Monday, January 10, 2011
Want to know one of my food downfalls? BREAD! Hot, fresh from the bakery, all nice and fluffy and soft bread. I think I could eat a whole loaf of fresh bread to myself. But who has a bakery right next door to them?! (OK I'm sure someone does, but really who wants to pay bakery prices?) Making bread really seems like a hard, long process. It's making you sweat just thinking about making it right? I know what you are thinking, oh but it's only a few dollars at the store, I'll just pick some up. But there is nothing that compares to the smell of fresh baked bread from your oven in your home that YOU made! It's really not that hard to do, and it will save you some money. Especially if you have one of these fancy mixers. I LOVE my kitchenaid mixer. I've had it for two years now and I don't know how I ever lived without it! It's so much a staple in my kitchen that I believe it needs it's own name. Any suggestions? You don't need to have a mixer to make these biscuits. You can just use a bowl and spoon for mixing and your own hands for kneading the dough, it will just be a bit more work, but still worth it in the end I promise!
Tonight's dinner plan was Cheeseburger mac. No not the kind that comes from the box with a red & white glove on it, no "Helper" for my hamburger in this house! Mine comes from scratch and tastes a whole lot better! More on that later. I wanted some biscuits to go with dinner tonight. Not just any biscuits, but warm, fresh from the oven dinner rolls. I used to buy frozen dinner rolls that you had to take out of the freezer and let rise all day before baking, then I thought to myself... "Ma Bacon, you don't need to pay for overpriced biscuits, make them yourself!" And so I did. I found this recipe for the most delicious dinner rolls on one of my favorite recipe sites a while ago and finally decided to dig it out and try it.
Sweet Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup warm water ( about 110*)
1/2 cup warm milk (about 110*)
1/3 cup sugar
1 - .25 packet yeast or 2.5 tsp yeast
* Place water and milk in mixer bowl add sugar to dissolve. Add in yeast and stir just a bit. Let this sit for 5-10 min. This is called proofing the yeast. Your yeast should get nice and bubbly.
1 slightly beaten egg
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup softened butter or margarine
3 3/4 cups flour
SLOWLY (unless you like a flour storm in your kitchen!) add in the flour. Your dough should start to form a ball. If it seems sticky yet, add in more flour. If it seems too dry and won't form a dough ball, add more water. Once you have a nice dough ball, let it kneed for 5 or so minutes in the mixer. See I love my mixer... it does all the hard work for me!
Take the dough ball out of the mixer and place it in a WELL GREASED bowl (spray it with cooking spray). Put it in the bowl, and then flip it over so the top of the dough ball gets some of the grease on it too. Take out some plastic wrap and spray that with cooking spray as well. Place spray side down over bowl.
Place the bowl some place warm, ideally I like to place it in a nice sunny window. Currently in Minnesota we don't get to many of those days. On non-sunny days or if placing it in a window due to lurking pets or curious toddlers is not an option, you can place it in a warm oven to rise. First start your oven to 200*. Once the oven is pre-heated to that, TURN IT OFF and place your covered bowl in the oven. make sure the racks are not to close to the top, you want room for your dough to rise. Don't worry, the plastic wrap won't burn or melt in the oven as long as it's turned off. Let the dough rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This is a great time to kick back with a nice drink, a good book and relax! After all, making bread is hard work and you need to pamper yourself (or at least that is what you can tell people who are amazed that you bake your own bread!) Once the dough ball has doubled in size, take it out. Turn your oven back on to 200* to pre-heat again.
Take the plastic wrap off carefully and save it, I'll tell you why in a minute. Clear off a work surface for your dough. I use my built in cutting board for this step. I FINALLY found a good reason to use this cutting board. Honestly I tend to forget about it for chopping other foods for some reason. Place some flour on the work area, you don't need much no more than 1/4 cup. I have way too much on my board here. Take your fist and punch it in the middle of your nicely risen dough. I know seems mean right! Here you have this beautiful dough ball, and you need to destroy it. Trust me, it's all worth it in the end!
Kneed the dough in a little flour, not too much. Kneading is just a fancy word for making a dough ball again. Little miss Bacon and Little boy Bacon do this all the time with their play doh! Once you have a dough ball, now the 'work' begins. Decide what type of biscuits you want. You can just have nice round biscuits by creating lots of smaller dough balls. Take your dough and cut it into 12 biscuits. Roll them into balls again and place them on greased pans or a 9x13 baking dish so the ends just touch. Make sure to leave room for them to expand again. You can even get fancy and roll the dough out into big circle, cut into wedges like a pizza and then roll them into crescent rolls if you'd like
Today I decided I wanted to make pull apart biscuits. The kids love that they can tear their bun on their own and butter it. I cut my dough in half. Then each half I cut into twelve pieces. Each of those twelve pieces I cut in half again- so total I have 24 little pieces. I rolled those into balls and place 2 of each in well greased muffin pans. Then I repeated with the other half of the dough.
It seems like a lot of work. Really it's not, just stepping out of your comfort zone. It took me only 15 minutes from the time the dough came out of the oven as a big dough ball to getting them ready to go back in the oven again. Cover the pans with the spray covered plastic wrap you saved from earlier. Now they are ready to sit in the oven again. TURN OFF YOUR OVEN AGAIN! :) And place the pans in there to rest for another 30 mins. Go back to that book you were reading and pick up where you left off! Ok so I can dream right. If I didn't have 4 kids that needed me to go in 4 different directions all at once, I'd love to pick up a book and get lost in it while I have bread rising in my oven.
After about 30 minutes, or when the biscuits have doubled in size, take the plastic wrap off the pans. Turn the oven on to 350* and bake for 16-18 minutes or until the biscuit tops are golden brown. Take out and cool on wire racks. I brush the tops of my buns with some butter right when they come out of the oven. Makes them even yummier!
How can you say no to one of these?! Delicious. They taste and look like you slaved away in the kitchen all day long! (and you did, how far did you get into that book?!)
They went perfect with my cheeseburger mac.
1 lb ground beef
1/2 med. onion- chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked elbow noodles
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 breadcrumbs- optional
In skillet brown burger with onions and garlic. In mixing bowl combine soups, milk, seasoning and half the cheese. Add in cooked noodles and burger. Mix well. Place in greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake in 350* oven for 45min. During last 5 min add remaining cheese to top and let melt.
It was an amazing dinner for a cold winter day!
I want to say "Thanks" to all my readers. Please keep coming back and checking on the Bacon house. I have some big things in store that involve these:
Please feel free to leave a comment or just say Hi! I'm still looking for the perfect name for my mixer... any suggestions?