Monday, January 4, 2010

The Spiced Life Family Sweet Rolls

Laura, from The Spiced Life, posted about her family sweet rolls after Thanksgiving. They are similar to the roll recipe that I use, so I had to try them.  If you click the link, Laura wrote a very nice post about the family tradition, how they roll them etc. 

These rolls are excellent. The dough was very easy to make. I  followed Laura's suggestion and used mostly buttermilk and a little half-and-half. I also used about 11 cups of flour. I used my stand mixer to bring everything together. It was filled to the brim!

I had a small operator error. I used a sheet pan for the rolls and as you can see by the picture, I had a pan FULL of rolls. The rolls around the edges were fine, but the ones in the middle needed a bit more time to bake. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will use a sheet pan and a half sheet pan so there is more space for the rolls to keep their shape and bake up better. I will also try Laura's shaping method. She did tell me it wouldn't hurt to just roll the dough into balls and bake them off.

The Spiced Life Family Sweet Rolls
Laura's mom's grandma (goes back at least to the 1920's)

2 cups scalded milk (or buttermilk--I use a splash of cream and then top off with buttermilk)
1 cup unsalted butter
2 t salt
1 cup sugar
3 scant T dry active dry yeast (or 2 packages)
1 cup lukewarm water (100 - 120 F)
6 well beaten large eggs
10-12 cups flour (less for moister roll; can sub a little white whole wheat flour if desired)

Begin heating the milk or buttermilk on the stove in a small saucepan. In a large mixing bowl, place the butter, salt and sugar. When the dairy is bubbling around the edges and thoroughly hot, pour it over the butter/sugar. Set aside for the butter to melt and the mixture to cool (for the first time recently it did not melt the butter--if this happens, place in the microwave for 30 second increments).

In the meantime, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Set aside to get foamy.

When the butter mixture is cool enough to insert your finger into it comfortably, add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Then add the foamy yeast/water. Mix again. Add 2 cups of flour and beat thoroughly for 2 minutes. The dough with be lumpy at first, which is fine. Then finish adding the flour, 1 cup at a time and mixing to completely incorporate in between each cupful. The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but otherwise will remain quite moist and sticky. If you are not sure how much flour to start with, I recommend 11 cups--next time you can adjust to preference.

Cover the mixing bowl with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise. Every time the dough threatens to rise over the edges of the bowl, i.e., it has about doubled, punch it back down. About an hour before you want to serve the rolls, clean a large workspace and generously dust it with flour. Grab a handful of dough (it will be sticky), place it on the counter, generously dust the top with flour, and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, slice a pie wedge shaped piece out of it (you do NOT need to be particular about this) and roll it, starting at the wide edge, into a rustic butterhorn. Place it on a greased cookie sheet. How close you place the rolls is up to you. I like them to rise into one another, because I like the soft, fluffy middles the best. My sister would prefer they be spaced apart to get more crust. When you have filled a pan, cover it with a damp or floured towel (either will work) and set aside to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

20 minutes in, preheat an oven to 375 F. You can do one tray in the center, or 2 trays in top and bottom thirds, rotating halfway through. Bake for 17-22 minutes, until browned. Serve as hot as possible.

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