Monday, November 29, 2010

Cloverleaf rolls

I believe that the butter-topped rolls in The Bread Bible are the best I've ever tasted. They're certainly the best I ever made. But this wouldn't be much of a blog if I just kept repeating the same old recipes, so I tried the "soft butter rolls" from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread. Better than store-bought rolls, to be sure, but they don't measure up to Rose's version.
The directions say that the first rise only takes an hour. The dough eventually got nice and fluffy, but it had barely moved after an hour. I put it in the refrigerator overnight, took it out immediately in the morning, and let it rise for another three hours. Only then did it double in size.
I should have wondered--there are four cups of flour in this recipe, but only one teaspoon of yeast. In Rose's recipe, it's more like a teaspoon and a half of yeast for two cups of flour. There was no way this was going to take only an hour to proof.

For some reason, I find it very relaxing to divide dough in numerous pieces, weighing each piece to make sure it's exactly the right size. I was supposed to divide the dough into small enough pieces that I'd get two dozen rolls, but it looked like I'd have two dozen bite-sized rolls, so I increased the size and made 18. Once they were shaped, they were supposed to rise again. Hours later, I was running out of time, so they were going to have to go into the oven, risen or not.

They look a little bit puffy, but certainly not like they're going to turn into giganto-rolls.

And they didn't. Bigger than bite-size, but not by much. And because they didn't rise enough, they were heavier than Rose's version, not so light and tender. Since they were brushed with butter, both before and after coming out of the oven, they had a lovely buttery taste and the crust had a slight crispness that was very attractive. So definitely not a failure, but neither did they become the new gold standard.
If I tried them again, I'd either add more yeast or allow for a lot more time for proofing. But, since I like to try out new recipes for this blog, I guess I'm not likely to try them again.


Anonymous said...

Hello Marie,

How are things in MinneSNOWta? I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving with your family.

I think the rolls look very good - definitely good enough to eat. You make an interesting point about the flour/yeast ratio. I wonder how many people had the same experience you did while making this recipe.

I had to giggle at this: "For some reason, I find it very relaxing to divide dough in numerous pieces, weighing each piece to make sure it's exactly the right size. " After reading your blog for the past few years, this makes perfect sense to me, lol. I adore you and your precise way of doing things. I'll bet you are a good lawyer who always does their homework. I hope to never need an attorney, but if I do I'm calling YOU!

Bundle up and stay warm. If you tried anything extra yummy this Thanksgiving, do tell. I wish I had an amazing story or recipe to share, but not this year.

*moves all thoughts to Christmas*

Laura NYC

breadbasketcase said...

Hi Laura,
It's still snowing here, but the blowing and the wind chill are worse.
I loved the Lemon Canadian Crown that I made for Thanksgiving dessert.

And the pumpkin-gorgonzola flans--not as good as I'd hoped, but still very nice.

I look forward to hearing an amazing story or seeing an amazing recipe from you at Christmas!

doughadear said...

I also meticulously weigh anything I make with dough, except of course if it is a sole loaf of bread, which is seldom. I have a system when I make rolls whereby the dough is weighed first then I divide into the total weight by whether I make 12 or 15 rolls (50 grams or 60 grams). I'm not at all obsessive, oh no not me.

breadbasketcase said...

Why no--there is nothing at all obsessive about weighing everything. It's perfectly normal. I made Christmas cookies today, and, as I portioned the cookie dough out in little spoonsful, I wondered why I wasn't just weighing them. Next year!

Jenn said...

Marie, I also find it relaxing to measure things - as well as kneading bread dough (though probably find it more fun than relaxing). There's something about combining all the bread ingredients and then mixing it and mixing it by hand until it came into a ball. So fun.

Oh btw, I haven't told you, I've been making successful bread lately. All thanks to Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day book. I love the book, have made 7 recipes from it. I need to actually start taking photos so I can post on the blog.

Pat said...

Hi Marie,

Just wanted to let you know that your gut instinct was right - that wasn't enough yeast. An errata sheet for Bread can be found here Hope you give the rolls another try. I thoroughly enjoy your writings - keep up the great work. Thanks. Happy baking.


breadbasketcase said...

I'd love to see pictures of your bread! I don't have that book of Reinhart's, although I do have several, going all the way back to a Brother Juniper book.

Thanks so much for letting me know. Now I will try them again. And I've printed out the errata sheets, so I'll check there the next time I make something from this book.
It must be very annoying to proofread, proofread, and proofread--and then find that you still have mistakes.