Soft rolls pt 1

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
2½ teaspoon Active dry yeast
2 cups Warm tap water; about 110 degrees f
5 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
5 tablespoons Unsalted butter; melted or
Vegetable oil

Two cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans covered with parchment paper. Whisk the yeast into warm water and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.

How to Prepare:

1. To mix the dough by hand, place 5 cups of flour, the salt, and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir in the yeast mixture and melted butter. Continue to stir until the mixture forms a rough dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is excessively soft and sticky, add the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time.

2. To mix the dough in a heavy-duty mixer, place 5 cups of flour, the salt, and sugar in mixer bowl, add the yeast mixture and melted butter, and mix on low speed with a dough hook for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elasticup If the dough is excessively soft and sticky, add remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time.

3. To mix the dough in a food processor, place the 5 cups of flour, salt, and sugar in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Pulse several times to mix. Add the yeast mixture and butter and pulse 8 or 10 times, until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is excessively soft, and sticky, add the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse, until the dough forms a coherent ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then run the machine continuously for 30 seconds.

4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to oil all surfaces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough with the palms of your hands to deflate it. Divide the dough in half.

Roll each half into a thick cylinder; slice each cylinder into 8 pieces.

6. Round each of the 16 pieces of dough by gently pressing and rotating your hand over the piece of dough to form it into a sphere and to stretch a smooth, even skin around the outside of the sphere. The smooth skin will become the crust of the roll, and any blemishes or uneven areas will mar the crust's appearance. Cover the rolls with a towel and allow them to rest. The rest lets the elastic gluten strands in the dough relax to the dough will be easy to handle and won't spring back when shaped. Keeping the dough covered prevents a thick, uneven crust from forming.

7. For the simplest rolls, arrange the rounded pieces of dough on the prepared pans, cover with a towel or pieces of oiled plastic wrap, and allow them to rise at room temperature until they're doubled, about 1 hour.

8. The simplest variation in shape is to roll over each rounded piece under the palm of the hand once or twice to make it a small oval, then arrange the ovals top side up on the pans to rise.

9. To form sticks, roll the rounded dough out to a 6-inch stick.

10. To make twists, roll each piece into a 12-inch stick, fold in half so it becomes a doubled 6-inch stick, pinch the edges together, then twist several times. Arrange on the pans.

11. To make Parker House rolls, wrap a small heavy pan in a non-terry cloth towel and flour the towel covering the bottom of the pan. Place a rounded piece of dough on a floured surface and flour the top of the dough. Slam the pan bottom hard against the dough several times to flatten, making a disk about 3 inches in diameter and ½-inch thick. Press the handle of a wooden spoon across the diameter of the disk, then brush the surface of the dough with melted butter. Fold the dough over at the diameter line and arrange them on the pans to rise.

12. To form knots and braids, roll each rounded piece of dough into a cylinder and cover the cylinders of dough with a towel. Shape the rolls one at a time. Single knots, double knots, and rosettes are formed in this way.

13. To make butterflies, roll a half batch of dough into a 10-inch square.

Paint the dough with 2 teaspoons of melted butter or mild olive oil, then roll the dough up, jelly-roll style. Position the seam on the bottom, then slice the roll into 8 pieces. Leave each slice standing as it was cut and press the handle of a wooden spoon hard into the center of the roll, parallel to the cut edges. Arrange on the pans.

14. To make crescent, roll a half batch of dough into a 12-inch disk. Cut the disk into 8 wedges and paint with melted butter or mild olive oil.

continued in part 2

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