Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Check out my buns! That is, King Arthur Flour Golden Pull-Apart Buns!

I have been meaning to post this recipe (and a few others), before today-- but I just haven't had the time.  I've also been enjoying reading the comments on my "other" blog (Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman"). In order to enter our giveway contest (Muneeba is the "other" in "our"), we are asking people to answer our question:
What kind of recipe/dish have you always wanted to make, but never got around to it?
It's been interesting to see the answers. Surprisingly (maybe not) there are several food bloggers who are afraid of yeast!  I have to admit, that I once had a fear of it, too.  Recently, my confidence has grown and I've learned to understand how to work with yeast.   I give a lot of credit to King Arthur's Blog called "Baker's Banter".  If you haven't discovered this treasure of a blog, you're missing out.  There are step-by-step tutorials. People leave reviews-- and, the KAF folks answer back!

Just to show you that while I'm no longer afraid of yeast breads, this recipe went wrong, the first time I made it.  The next day, I had to try it again. I suspected why my first batch turned out like hockey pucks. My signature line seems to be "let me show you how". So... let's begin:

I need therapy. Seriously. I love to shop at King Arthur online.  This store is my toy store. I have been slowly accumulating their products, and have been experimenting with them. I discovered that the Vital Wheat Gluten really helped my Pioneer Woman Buttered Rosemary Rolls to rise beautifully.  The three products that you see pictured above, were going on a maiden voyage for this recipe I'm about to show you. I've used Fleishmann's Rapid Rise Yeast for ages.  I decided to buy a bag of SAF Instant yeast, since bread bakers rave about it.  Enough product talk... let's talk about yeast.  The SAF Instant yeast is supposed to not need any kind of "proofing". That translates, simply, into dissolving the yeast with some sort of sugar-- honey or sugar, for example and waiting for it to "foam". I think people are afraid of killing the yeast. One more important thing-- I store my yeast in the refrigerator (some people use the freezer) and check the expiration date! Yeast should be live!

The ingredients are flour (I used unbleached bread flour), dry milk (I used KAF's brand), potato flour (I used instant mashed potato flakes that forgot I had), yeast, salt, sugar, butter, lukewarm water and milk.



The product on the left is not in the recipe. I wanted to test drive this dough improver . I added the amount on the back of the bag. On the right, you see how you literally put the yeast and all dry ingredients in one bowl. Easy enough?

I think, sometime, we second guess what is considered "lukewarm".  I use my therma-pen (an expensive but one of my favorite kitchen tools) and I like to stay between 110F - 115F.  I let this cool a wee bit more, just to be sure I don't kill the yeast.  Are you still with me?


So, now I add the softened butter and the water/milk that is at lukewarm and pour it all in. I like this!

I have owned this  Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer for ten years, and I love it.  When my bread machine broke, I never replaced it.  I don't feel that I need a bread machine anymore. You can always mix dough by hand, if you don't mind the elbow grease. I suppose you could have you bread mixer knead the dough, but you still need to shame them. For practical purposes, I hope everyone owns a stand mixer. I used the dough hook, on low, to combine the ingredients-- then up a notch in speed for seven minutes. How easy is that? Now, it's time to allow the dough to do it's first rise...

Pay attention, now. I'm about to show you what went wrong on Round #1. The dough seemed stiff to me. As I always do, I turn my oven to WARM for a minute, shut it off.  I put the dough into an oiled bowl (this is a dough doubler, with measuring lines and a tight lid-- another gadget for me).  I figured this would rise in 45-60 minutes. I shaped the rolls (didn't photograph how to do it, since KAF has a great pictorial on how to do this)


I did the second rise for about 45 minutes. My rolls came out puny-- not at all like my beautiful rolls from a couple weeks ago! I was underwhelmed by the texture. I thought that they were dense.

The next day, I decided to try the recipe again. I was convinced that it wasn't King Arthur Flour's fault. What went wrong?  Well, I think I dumped in too much flour. Oh, um.... well, er, I was out of KAF flour and used Brand X.  A quick trip to the store remedied that.  I repeated the same steps, except I added only 3 cups of flour-- deciding that I could always add more.  I never did add that extra 1/2 cup.

Much better! The dough didn't feel too dry and lumpy.

This time, I left the dough to rise for 90 minutes. Ha! that was the solution. It was fluffly and read to be shaped.
I'm getting the hang of shaping rolls. It didn't take that long to do, either. Ten minutes, tops! I decided to make a small extra pan, to test how well these reheat.  Covered with a towel, and back into my cozy oven (you don't have to do this, but I need the counter space anyway)...

Now, that's what makes working with yeast so much fun! Beee-oootiful! I was about 25 minutes away from...
These beautiful golden rolls! The beautiful sheen on these rolls comes from melted 2 Tablespoons of Butter...

This is food porn, as far as I'm concerned-- beautiful butter...
I tell you the truth-- this is one tablespoon of butter. It does absorb in minutes...

