Saturday, May 2, 2009

Heating Pad

Yes, you read that right, I said heating pad. What does a heating pad have to do with cooking? Well my friends, it's a nifty tool in the kitchen. I saw this on "Good Eats" so I can't take the credit, but if you ever make yeast bread or rolls, it's a perfect technique to use to make the dough rise. Really! I have tried it twice now and it works beautifully.

Since I have been out of the cooking/baking loop for a couple of weeks, I wanted to make a special dinner. I have had this recipe stuck up on the fridge for a while now, so I thought, now's the time! I had all day to prepare dinner, so it was the perfect addition to my lazy Saturday cooking.

This is a light recipe, which is always nice. Easy, which is even better. Tasty, which is the best. The title says they are Bakery Dinner Rolls. Although mine didn't turn out quite as poofy as ones in the bakery, and the egg yolk wash turned them a strange color, they were still tasty.

The only thing I would do differently is to add a little more salt to the recipe next time.

I used my mixer to knead the dough. I slapped on the dough hook and let the mixer do all the work. So, in the recipe, where is says to knead, if you are so inclined, you can let your mixer do the work too!

Now, here's the crucial part. When the recipe says to let the dough rise, place the bowl or pan directly on top of a heating pad set on low heat. Really, it works wonders. It takes all the guessing out of whether or not you have the right temperature. Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised.

I am off to eat dinner and enjoy a warm roll. Pay no attention to the color (man behind the curtain). They were delicious. Cooking Light never steers me wrong.

Before the second rise.

After the second rise with the egg yolk wash. They look a little funny, which is probably why they turned out funny looking too.

Bakery Dinner Rolls
from: Cooking Light November 2008

2 tablespoons sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2.25 teaspoons)
2/3 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
7.9 oz. all purpose flour (about 1.75 cups) divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
cooking spray
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in 2/3 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in butter.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6.75 oz (about 1.5 cups) flour and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Press two fingers into the dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough. Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

3. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Place 1 dough ball in each of 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

5. Gently brush dough with egg yolk. Bake for 13 minutes or until browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes. Remove rolls from pan. Serve warm or cool completely on wire rack.

Okay, so they look a little bizarre. They tasted good though. That is why you see three missing from this picture, tee hee.