Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a baker. I can cook but I clearly can’t bake. Not only am I not a baker, I am literally afraid of taking on any project that requires any baking. So one day while I was driving my son to soccer practice (and yes, being a typical teenager, car rides are the only time when he talks to me), I was going on and on about how my food blog didn’t have very many desserts on it and to balance it out I should add some recipes for desserts but I somehow could not get myself to make desserts because I suck at baking etc… And he comes up with this brilliant analysis of me “you know what they say, Mom, that bakers are scientifically-minded and cooks are artistically inclined! And clearly you are not scientifically inclined.” Bingo!!! The kid had a point. Yes, I can’t bake because I never stick to any hard and fast recipes – I always tweak things and taste and add and then taste again and add again and somehow baking never allows for this flexibility. So I thought about this and decided to take on this challenge – I have now decided to try to bake a bit more. And as the first step in this endeavor, I tried making homemade brioche rolls. I don’t have the patience for baking breads that need time for the yeast to rise and so I tried a quick bread recipe and Voila! They actually came out real good! So last night’s dinner was BLT sandwiches on homemade rolls! Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it too.
1. 2 eggs (one for baking and the other for making egg wash).
2. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (you can make the rolls without them but they do look so pretty on top)
3. 3 cups of bread flour
4. ½ cup of all-purpose flour
5. 2-3 tablespoons of room temperature butter
6. 3 tablespoons of 2% milk
7. 2 teaspoons salt
8. 3 tablespoons of sugar
9. 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
10. One cup water.
1. Preheat the oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the water with the milk and warm the milky water in the microwave by putting it in for approximately 45-50 seconds. The liquid should feel warm to the touch (but not hot).
3. Add the 3 tablespoons of sugar and the 2 teaspoons of yeast to the warm water and stir it till the dry ingredients dissolve and keep it aside for 5-7 minutes (to let the yeast get active).
4. While the yeast is rising in the water, in a large mixing bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, the bread flour and the salt.
5. Add the softened butter to the dry flour mixture and mix it in thoroughly (it will look a little lumpy).
6. Whisk one egg in a small bowl.
7. To the dry flour and butter mixture, add the foamy yeast mixture and the whisked egg.
9. Using both your hands, knead this dough on a cutting board for approximately 7-8 minutes, until the ball of dough looks smooth and feels stretchy.
10. Divide the dough into 8-9 balls and shape them with your hands in a bun shape.
11. Whisk the second egg and add 2 tablespoons of water to it to make egg-wash.
12. Place the raw buns on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
13. With a basting brush, baste the top of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle the top of the buns with sesame seeds.
14. Place a dish of cool water in the oven (so that buns don’t get too dry while baking) and on the second rack of the oven place the baking sheets and bake the buns for approximately 10 minutes.
15. Take the buns out of the oven and let them cool down for 5 minutes. You could serve these buns as dinner rolls (with butter of course!) or slice them with a serrated knife and make BLT sandwiches (a couple of slices of bacon, some mayo, a slice of tomato and a crunchy leaf of romaine lettuce) . They came out grrrrrreeeeat!!!!