll wrap up, and go get a mid-afternoon roll with butter. My kind of snack!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen rolls

½ c. water
2 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
¼ c. shortening or butter
1 egg
4-5 c. flour
¼ c. melted butter, for brushing

In a small bowl or coffee mug, microwave the water for 20-30 seconds, until lukewarm, but not hot.

Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar and stir. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t overflow! (As in, if your yeast is still alive, it will foam and rise very fast! If it doesn’t foam, the water was too hot and killed the yeast. Try again.)

In a glass measuring cup, microwave 2 cups milk for 1-2 minutes until it is warm but not hot.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the second measurement of sugar, salt, and shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon, or use your dough hook. Add the warm milk, yeast mixture, and 1 egg. Mix well and let rest 5 minutes.

Add 2-3 (or up to 3 ½) cups flour, one cup at a time, mixing in between. Once all the flour has been incorporated, knead for 5-6 minutes, using your hands or the dough hook. (I ended up adding the extra 3½ cups of flour.)

Grease a large bowl well with oil or butter. Scrape all the dough into the bowl, shape it together, then turn it over so that the top is greased. Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (pinch one end with your fingers).

Place the rolls in 2 well-greased pans. I used two 9×13 pans.

Cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. When they are almost done rising, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown all across the top.

Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

 

 

Buttery Sourdough Buns


We all know how much I love bread and all things bread related. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything sourdough, and I had a hankering to experiment with a recipe I’ve never tried before using sourdough.

I mean, my fall-back recipe using my sourdough starter are my Sourdough Soft Pretzels, except recently, I’ve been turning them into dinner by wrapping the dough around hot dogs and then proceeding with the recipe – BAM! Sourdough Pretzel Dogs.If you think that sounds good – seriously try it! It’s FANTASTIC! It’s also my new favourite way to eat hot dogs… and I was never a hot dog fan.

But, back to all things bread and buns. The great thing about bread and bun recipes are that they take so long. However, this is also the downfall. I can’t make a loaf of bread if I’ve got school, or if I’ll be out of the house all day. However, I got up this morning, Thanksgiving Monday, and thought “I need to use my sourdough starter”. I always love looking for recipes that use the unfed “discard” part of the starter – waste not, want not. This bun recipe was great, because it uses pantry staples (if your pantry, like mine, includes a sourdough starter) and didn’t take long to whip together. I was going to spend the day lounging around the house and getting some marking done anyways, so it was the perfect thing to make… also considering it just snowed overnight! Boo. 😦


Either way – I love bread, I love buns. I’m really and truly a carb fan. This recipe is simple, and the longest part is waiting for the buns to rise. Still, one more way to use my sourdough starter, and I’m fine with that!

Ingredients

Yield: 16 buns

½ c. sourdough starter (fed or unfed)
3 c. flour
2½ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
5 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2/3 c. lukewarm water

4 tbsp. butter, melted, for topping

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, or by hand, combine all ingredients and knead until you get a soft, smooth dough.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 1½ – 2 hours.

Gently deflate dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface. Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle about 12″ x 16″. Brush some of the melted butter over the surface of the dough.

Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log. Cut 16 buns out of the dough log with a sharp knife or use dental floss. Lightly grease two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, and arrange 8 buns in each pan.

Cover the pans with a tea towel, and let rise for about 1 hour, until they are noticeably puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350° F.

Uncover the buns, brush with remaining melted butter, and bake for 22-25 minutes. They may only darken on the top very slightly. Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or hot with more butter as desired. You can also save some of the melted butter to brush over the buns when they come out of the oven.