Currently Reading:

Currently Reading:

Station Eleven

by: Emily St. John Mandel

Friday, April 11, 2008

First of Many

Today I started by cleaning up the kitchen, doing all the dishes, cleaning the counters, the stove-top, and the dining area. That means I was preparing for a day in the kitchen. First thing to try today was from Smitten Kitchen one of my food links on this blog.

I chose these Bretzel Rolls:

Smitten Kitchen's Bretzel Roll

It's a pretty simple recipe and the original picture just looked like you could dip it in some cheese and munch on them all day (or at the movies). So I mixed up the dough. Smitten's recipe calls for a food processor but I mixed this by hand. I put it in a bowl with cling wrap then a towel over it and placed in on top of the oven that I had put on Warm setting. I left it set for 35-45 minutes to rise once, then on a floured surface punched it down and formed 8 balls with it. I took the balls in my hand and pulled over the sides to create a nice round shaped dome. I then covered them back up with a towel and let them rise for another 25-30 minutes. This is where the experiments get fun. I followed the recipe about boiling water and adding baking soda and sugar, yes the liquid did foam up *not far though* and then flash cooked the rolls for 30 seconds on each side in the water. I took one of Smitten's commenter's advice and snip the x into the buns after this step, then brush egg white over the top of them and down the cracks and popped them in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes.

They are so good.

What I did differently:

I already mentioned how I shaped the balls, I also didn't have cornmeal so the second time I just used All Purpose flour.

What I would try next time...

I would make them in bit pieces and make a creamy cheese dip. I am sure this would be a good smuggle into the movies when you don't want to buy the food there...hmmm I didn't say that.

Bretzel Rolls:
Adapted by Smitten Kitchen from Bon Appetit January 1994

2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 envelope quick-rising yeast*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
Coarse salt

Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar in food processor and blend. With machine running, gradually pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Process 1 minute to knead. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.

Flour baking sheet, or clear area of counter. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared surface, flattening each slightly. Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball.** Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.*** Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.

Brush rolls with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature.

So That's experiment number one!

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