dinner rolls and timing

A bakers' dozen of #omnomnom

One of the things I’ve determined when churning out dinner rolls to go with a roasted bird is that the optimal time to put the rolls in the oven is as soon as the bird comes out.  The oven temp will be perfect (325, cranking it up to 350 if using a conventional oven), and for a 20-25 minute bake, the rolls can be pulled from the oven, brushed with softened butter and get a few minutes to cool down while the bird is carved.  The timing just works out well.

This also means that the timing of the dough formation, bulk fermentation and bench rise should be calculated against the time the bird comes out of the oven.  Working backwards, then:

My bird will come out at 3:30pm.

90-minute bench rise takes us to 2:00pm.

15 minutes for shaping takes us to 1:45pm.

360-minute bulk fermentation in the fridge takes us to 7:45am. (This is for sanity’s sake; the dough is horrifying to shape at room temp.)

10 minutes with the dough hook on high speed takes us to 7:35am. (It’s done when the dough cleans itself off the bowl.  You won’t think it will.  It will.)

30-minute autolysis takes us to 7:05am.

5 minutes for scaling out the ingredients and giving it a brief stir to combine takes us to 7:00am.

And 60 minutes to get ingredients up to room temp gives us a 6:00am start time.

For dinner rolls.  6:00am.  But so worth it.  (The photo is from two Thanksgivings ago.  I am particularly thankful on this day for Instagram, since I seem to have deleted the photo from my iPad sometime between then and now!)

The Dough (for 12 rolls)

  • 450g all-purpose flour
  • 4g yeast
  • 7g salt
  • 48g sugar
  • 120g water
  • 240g milk (room temp; buttermilk is also delightful)
  • 1 egg (room temp)
  • 90g butter (room temp); use the remainder of the stick for a post-bake shine


flat beer? make bread!

If I die, arrest this loaf for involuntary manslaughter, but let it plead down to a lesser included offense:

The genesis of this loaf can be pinpointed to July, when I went on a kidless mini-break and BackupMom held a BBQ at my house.  A pan of leftovers sits in the fridge commemorating the event (ewww), but that’s not the point.

During the BBQ, the partygoers stored lots of beer in my outdoor mini-fridge and drank it all.  Except one.  Which I found, open but otherwise unmarred, when I got a yen to make Breadtopia’s version of Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread featured in the New York Times…but had no beer in the house.

It’s been in a closed environment.  Alcohol is a preservative.  We won’t die when we eat bread made with it, right?


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cheating on Chad is fun

I got very tired of paying too much for too little tasty bread ($5.72/lb!), and I wanted meatloaf with fresh bread crumbs tonight (recipe to come later, and it is the Best Fucking Meatloaf, Ever).  So, after a very long hiatus (and happy to have gotten my cooking groove back), I forged once again into Tartine territory to prep a starter.

But a fresh, anal-retentive starter will not get me bread tonight.  What will get me bread tonight is cheating on Chad, with my Kitchen Aid mixer and commercial yeast.  Next week I will cheat less on him; this week, I am a perfidious little bread whore.

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after action report: baguette dough it is

I went through four bake cycles of various fermentation times and methods before I finally flipped the page to the Tartine Bread baguette dough and adapted it. It is certainly not just for baguettes – you can make a boule or batard, and adjust the weight of AP and bread flour used to vary the texture.

This makes two baguettes, one batard or one boule:

200g leaven
2g active dry yeast
125g water (75 degrees)
87g bread flour
163g all-purpose flour
6g salt

I broke out the mixer and gave ‘er the hook to bring the dough together (Stir on my Kitchen Aid), then let it autolyse for 30 minutes. To speed bulk fermentation, I cranked it up to 8 until the dough released from the sides of the bowl. I gave it three turns, once every 40 minutes, then shaped it into a rectangle, placed it on parchment paper and let it bench proof for an hour before baking shielded in a cold oven set to 450 for 30 minutes, then unshielded at 450 for 20 minutes.

572g pre-bake dough weight (with losses). The finished bread came out feeling light, so I knew it was a good bake, and the post-bake weight confirmed it – 473g, 82.6% of dough weight. Considering that 225g of water was in the dough, losing 45% of the water weight during baking was great.

I should have pre-shaped the dough and let it bench rest before final shaping, and I should have let the final-shaped dough proof for another 30 minutes or so before baking, but after pulling paver after paver out of my oven, I was tired of baking. No matter, though – this is a loaf that makes me want to dig my meatballs out of the freezer.

after action report: Chad loaf

I tried, I swear I tried. Same Tartine percentages compared to the flour in the recipe (20% leaven, 2% salt, 75% water). Docked it in the fridge for 11 hours; the dough came out cold but developed. I pre-shaped, bench rested then performed a final shaping and let it bench proof for 2 1/2 hours before baking. Post-bake weight was 90%…another fucking paver.

So, I’m upping my leaven to 33% and leaving it on the countertop overnight.