Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another baking day

Today, I made rolls for church. We have a new priest and they're having his "welcome to the parish" party tomorrow. (He said his first mass here last weekend. He's young and, honestly, kinda cute. It somehow felt very wrong to note that the new priest was attractive. However, since it was just an objective observation, and nothing lustful in nature, I think it was probably "okay". But back to the rolls)

Two trays are caramel rolls, one tray is just regular cinnamon rolls (I ran out of brown sugar). It was a recipe I had not used before, but from the same book as my bread recipe, so I was pretty confident that it would be good. The procedure wasn't what I was used to: it had you make up a "light batter" of the milk, water, yeast, and flour and let that rise until doubled. Then you added flour to make a dough, and you let that rise. Then you made it into rolls and let those rise. (There was certainly a lot of rising going on here today.) I'm happy to report, though, that despite the strangeness (and vagueness) of the recipe, the rolls are delicious, and I'll definitely be making them again. (Ryan, however, is sad to report that he only gets one. I promised the church two dozen--I ended up with 26. I ate one.)

Supper tonight was grilled cheese and African Peanut Soup, our second vegetarian meal of the week. Since reading a book about the packing industry, Ryan's expressed a desire to eat less meat (which coincides nicely with Amber's contest). Meat gets expensive, anyway, so it's a desire that I'm happy to indulge. I'll admit, the soup sounded kinda strange to me, but with so many positive reviews, I decided to give it a try. While it probably wasn't the best choice for July (is soup ever?), it was delicious and Ryan gave it the thumbs up. Definitely click over and give it a try.

Our other vegetarian meal of the week was Kitchen Sink Quesadillas (I have no idea why they're named this) and homemade Refried Beans. The quesadillas were super easy and so good. Great for a hot night when you don't want to work too hard for supper. (They do require you to turn on the oven, but not for long, maybe 15 minutes.) And the refried beans were awesome; not in anyway like the crap you get in a can. They weren't terribly difficult to make and they were well worth the effort. The only "con" is that it does make a huge batch. I'm not sure if they're the sort of thing that freezes or not. (I guess I could try it; what do I have to lose? I'll report back if I do.)

This is random, but I also made these Deviled Eggs with Tahini last week. I'm a huge fan of deviled eggs, and since I had the tahini from the hummus anyway, I decided to give it a go. I did use more mayo than called for, and I'll probably use a bit than that next time, but they were great either way. I don't know that I'd tell you to buy tahini especially for this, but if you've got some around anyway, definitely give this a try.


Here's the recipe for the rolls. You're warned, though: the recipe reflects the age of the book. It's pretty vague and assumes a bit of bread-making knowledge. If you've made bread before, though, you shouldn't have any problems with this. Also, next time I'll probably make up more caramel mixture. I found that most of it seemed to soak into the rolls, which is fine, but I like caramel dripping off my rolls, too.

Caramel Rolls
1 cake Fleischmann's Yeast (equals 2.25 tsp of yeast in a jar)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 cups milk
9.5 cups flour
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp. salt

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Scald the milk and add just enough flour to make a light batter, not a stiff one. Beat well and then let this cool. Add the yest; again, beat well, adding more flour if necessary. Let this rise until light, double its bulk, then add the eggs, sugar, creamed butter, and the salt. Add enough flour so that the dough is just stiff enough to handle. Let the dough rise until doubles its bulk. Then roll dough half-an-inch thick and fill with the following:

1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups seed raisins or currants (I omitted these)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter

Mix sugar, raisins or currants, and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough; dot with pieces of butter. (I melted the butter, brushed it on the dough, then sprinkled the sugar mixture on top.) Now roll up the dough as for jelly roll and cut off pieces one or one-and-a-half inches thick. Prepare muffin tins as follows: Rub 3/4 cup butter and 3 cups brown sugar* together to make a paste and mix with 1 cup chopped nuts. Line each tin one-fourth inch or deeper with this mixture. Stand the slices of rolled dough on end in the pan, and bake them about thirty minutes in a moderate oven at 400 F. Be careful not to have the oven too hot, as the sugar in the bottom might burn. Turn out immediately, and keep the sugar side up. Makes 3 dozen.

*Idiot Alert: In typing this out, I realized I'm an idiot. I read the recipe too fast, and thought it said 3/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar. I did a cup of each, since I wanted more caramel. No matter, though, since this was the completely wrong proportions. Perhaps this is why most of the caramel just soaked in, because there was too much better. So maybe I don't need to double the caramel next time, I just need to make it right.