Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The bread post

There have been many requests for this...so here goes!
I've never actually written down the recipe for my ham and cheese rolls, but I'll describe what I do.
I start with a basic bread recipe I learned from Christian, who learned it from his father. I don't think either of them wrote it down, either!

(If its easier, give me a call and you can come over to my house and I can show you exactly how I make it--It'd be fun!)

So, if you want these...
...do this:

Start with 3 cups flour (I never measure exactly when I'm making bread, by the way). Add 1 1/2 T salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup powdered milk (optional, but this makes the bread softer...you can also use regular milk as a substitute for some of the water), and 3 T yeast. About the yeast---I use the instant yeast from Sam's--it comes in a brick and I store it in a plastic container in my freezer. This type of yeast can be added directly to the flour, making it much easier, and it taste better than the regular yeast.
Sift that all together.
In a small bowl, mix 1 egg and 1/3 cup oil. I use a separate bowl so I can beat the egg before adding it to the flour, and I add it after the water because it mixes better...but you don't want to cook the egg in the hot water, so adding it to the oil helps. Just a tip.
Measure out 4 cups hot water--the hottest you can get from the tap.
Add 2 cups of water to the flour and mix, adding more water and mixing until it is smooth and creamy, but not too watery (about 3-3 1/2 cups water, typically). Add the egg and oil mixture.
At this point, you need to add about 3-4 more cups flour, but I suggest doing it one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Too much flour will make the dough dry, and it is easier to mix if it is added slowly. After about 2 cups, I usually turn it out onto a floured countertop and start kneading, adding more dough as I go. Keep kneading until the dough is tacky, but not sticking to the surface. The more you knead, the softer it will be. This is kind of a tricky point--and much easier if you have a mixer, which I don't. If you have a mixer, it is still best to add the dough slowly to avoid adding too much flour.
Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a dishtowel. Let it rise until doubled--usually 45 min to an hour. The rule is--the slower the rise, the softer the dough. It is also easier to roll out when it has risen properly. In a pinch, you can help it rise faster by putting the bowl on the stovetop of a warm oven.
When it has risen, divide it in half and roll it out on a floured surface. Make it into a long rectangle.

For the filling: I use a dry alfredo sauce mix, made with a little less butter and milk so it is thicker than regular sauce, but you can also use jarred alfredo sauce, thick salad dressing, or even spagetti sauce. I also chop ham, and use whatever shredded cheese I have on hand (last night I used monterey jack, mozarella, and cheddar). When I'm feeling fancy, I add drained spinach and artichokes, or make pizza rolls with spagetti sauce and pepperoni and sausage( these are messier to make because the sauce is typically watery).
Spread the sauce, then the ham, then cheese, and roll up like cinnamon rolls. Slice about 1 in thick and place on a greased pan. Let them rise a few more minutes (maybe while the oven is preheating) until they look a little puffy, and bake until they look pretty--about 18 minutes.

These freeze really well if they are wrapped tightly--to reheat, just stick them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so!

Have fun! Let me know if you try them!
(Also--these can be made with any bread dough, even refridgerated, if that works better for you.)

1 comment:

DADDY said...

I am going to try them, I like the Alfredo sauce touch, because the white with the ham looks very good. Yours look good enough to eat.

I surely love you

DADDY