See? Now, for the real teaser...
Oh my... these are tender and truly amazing!
KAF delivers! This recipe is a winner! I am so glad that I didn't give up, the first time. Let's compare:

On the left is the fluffy and good version. On the right is the denser and not so tender version. I learned two things-- slowly add the flour and be patient with the rise! That's all I did differently. I'm going to play with the Dough Improver some more. Maybe it helped, too? I have several more bread recipes I'm anxious to try.

By the way, the small pan of extra bread rolls that I made?  The next night, I reheated them in the oven. They were fluffy and absolutely delicious. These will be on our Thanksgiving table.  I really hope that many of you will overcome your fear of working with yeast. There is nothing like the smell of home baked bread.  I have more yeast recipes to share with you. I've been very busy with my oven, lately!  As always, this recipe is at the very bottom of this post. You don't have to buy the dough improvers that I did-- though I'm sure that King Arthur Flour would love you for it. You can click to the original recipe, where substitutes are listed.

I am wishing that all of you have a wonderful  Thanksgiving.  We are truly blessed to be able to eat such wonderful and bountiful food-- and to be able to blog and share how we created it.  My pumpkin pie panna cotta is chilling, and the cranberry-orange sauce is right next to it. Our meal will be very low-key, but made with lots of love from me to my family.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2009!

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23 comments:

Monica H said...

I came THIS close to making these rolls and I still will because your pan of rolls is gorgeous!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary said...

The photo of the rolls is a stunner. A happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Blessings...Mary

Debinhawaii said...

You have gorgeous buns! ;-) Sadly, I am one of those "afraid of yeast" bloggers but I like to live vicariously through others.

Hope you have a happy and lovely Thanksgiving!

Susan said...

Gorgeous. Thanks you to, my encouragement is back. I was in the King Arthur Flour store in May when we were in Vermont. Unfortunately, we were flying, so had to hold back on my purchases. Now when I see the catalogue, I get real excited. I really the SAF instant yeast and the KA flour is the difference. Happy Thanksgiving.

George Gaston said...

Debby ~ I like your cheeky title! And old King Arthur's buns look amazing, too.

Have a wonderful blessed Thanksgiving Day!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Nice buns! I wish I could make buns that perfect! Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen_from_NJ said...

Debby these look delicious! Thanks for the tips. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Cristie said...

Beautiful rolls! I love your blog!

Cristie said...

Beautiful rolls! I love your blog!

mattie said...

I can definitely smell them from here. I will make these! I may never come out of the kitchen until I've perfected them and eaten several dozen. Debby, my thighs thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

TKW said...

The Thanksgiving picture cracked me up! Have a great one!

Kate said...

You have been busy! My sister in law has the honor of making the rolls this year...your rolls are lovely! Isn't the smell of fresh bread wonderful on a cool, blustery day?

Frieda said...

Congratulations on a superb roll! You have recognized the secret to bread making...try and try again. It's all about touch when adding the flour. I'm sure your friends and family will thank you for these rolls...Happy Thanksgiving!

Marguerite said...

Wish I had a few of this delicious looking rolls right now! Thanks for sharing!

bakers said...

We are so pleased you worked so hard on this recipe till it worked for you-really great rolls! I work on KAF hot line and it seems as if everyone made rolls this year. Hope they all turned out as beautiful as yours. Joan @bakershotline

bella said...

Debby, can ya tell that I'm catching up on reading your blog posts? I just can't get off your blog! These rolls look perfect! Gosh, I'm so lazy compared to you, I bought croissants and do for every Turkey Day. I think rolling and twisting 1000 tortellini wears me out and I give up by the time it comes to the bread! LOL! Happy Thanksgiving too! Roz

Mimi said...

You are becoming the roll queen! Those rolls are mouth watering!!

Memória said...

Wow. You have purchased almost every product on King Arthur hahaha. These rolls look perfect.

OvenDelights said...

WoW!!! These look amazing! Next time I go to Costco I'm picking up a bag of KAF!!

Art By ASM @ It's In There said...

wow this looks great! I love fresh baked rolls.

Anonymous said...

Hi so just a question about how you remedied the buns. Did you slowly add the flour or did you just leave out a 1/2 cup and you found that made the dough rise better? You should it wasn't maybe that your liquid was too warm? I'm experimenting with yeast and bread making too so am just interested to learn more. Thanks!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear Anonymous:
I would say that by adding the flour, a little at a time, did the trick. I also waited for the dough to rise. I think I rushed it the first time. You can call the King Arthur Flour hotline for live advice, by the way. Bread baking is fun, and not too complicated. Using a quality flour helps, play with different yeasts and yes, temperature is key.

Steven said...

I have a batch of these rising at this moment. I've been making them for years -- they are great!

I would advise you to buy a kitchen scale if you're serious about baking. It helps you to avoid adding too much flour to baked goods, which results in the kind of rolls you got the first time. Volume measurement is a very imprecise way to measure ingredients, and is especially troublesome when it comes to calculating flour in baked goods. King Arthur always includes weights on all their recipes, which ensures success.