6/5/07

Homemade Rolls (Buns)

I've never been good at kneading my bread dough so about 10 years ago when I got a bread machine I became one of the happiest housewives around. I finally got a loaf of bread to rise and bake beautifully from scratch. I never actually bake the bread in the bread machine, as I don't like the shape of the loaf and it just isn't the same to me... but I use it to knead the dough. When I want to make bread and cinnamon rolls or something else at the same time I often will use my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook to mix and knead. Both work well... and both work better than my own arms and hands seem to do.




Homemade Buns


12 oz. water
2 T butter
1 1/2 t salt
4 c flour
2 T dry milk powder
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t dry yeast


Put in the bread machine or KitchenAid mixer in the order listed. Turn on dough cycle (#9 on my machine) or on the #1 (lowest speed) on the KitchenAid. Let your dough cycle run on the machine (mine is 1 1/2 hours which includes mixing, kneading, 1 rising, 1 punch down and then a 2nd rising). In the stand mixer I mix it for about 20 minutes. I let it rest and rise about 1 1/2 hours and then punch it down, shape it and let it rise again. Both ways seem to work about the same. It's trial and error. Rising time depends on the temperature in your home.

To shape the buns I take the 2 lb. loaf and split it in half. Then I continue splitting each new piece in half until I have a piece of dough roughly 2 inches in diameter for a dinner roll or 3 inches for a larger hamburger bun. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart to let raise and touch each other for softer buns or rolls, or 3 inches apart to allow each space and will be a crisper roll. You can sprinkle flour on top for a finished look, or wait and brush with butter or shortening when they come out of the oven, or beat an egg white, brush the top of the dough and sprinkle with seasonings. Italian blend for a speghetti dinner, rosemary and thyme for a chicken entree' meal or any herbs your family tends to like.

Bake about 20-25 minutes at 375 until golden brown. The bake time depends on the size of your buns and the thickness and material of your baking sheet or pan. For a crisp roll you can bake on a baking stone and brush the top with water. Smaller rolls can bake in as little as 15 minutes and large hamburger sized buns may take up to 25.

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