Tuesday, May 17, 2011

French Bread Rolls

recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
*Makes about one dozen rolls.  You may want to double or triple this recipe because these rolls are yummy and will get gobbled up quickly.

1 1/2 c warm water
3/4 Tbsp instant yeast (or 1 Tbsp active dry yeast)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour, give or take a few tablespoons

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour).  Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe, but in how the dough feels.  The dough should be soft and smooth, but still slightly tacky to the touch.  On Mel's website, she gives an awesome tutorial on working with yeast doughs.  If you are new to yeast doughs, I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand.  Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (this usually takes about an hour).

Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased counter top.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls.  Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap taking care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten while rising. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

*Freezable option:  Once these rolls are baked and cooled, you can place them in a Ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. When ready to use, take them out a few hours before you need them, or take them out frozen and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes on 70% power.

*Note:  These rolls would be great buns for pulled pork sandwiches, sloppy joes, hamburgers etc.

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