Sunday, November 9, 2008


So, my rolls turned out all right. They need more flavor but they were pretty.

These are waiting to be baked in the oven:

Here they are cooling on racks:

Finally, here they are in a bowl waiting to be eaten!

I took them to the party and brought a lot home. That's all right; the only fault is they're a bit bland. But that's all right for saucy things since you can use the roll to sop it up!

I used this recipe from Hillbilly Housewife:

Family Bread

* 4 cups warm tap water (not hot)
* 2/3 cup non-fat dry milk powder (instant powdered milk)
* 1/3 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey
* 2 packets or 4 teaspoons dry yeast
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1/3 cup melted margarine or oil
* 12 cups (approximately) white or whole wheat flour or a combination

The first thing you need is a big bowl or clean dish pan to mix this up in. I use a huge metal bowl that is made of stainless steel. But I used to use the same plastic dish tub I washed the dishes in. I would wash it with a little bit of bleach, rinse it really well, and then dry it completely. In some ways it worked better because it fit on my lap more conveniently due to the rectangular shape. But the shiny stainless steel one does look more like I know what I'm doing. So much for appearances.

So anyway mix the water, dry milk powder and sugar in the dishpan or bowl. Add the yeast, sort of sprinkled on top. Allow the mixture to sit until the yeast dissolves some, this will only take a couple of minutes. Add the salt, margarine or oil, and flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until it gets too stiff and then dig in with your hands. When the dough is in a nice cohesive ball, turn it out onto a floured kitchen table or counter. Or if you are using a dish pan, you can just leave it in there.

Now start kneading the dough with all of the love you have for your family. Press the dough and send big love vibes into it. Stretch the dough and impress all of your compassion and generosity into it. Remember why you love your kids, and your spouse and your mom or you dad, and just put it all into the dough. Knead it like this for a full ten minutes. Add more flour if you need to as you go along.

Coat the dough with oil, about 2 tablespoons of it, and put it into the bowl or dishpan. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap and let it set in a warm place to rise for about an hour or so. It should double in bulk. It may take up to two hours on cool days, or in the air conditioning, so be patient.

Punch down the dough by literally pressing your fist into the center of it. Divide the dough into 4 equal lumps. Coax them into loaf shapes and place them into large (9 by 5-inch) well oiled loaf pans. If you don't have enough loaf pans, use casserole pans or cake pans, or whatever. Cover the dough with a cloth or more plastic wrap and let it rise again. It should take less time for the second rising. When the dough is risen up enough, bake the loaves at 350° for 40 minutes.

You can tell the dough is done if you turn it out of the pan and thump the bottom with your finger. It should make a dull hollow sound. If it doesn't sound hollow, put it back into the pan and cook it some more. Makes four loaves.

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