Monday, December 21, 2015

Recipes for Oddly Specific Settings: Luncheon Pan Rolls!

We at A Book of Cookrye have been making a lot of bread lately. Why? Because bread is delicious, and finals-related stress has made us decide that a diet is too grim a prospect. When you have to do triple trigonometric integrals, would you want to eat a plate of vegetables and try to tell yourself you're sated?
All-Electric Mix Recipes Prepared Specially for your Dormeyer Mixer, 1946

Luncheon Pan Rolls
1 c milk
2 tbsp butter
¼ c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 cake or envelope yeast, dissolved in ¼ c lukewarm water
4 c flour

Scald the milk, remove from heat, and add the butter. Stir until melted. Add the sugar and let stand until lukewarm. Add the egg, yeast, and 1½ c flour. Beat at medium speed with a mixer (if doing it by hand, a whisk is better than a spoon) until smooth. Add another ½ c flour and beat again.Stir in the rest of the flour until the dough is stiff enough to handle. Let it rise until doubled in size, then knead for 1 minute.
Shape into rolls, either by rolling the dough out and cutting it or by making little dough balls in your hands. Let them rise, then bake 12-15 minutes at 425°.

We at A Book of Cookrye have featured two recipes for oddly specific occasions. There's the chicken pie that's meant either for hunting or for picnics on the Thames and the liver that's for after a taking in a play. Today, we are making rolls that are apparently meant for serving at a luncheon. We do wonder about the name of this recipe. Are these the ones some employee at the Dormeyer factory routinely cranked out for every company party? Did someone always make yet another batch of these for every church potluck, possibly to the point that there was always a place set aside for Mrs Whatever-Her-Name-Was' rolls?

The butter is listed in the ingredients, but the directions never mention what to do with it. Were we supposed to put a little piece of it on each roll just before baking? Spread it over the dough like we did the sauce when making the garlic rolls? (PS- Go forth and make the garlic rolls. They're better than you'd ever think garlic bread would be.) We hazarded the guess that we should mix it in.

I never understood why you always make a sort of bread batter before adding the rest of the flour, but who am I to question the recipe? Here we must admit that we didn't think we really needed to bust out the mixer, but the flour stayed in lumps and the yeast, rather than mixing, formed a few clods and refused to mix into the dough. Clearly, we needed to motorize our cooking procedures.

Maybe it's the weather lately, but the bread we've been making has come out really dry. The garlic rolls just a few days earlier did the same thing. We added the lowest amount of flour given in the recipe and it came out looking like this.

Now, the last bread recipe we made, you knead it then let it rise. This one was the opposite. The kitchen was crowded (it's finals time for everyone else too) and therefore we couldn't leave it in the oven to rise; people had their own food to bake. So we did this instead.

It seems putting the bowl in a pot of hot water works just as well as a warm oven. In fact, it may actually work better. The recipe said the dough would double in size in two hours; we got that and then some.
We at A Book of Cookrye hereby endorse the yeast you fish out of the discount bin for 25¢.

You may not fully appreciate just how expanded this dough got. So, for comparison, here it is after we thwacked all the air out of it and kneaded it.
Remember: this filled up the entire bowl.

So, having got out our best cookie sheet, the rolls were soon ready to rise!
We considered getting out the rolling pin and cutting them with the measuring cup, but then we lost patience.

The nice thing about recipes like this is you get to decide how big of rolls you want. Do you want little bread bonbons? Do you want them so big you could cut them in half and fit your dinner in the middle?

Incidentally, the recipe may have said to bake at 425°, but these were done before the oven reached temperature.

These came out pretty good. I may or may not have eaten an inordinate amount of them while muttering "I regret nothing." Someone else tasted one and declared "I have seen the face of Jeya-sus-ah!" Given that she was from India, it was impressive to hear her suddenly get an evangelist accent perfect.
As you may have surmised, these are good rolls. If you're being picky, the yeast-raised flavor that one usually uses to justify waiting for them to rise wasn't as pronounced as we wish it could have been. However, they're tasty and oddly addictive.

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